Flooring Show Market Intelligence and the Truth.

Flooring Show, Market Intelligence and the Truth.

This week I spent two days manning (or is that personing these days?) a small stand at a Flooring show.  This was the UK’s National Buying Group show, an invite only event for carpet showrooms that belong to one of the major buying groups.

We used the opportunity of the show to speak to the people who ultimately sell our wool, the retailers.   We showcased our new consumer website, laneve.co.uk and illustrated how we are using new media to educate consumers about the benefits of New Zealand wool and direct them into one of our Premier Partner retail members own stores.

The business people we spoke to were inspired and excited to keep promoting a product with real integrity.  It is clear that we have a sustainable natural product that is warm and comfortable, asthma and allergy friendly and a genuine lifestyle opportunity.

Attending this show was invaluable to me as a marketer and as an innovator.   Getting raw feedback from the people who live and breathe selling wool carpet everyday is brilliant.  It is only by getting this direct market feedback that we can continually adapt and enhance what we do and how we do it.

It also gives us insights into what those naughty plastic flooring maniacs are up to..   Our product wool, remains natural, renewable and the only lifestyle flooring choice that actually improves the air in your home.   Regardless of the truth hard flooring promoters continue to defame carpet as bad for Asthma.   Eventually they will trip themselves up as we have the science to prove them wrong.

Getting to this show enabled me to remind a handful of wool sellers about a few of the technical and ethical benefits of lovely Kiwi wool.   I’m looking forward to the next opportunity.  Hope you are too.

Biscayne Stripe

Wool improves Air Quality


Breathing is a really good life skill.  So maybe we should consider the quality of the air we breathe when we decorate our homes and offices.  Installing laminates and plastics won’t help you if you suffer from Asthma or other respiratory problems.

The build-up of indoor air contaminants has been a growing concern since the 1970’s. It was then that energy conservation methods were introduced, which minimized the flow of outside air into homes and buildings. Less access to outside air increases the concentration of contaminants in an indoor space, making the air unhealthy…even toxic.

Although many materials, including carpet, pass tests for minimum VOC emissions, wool goes a giant step further by absorbing the contaminants irreversibly in its structure, improving the quality of indoor air.

Wool is a natural fibre that has the ability to absorb indoor contaminants, including formaldehyde, sulphur-dioxide and nitrogen dioxide, and lock them into its core without re-releasing them. As such, wool improves indoor air and creates healthier working and living environments.

How Wool Works

The complex chemistry of wool fibre enables it to bind pollutant gases chemically in its structure. It has been estimated that wool carpets can continue purifying indoor air for up to 30 years.

New Zealand researchers, using a controlled environmental chamber, have demonstrated that wool carpet can reduce high levels of introduced formaldehyde to virtually zero in four (4) hours.

Studies by the US Gas Research Institute, which compared 35 building and furnishing materials, also showed that wool carpets have one of the highest removal rates of nitrogen dioxide. In contrast, the removal rate of synthetic carpets was less than half that of wool.

Research by the Environmental and Medical Sciences Division of the UK Atomic Energy Research Establishment has shown that large amounts of sulphur-dioxide are also irreversibly absorbed by wool carpets.

Wool carpet was shown to retain the gases when heated, as would occur with under-floor central heating, while nylon carpet, which absorbed nitrogen dioxide to a considerably lesser extent, also re-emitted it more readily

Wool is a highly complex fibre that has been created by nature over thousands of years.  It is simply not possible to get the benefits of wool from a fibre designed by man and made from crude oil.

The Truth About Wool Carpets and Asthma

Wool carpets are allergy friendly

Wool carpets are perfect if you suffer from allergies or asthma.

The most common single cause of asthma is sensitization to house dust, or more precisely to the dust mite, and particularly its waste products. But there’s no reason why asthmatics shouldn’t enjoy the comfort and aesthetic pleasure of wool carpet.
In fact, not only are carpets inhospitable for dust mites, but wool carpet is especially resistant. Research performed by the German Applied and Experimental Allergy Research Association (GAF) showed that when wool and nylon carpets (one of which was treated with an anti-microbial finish) were compared for dust mites populations, the wool carpet performed best in resisting dust mite infestation.

Wool’s long, coarse fibres cannot be inhaled and therefore do not affect asthma sufferers. So as long as the air is dry, the ventilation good and the cleaning regular and thorough, asthma sufferers can breathe easy with wool carpet!

Carpets And Asthma

Dust mites feed on human skin flakes and live mainly in mattresses and similar warm, dark places.  Bed-making sends dust mites airborne causing them to be found in floor dust, mainly in bedrooms.  To the dust mite, carpets are a hostile environment: too cold, too dry, too exposed to the light and too regularly cleaned.  Since carpets, unlike smooth floorcoverings, hold dust in their structure, dust mites will be removed by vacuum or wet cleaning.

Dustmites cannot live on wool carpets. They eat flakes of human skin. Wool carpets generally contain very low levels of permethrin, a natuarrly occuring substance that kills very small insects.

Installing a wool carpet is a very good thing to do if there are asthma sufferers in your home.

By their very nature, wool carpets and rugs are good for the indoor environment. That’s because wool, unlike synthetic fibers, rapidly absorbs common contaminants in indoor air like formaldehyde, nitrogen dioxide and sulphur dioxide.  Not only does wool keep the air free of many harmful pollutants, it will not re-emit them, even when heated.  In fact, it has been estimated that wool carpets can continually purify indoor air for up to 30 years!

Preventing Asthma  – Some simple things you can do.

Discard old and dirty mattresses, bedding, pillows and furnishings.
If possible, sleep with windows open to reduce the amount of moisture in the bedroom (for breathing).
Reduce the room temperature and thickness of bedding to reduce persperation. – Most people sleep better in a cooler room.
After you get up, air the bed with the windows open. Electric blankets aslo create a dryer environment.
Avoid placing pot plants, flowers and other sources of moisture in bedrooms.
For children who suffer from dust mite allergy, regularly freeze soft toys for 72 hours. Then wash the soft toys.
Update: More Information…
This post has proved by far the most read and linked to within WoolBlog.  It currently ranks only 3rd in Google for Carpets and Asthma!
This has inspired me to put more on the benefits of wool on our website..
USA version is at www.wools-nz.com/benefits