Natural fibers used in handmade carpets are produced from three primary sources, insects, animals, and plants.
Fibers originating from animals or insects are called protein fibers, and Those made from plants are known as vegetable fibers.
Let's discuss each one in more detail.
Wool was for centuries and is still considered a premium carpet fiber.
The primary producer of handmade carpets like Turkey, Morocco, and Iran continue to use wool as the primary pile fiber.
Wool is produced from the fleece of lambs or sheep and other animals, including cashmere and mohair. Australia and New Zealand are considered the leading producers of high-quality wool in the world.
Wool has excellent elastic and resilient properties. It can stretch up to 40% of its original length, has an exceptional ability to resist burning, and can exert "air conditioning" to some degree in the indoor environment, especially in reducing the effects of fluctuating humidity levels.
The finest silk comes from the first part of the amazingly long single thread with which a silkworm spins its cocoon. When unrolled, the thread from one silk cocoon can stretch up to 25 m.
Silk has many amazing properties. It has high tensile strength and can be dyed easily to produce brilliant colors. Like wool, silk is a natural fiber and is a very hygroscopic substance. It may absorb
up to 30 percent of its weight of moisture without feeling damp. In addition, the yarn is so lustrous that weavers sometimes exploit that to play with light in their patterns. In fact, silk makes excellent oriental carpets and is also used for highlighting the patterns in woolen carpets.
Cotton is a vegetable fiber that is produced from the cotton plant. The fibers are attached to the seeds. When ripe, it bursts and exhibits a ball of snowy white or slightly yellowish fiber.
The primary use for this fiber is warp threads and the wefts yarns woven in carpets or rugs. Compared to wool, cotton is generally considered more resistant and less elastic. However, the most significant disadvantage to cotton is that it is the most absorbent of all fibers and requires extended drying times after soaking. It is easily damaged by acids, stains, and soils quickly.