100% NATURAL WOOL
For thousands of years, wool has been the fiber of choice in carpet and rug manufacturing. Aside from its heralded performance and unsurpassed aesthetics, 100% pure wool is an environmentally sound selection in that it is completely biodegradable and, since the earth’s natural resources are not depleted in its production, it is a rapidly renewable resource. Further, wool is referred to as a ‘bio-based’ fiber since its production is fueled by another rapidly renewable resource – grass.
Most Unique products are manufactured with 100% pure wool. Wool is an ideal selection for allergy-prone individuals since allergy to wool is virtually non-existent and, when used as carpeting, wool acts as a natural air purifier by actually attracting air-borne dust particles and common pollutants where they can be harmlessly vacuumed away. Tests show wools natural air purification process can last upwards of fifteen years. Wool does not promote the growth of dust mites or bacteria and is inherently fire safe through its natural flame-retardant qualities.
Wool also acts as a natural air conditioner, absorbing moisture during periods of high humidity and releasing it when the air is dry. It is also easy to maintain. Spills and soil are easily removed.
Finally, Wool requires from one third to one sixth the energy to produce than comparable synthetic fibers and has an ongoing ability to save energy due to its superior insulating properties, keeping the indoor environment warm in winter and cool in summer.
Unique Wool Carpets use Permethrin as a moth resistant agent. It is not only environmentally-friendly, it is an exceptionally effective and safe. Accepted world-wide and endorsed by the World Health Organization, it is also used to control insects on a variety of crops such as hops, cotton, fruit and vegetables. Permethrin is widely used in greenhouses, market gardens, and vineyards and is applied in a variety of ways.
In regular use as described above, it has shown to be completely non-toxic to humans and, if ingested, passes through the system quickly and completely with no residual effects. However, when used as a moth resistant agent, Permethrin is used in much smaller quantities since it is not intended to control insects but rather as an agent that limits the ability of eggs to hatch or larvae to feed. It will not kill adult insects that walk across the carpet. There have been no reported cases worldwide of health related issues in humans from exposure to Permethrin.
NATURAL RUBBER LATEX
Natural rubber latex is not used by any producers of quality broadloom carpets for two reasons: First, it is not an effective adhesive so de-lamination and poor tuft-bind are constant concerns. Second; and more importantly, are serious health concerns. Natural rubber latex has over 100 known allergy related proteins and allergy to natural latex is a very common problem. Synthetic Latex is a petroleum-based by-product and is very effective as an adhesive, thereby increasing replacement intervals. Further, it possesses none of the health risks associated with natural rubber latex.
Polypropylene is used as a primary backing and sometimes as a secondary backing in carpet manufacture. It is also a petroleum-based by-product and is so safe that it is commonly used as air filters, bandages, and protective netting in hospitals. Used in lieu of polypropylene as a primary backing in products marketed as 100% natural is burlap, which, like many natural fibers, contains allergens and, in moist and damp locations, is prone to rot, mildew, and mold.
Formaldehyde is not used at all in any phase of carpet manufacturing (but may be present in some other household products).
The aroma of new carpet is found by many to be similar to the ‘new car smell’ or a freshly painted wall. However, to the very sensitive, all of these aromas can be irritants. The aroma of new carpet is temporary and dissipates quickly. Ventilation will expedite the process.
VOLATILE ORGANIC COMPOUNDS
Many materials used to furnish or decorate the inside of homes emit small amounts of volatile products. Volatile Organic Compound, or VOC, emissions from carpets are among the lowest: only a fraction of those emitted by other materials used in new construction and renovation. As examples, some relative emissions are:
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DYEING AND FINISHING
All domestically produced Unique Carpets are dyed and/or finished at one of the most environmentally friendly carpet production facilities in the world, using only recycled water in the dyeing process. Safe, effective, and in use for over one hundred years, synthetic dyes are used to add color to many Unique Carpets. Unlike natural vegetable dyes, synthetic dyes create bright vibrant colors that last. The upholstered furniture you sit on, the bedding you sleep in, and the clothes you wear are dyed using these same synthetic dyes. Many Unique Carpets are manufactured using un-dyed wool. The colors are created by blending colors found naturally in wool.
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