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The Alternative Blog

Wool ushers in not just warmth and cosiness for autumn but a whole feast of natural goodness. October is the month of Wool Week, an annual Campaign for Wool celebration of this traditional thread and how it is steeped in stories told by generations and interpreted by modern designers. Campaign for Wool’s Patron is HRH The Prince of Wales.

The Campaign for Wool: His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales and stills from Wool Fusion

Why choose wool in the home

Flooring is where wool excels. Let’s spin some of the benefits of wool carpets in the home. Practically speaking wool carpets are resilient, stain resistant, flame-retardant, a natural insulator and as a soundproofer brings much welcomed peace and quiet to interiors.

Quirky B Liberty Fabrics Capello Shell Mist Carpet

For eco-lovers, it is naturally sustainable. Grown on sheep which graze freely, wool is 100% natural, breathable and biodegradable. In design terms wool has the bounce-back factor, holds colour brilliantly and is beautifully tactile. In a word, it’s the wonder fibre.

How to use wool on floors

Wool is warm, natural and soft underfoot. Whether you spread it across a whole floor for wall-to-wall opulence, create generous oversize bespoke rugs or have fun with runners, wool is as versatile as it is vibrant.

Wool carpets give a wonderful sense of cosiness. We tend to choose tactile fine or chunky wools in plain or semi-plain design in a calm palette in bedrooms. This is the one room where you could invest in deep pile, luxe carpet.

Barefoot Ashtanga in undyed wool

Hallways are generally long and thin so a runner-style rug on painted treads is perfect. More of us want a wool on our stairs as it makes for an interesting and hardwearing entrance. Bordered semi-plains are popular, patterns make am entrance or multicolours are great for kids.

Quirky Dotty Damson stair-runner and Quirky B Margo Selby Fair Isle Reiko stair-runner

Downstairs we cross into braver territory with interlinked living spaces. Pattern makes grown-up stylish statements and a generous bespoke wool rug on wood flooring is hard to beat. Family sitting rooms are crying out for patterned, easy-care wool carpet. It is pure comfort and joy plus it really does hide the stains. Children just love rolling around on wall-to wall carpeted floors.

Quirky B Margo Selby Shuttle Peter Carpet

A good tip, whether you go plain or pattern or a happy mix is to choose a slightly darker colour on the ground floor, where people might be wearing shoes, and take it gradually paler as you go up.

Where interiors and fashion meet

Wool is a friendly fibre. The Wool Fusion pop-up showed that wool can be cosy and cool in fashion, furnishings, fabrics and flooring. Margo Selby with Alternative Flooring unleashed strident striped wool carpets while the work of Alistair Covell, Adam Blencoe and Marine Duroselle, Beatrice Larkin, Wallace Sewell, Jane Knitted Textiles, Catherine Aitken and Jessica Light bring wool to life.

General view of the exhibition space for Wool Fusion with Alternative Flooring’s Margo Selby Stripe / Wool Week ©Steven Paston/PA Wire.

Fashion from Brora, Wool and the Gang, Dashing Tweeds, Pringle of Scotland, Christopher Raeburn, Richard James and Jack Wills and many more show the latest trends in wool this season.

AND finally, watch out for the return of the simple blanket. From those we curl up with on the sofa, to those we wear, it’s the accessory of the season with models bored of carrying a bag, grabbing a woolly throw instead. Wool Fusion also reflected the global nature of

HRH The Prince of Wales’ Campaign for Wool which set out to put wool in the consumer spotlight. Hasn’t it done well!

Vi-Spring and New Zealand Wool at Wool Fusion

Wool Fusion reflected the global nature of HRH The Prince of Wales’ Campaign for Wool which set out to put wool in the consumer spotlight. A highlight event was An Alternative Fusion – Lorna Haigh of Alternative Flooring and Margo Selby discuss wool and the power of collaborative partnership, skills and craft in Britain today.  We filmed them in conversation. Watch here

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The Edit - home style by Alternative