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Do Wool Rugs Shed? Debunking the Common Myths

Updated: Nov 3

Wool rugs are often considered a luxurious addition to any room, with their natural look and feel that can elevate any interior design. But, one common question that is often asked is, do wool rugs shed? This simple question has confused many homeowners, interior designers, and rug enthusiasts. In this blog post, we will address the common myths and facts surrounding wool rug shedding. As an expert in the topic, we will walk you through every case and give you a comprehensive understanding of wool rugs as part of your decor.

Myth #1: All wool rugs shed.

Fact: While wool rugs can shed initially, not all of them will continuously shed throughout their lifespan. Shedding happens when the rug's loose wool fibers work their way to the surface, resulting in tiny balls of fuzz. This phenomenon is known as pilling. However, according to rug experts, shedding lessens over time as the rug gets more densely compacted.

Myth #2: The cheaper the wool rug, the more it will shed.

Fact: The price does not solely determine the level of shedding in a wool rug. Variables that can affect shedding include the tightness of the weave, the quality of the wool, and even the dye used. A significant factor causing wool rugs to shed is the shearing process. Cheaper rugs tend to have less dense wool piles, so over time, loose fibers can work their way to the surface, resulting in shedding. High-quality wool rugs could shed initially, but they will reduce as they become more compact and durable.

Myth #3: All shedding is the result of a faulty rug.

Fact: Shedding is a natural occurrence in wool rugs, even high-quality ones. As mentioned earlier, wool fibers naturally shed as a result of pilling. Mainly, the shedding is minimal, and the wool fibers do not detract from the overall look of the rug. However, if there is an extensive amount of shedding happening or bald spots appearing on the rug, it could signify weaving issues. Bald spots occur when the weaver misses an area or a knot comes undone. Always check the return policy before purchasing a wool rug and be vigilant for any manufacturing or quality defects.

Myth #4: Shedding wool fibers are harmful.

Fact: Shedding wool fibers is not dangerous or harmful to humans or pets. Wool fibers are naturally occurring and can even be found in the air you breathe. Regular maintenance, such as vacuuming, can reduce the appearance of shedding on the surface of your rug. Even when it becomes bothersome, simply use scissors to cut off the loose fibers.

Myth #5: Wool rugs require a lot of maintenance.

Fact: Wool rugs require minimal maintenance, similar to other types of rugs. Regular vacuuming and spot cleaning of stains as soon as they happen are essential for maintaining the beauty of the wool rug. Invest in a high-quality vacuum with adjustable suction settings to thoroughly but gently vacuum the fibers. Avoid using hot water or steam cleaners that can damage wool fibers. Professional cleaning of wool rugs should be done every two to five years, depending on foot traffic.

How to Stop a Rug from Shedding

To limit the shedding of your wool rug and maintain its beauty for years, follow these steps:

  1. Vacuum Regularly: Vacuuming your wool rug at least once a week can help reduce shedding. It's important to set your vacuum's suction to low or use a carpet sweeper to avoid pulling out more fibers. Avoid using rotary brushes or beater bars, as these can damage the rug's fibers.

  2. Turn the Rug: Rotating your rug 180 degrees every six months will ensure even wear and tear. This helps to distribute foot traffic evenly and can reduce the chances of excessive shedding in high-traffic areas.

  3. Spot Clean Immediately: If your rug becomes stained, clean the area immediately to prevent the stain from setting. Use a damp cloth and mild soap, but avoid rubbing too vigorously, as this may cause more shedding.

  4. Professional Cleaning: Having your wool rug professionally cleaned every two to five years will not only maintain its appearance but also help control shedding. Professionals have the tools and knowledge to clean your wool rug without causing additional shedding.

  5. Use a Rug Pad: A quality rug pad can help reduce wear and tear by providing a buffer between your rug and the floor. This can prevent excessive friction, thereby reducing shedding.

  6. Trim, Don’t Pull: If you notice loose fibers, trim them with scissors but never pull them out. Pulling can result in more shedding and possibly damage your rug.

Remember, some level of shedding is natural and expected with wool rugs, especially when they are new. However, if you follow these steps, you should be able to control the amount of shedding and keep your wool rug in tip-top condition for many years to come.


In conclusion, while it's true that wool rugs may shed, it's important to dispel the myths surrounding this topic. Shedding is a natural process, particularly during the initial period after purchase. Wool rug shedding isn't determined solely by price, nor does it signify a faulty rug. Moreover, the maintenance required for wool rugs is not as excessive as some might believe. By following the recommended care steps - regular vacuuming, immediate spot cleaning, professional cleaning every two to five years, using a rug pad, and trimming loose fibers - you can limit shedding and ensure your wool rug remains a beautiful asset to your home for many years. Understanding these facts can help homeowners and interior designers make informed decisions when considering wool rugs for their spaces.

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