Chunky, felted wool rugs are often referred to as “noodle” rugs because the wool pieces look like big pasta noodles. They are a dense, bouncy floor covering. They are often wool chunks strung into a cotton, heavy backing material.
Wool rugs can last for decades if properly cared for. Wool must be properly washed regularly to extend its life, however, some chunky wool rugs may not be able to be fully washed due to their construction style.
Regular vacuuming protects the longevity of all rugs, however, with chunky, felted wool rugs this can be a challenge. Most vacuums will tear these fibers. Strong suction vacuums, as well as rotating brush vacuums, must be avoided. Vacuuming must be done with a handheld vacuum hose with attachment, a wide attachment for general dusting of the top, and a crevice tool to vacuum in between the rows of fibers in the rug base.
To help remove pet hair and lint from these fibers, if you are not having success with your vacuum tools, use a horsehair upholstery brush to pick up hair, lint, and dust with minimal friction to the fibers. If you see wool in the brush, this is expected because felted wool is many short strands spun together so small strand shedding is normal. If there are large pulls, rather than pulling these free, simply use sharp small scissors to trim it. If the rug is small shake it outside to “dust” it, or use a leaf blower to “air dust” it (this is great to use to reach the base of the fibers).
Felted wool is extremely repellent to liquid, so all spills will roll immediately down into the absorbent base of the rug. Small spills, spot rinse to blot up as much as you can, and dry thoroughly to avoid mildew. If needed, use com starch or other absorbent powder (NEVER baking soda on wool) to cover the spill to help absorb it up, then vacuum away the powder when fully dry. Serious spills or pet accidents will require professional cleaning.