Second Life SolidWool

SolidWool are a brilliant young company making beautiful items from Herdwick wool.   Hannah and Justin Floyd do an amazing job of designing, manufacturing and marketing their products made in England from British Wool.  Recently we have been working with SolidWool to help find a second life for wool carpets… Full story below.

The SolidWool story is at SolidWool

 

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SolidWool table and chair made from recycled wool carpet.

400,000,000kg of carpet fibre is disposed of each year in the UK! Carpet recycling UK have done a great job of diverting almost 1/3 of this into recycled products like Crumbwool carpet underfelt. But we still have a long way to go and we are not even touching post consumer wool carpets.

Recycling is good, but up-cycling is better. By creating added value, sought after products from rescued wool fibre we hope to inspire more investment in up-cycling.

We asked SolidWool to help us on our recycling challenge and they made us these amazing chairs and a coffe table from post-industrial rescued carpet fibre, seen here on the Wools of New Zealand stand at Domotex.

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Thanks to Carpet Recycling UK, Anglo Recycling and SolidWool for helping us ensure wool fibre has a second life.

more detail on this story on the Great Recovery website.

 

WOOL | THE NATURAL CHOICE

Wool creates the ideal habitat for homes and offices.

There are so many reasons why New Zealand wool is the perfect material for humans to live with.  Here are a few of the top reasons why wool offers a superior experience than any other finer, natural or man-made.

QUIET & COMFORTABLE – Wool textiles absorb noise and create warmth making your home or office the perfect place for relaxation, concentration and play.  Wool fibres come is a vast array of microns and crimps meaning it absorbs a higher range of frequncies than other flooring materials.

SAFE & ALLERGY SAFE – Wool carpets act as a natural air filter, trapping allergens such as dust and pollen and keeping them out of the breathing zone.  Wool is great for asthmatics as it cannot be digested by dust mites, the main cause of asthma and actually reduced humidity with a room.

CLEAN AIR – Wool absorbs indoor contaminants and purifies the air of harmful gases locking them away for up to 30 years.

OUTSTANDING QUALITY – Wool carpets are renowned for long-lasting good looks and have many inherent qualities that assure performance is locked in. A wool fibre can be bent 20,000 times and bounce-back to its natural shape meaning carpets will look great for years and years.

NATURAL – Wool is rapidly renewable, with each sheep growing a new fleece every year. Wool is biodegradable and full of essential nutrients that plants love. Wool carpets can be returned to nature or recycled into new products.

SUSTAINABLE – Wool is the only widely available carpet fiber not made from oil.

Our wool, Wools of New Zealand wool is a sustainable material which is completely renewable, biodegradable and responsibly grown by farmers who care.  We take special care of the land, the animals and the people so we can keep growing wool for another few thousand years.

Notice below how the most elegant interiors rely on a carpet for quiet and comfortable spaces.

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wool floors are quiet

Chateauesque Jewel, an entry in the SBID design awards 2015 by Regina Sturrock Design Inc. 

How to Buy New Carpet

Talk to the right professional.

We, the people at Wools of New Zealand get a lot of phone calls from home owners wanting to know how to clean their carpet, which type of carpet is best, what products we can suggest etc.

I suspect people are looking to buy from an internet site, to get a bargain perhaps, and are missing out on the best advice you get by talking to an interior design professional or a carpet showroom.

Of course we are always polite, and try to be helpful. We do know a lot about wool carpets. But we don’t manufacture carpet and we don’t sell carpet. We grow really amazing wool fibre that we sell to the people that do make carpets and interior textiles.

Carpet is a major investment in the look, comfort and health of your home or office. It’s worth talking to somebody who can understand your specific lifestyle and suggest the product that is going to perform.

A professional will work to your budget, take care of the installation, suggest a care and maintenance plan and if anything should deviate from the plan sort it out.

I prepared a list of great carpet stores and put them here

link to Wools of New Zealand where to but carpet site

Find a carpet shop.

The internet is great for getting ideas, researching trends, finding local stores and understanding what options are out there. Just as you would not buy a new car without sitting in the showroom model and taking a spin, you shouldn’t make a large investment in your home without understanding the features and benefits of wool carpet.

I just carpeted the stairs at home, and its looks fabulous. After having wooden stairs for a few months I also notice the home is warmer, significantly quieter and importantly much safer.   I have a dog and a teenager, so a pattern helps disguise any pet hair or teenager collateral damage.

I also noticed that visitors go “wow” and don’t just say, “Oh you got a new beige carpet”.   Our new wool carpet is awesome.

dog on wool carpet

Dogs love wool carpet

fabulous laneve carpet

This is Fabulous colour Ruby by Crucial Trading on my stairs.

The Perils of Fast Fashion in Interiors

Interior fashion cycles are getting faster with the gap between the catwalk and interiors stores getting shorter all the time.  Associating interiors brands with celebrity and high fashion can be good if this lifts the perceived value of an item, which is then treasured for its aesthetic and its quality.  The manufacture of heirloom pieces is great for building long-term robust and sustainable value chains.  When true craftsmanship is rewarded and quality materials are sought after then the people that grow fibre, sew garments and weave carpets and fabrics all can share the rewards.

It all falls apart however if we follow the fast fashion business model. If textile mills and retail outlets focus on fast turn-around of low quality items from non-sustainable value chains we end up creating waste, using more energy than is required and supporting the throw-away society.

It is better to create beautiful textiles from sustainable materials and to build them well so they last a long time, rather than to manufacture oil based products with the promise to recycle them one day.

The fast fashion culture encourages corners to be cut and lives to be endangered, think Rana Plaza.   This is not just an apparel issue.  There are carpet schemes that guarantee no child labour, but do not take care of the children that are banished from the rug mills.  Those children sometimes move to more dangerous factories.  No we don’t want six year olds making our carpets, we want them in schools paid for by the sale of carpets.

There are rug retailers that push so hard on price that the weavers are forced to use extremely low quality materials and pay very poor wages.  Eliminating unnecessary waste and reproduction is the best thing we can do for the planet and for the people that live here.  Buying something cheap with the aim of throwing it away is the worst legacy we can leave behind.

Children removed from rug factories are often just moved on to other industries.

Children removed from rug factories are often just moved on to other industries.

The Dark Age of Carpet Design

Dark Age of Design

260 Years of Machine Made Carpets

Two hundred and sixty years on from the invention of machine made carpets the carpet industry has largely forgotten how to construct textile floor coverings from renewable materials.

For 192 years machine made carpets were made from wool. These carpets were made to last for decades, and they did.

In the middle of last century nylon was invented which meant that cheaper carpets could be created that used lower quality materials. In the worst examples carpets lost their ability to biodegrade, to absorb moisture and create healthy breathing zones and even became flammable.

Several generations of carpet designers and carpet sellers have been operating under the belief that wool carpets are improved by substituting 20% of the pile content with synthetic fibre. This is not correct, we have entered the Dark Age, and the wisdom of the past has almost been lost.

Nylon is added to wool carpet to meet a price point. The addition of cheap oil-based fibre allows yarn strength to be maintained with lower quality, cheaper fibre.   The nylon adds no benefit to the product, it only increases the visual appearance of wear as nylon is shiny and wool is dull.

A carpet correctly made from 100% good quality wool is going to keep looking good for years and years.  A carpet that is a blend of materials is not a smart or responsible thing to design, sell or buy.

The challenge for carpet designers is to think about the user experience, and the full life cycle of the products they bring to life. Carrying on with poor information is lazy design.

Good design considers form and function. The experience of a product should not just be about price point and a quick sale but it should consider the total experience a consumer will have.

 The ultimate carpet would be:

Visually attractive.

Constructed from rapidly renewable resources.

Be either fully biological or fully mechanical (either 100% natural or 100% synthetic)

Enhance the habitat of people in the home and office by filtering noise and pollution, insulating against heat, absorbing volatile chemicals, trapping dust from the breathing zone and reducing the rick of fire.

Long lasting in looks and performance.

Have a pre-determined plan for the end of its life as a carpet.

Consider both the environmental and social benefits of its supply chain

The world keeps pumping out 80/20 carpets under the impression that this is the best way to make a carpet and that is simply not true. 80/20 is better than plastic carpet and it still going to perform well and look good. But it is not as good as a 100% wool carpet and it is certainly ignoring the fact that nylon requires oil to manufacture and it takes 40 times longer to biodegrade than wool.

We should not keep making lazy design choices based on the fact that its always been done that way, especially as for more almost 200 years of the 260 years of machine made carpets it wasn’t done that way.

Below is a 100% natural carpet the way it is supposed to be done.

100% Natural Carpet

A 100% Natural Carpet in Buckingham Palace.

All That is Gold Does Not Glitter

The Midas Rug has been a long time coming, but its finally here. The world’s 1st hand knotted rug coloured with particles of pure gold. Aulana uses pure wool and pure gold – no dyes at all, to create a range of Purples, Pinks and Greys.

The Aulana Midas Rug

The Midas Rug – Photograph by Marek Sikora

Wools of New Zealand, have introduced Aulana, a new luxury brand in which cutting edge science, wool and pure gold, combine to produce the ultimate exclusive textiles. The first Aulana product is the Midas Rug, a unique hand knotted rug. Ancient chemistry combines with modern science to create colours without the use of dyes. Fine particles of pure gold shift light into delicate shades of grey, pink and purple. The scientific process is called ‘localised surface plasman resonance’ . To understand this, think gothic cathedrals and their stained glass windows, which are often red in apparent colour – when, in reality, they are gold dissolved in the glass.

Mias Rug

Designed by SoFarSoNear and woven by Obeetee.

The Midas Rug, designed by SoFarSoNear of Milan and on display in their London showroom, is created to illustrate luxury and opulence, the rug does not glitter with gold, but rather uses gold to interrupt light and create elegant soft hues. Aulana is about creating an heirloom. Its products won’t be gold in colour, but gold is in there creating the hues that are visible. And because it is gold particles it is permanent, so, like cathedral windows, Aulana colours will never fade, and our ancestors can inherit an Aulana rug centuries from now and the colour will be just as rich.

Aulana Midas Rug

The Midas Rug from above.

Prof. Jom Johnston

Professor Jim Johnston – co inventor of Aulana. Photograph by Marek Sikora, tweaks by me.

Homify

I have just recently discovered homify, an on-line image gallery which is free to browse and free to upload interiors images to, providing the quality is good.

“Andrew” called our office to say he had spotted our Laneve Style Gallery and thought our images were great, would be consider uploading them to homify.   Once we moved past the fact that Andrew was Australian we thought OK so we did..

It’s on the other side of this button..

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We love being able to promote brilliant, quality carpets made from wool that we produced.

Screenshot from WNZ's homily page

Screenshot from WNZ’s homify page