Wool & Silk


Wool is popular for its practicality. Known for its soil and stain resistance, long-term appearance retention, color retention and texture recovery. Wool also provides numerous environmental benefits. It is flame-resistant, mildew resistant, and water repellant.

Wool is flame-resistant. Wool is by far the safest choice at home and in environments such as hotels, offices and commercial spaces to guard against the danger of fire. Wool is the only fiber that naturally resists flaming. Unlike many man-made fibers, which often melt and stick when on fire, wool smolders or chars instead of bursting into flame. Wool normally self-extinguishes when the flame source is removed.

Wool is mildew resistant. Not only is wool moving moisture out and away from you, but also while holding moisture within itself it will not mildew. This is an important quality since mold and mildew are considered one of the most detrimental irritants to the immune system. Wool naturally helps stabilize the relative humidity in buildings by absorbing or releasing moisture.

Wool is water repellent. While wool can absorb moisture, it repels liquids. The scales on the outside of the fiber cause liquid to roll off the surface of the wool. For instance if you accidentally spill water on a wool rug, the wool will not readily absorb the liquid. If you are caught in a shower of rain, it will take some time before the rain penetrates your wool clothing. Water repellent stains do not readily set into a wool carpet if they are attended to quickly.

Wool is naturally soil and stain resistant. Tufenkian does not bleach the wool or strip it of its lanolin. This allows our rugs to remain inherently soil and stain resistant. Lanolin is a natural soil and stain inhibitor that we covet and preserve by never compromising the basic character of the wool fibers by bleaching or stripping.

Wool is environmentally safe. Wool is Non-allergenic and has been proven hygienically safe in medically sensitive areas. Wool does not promote the growth of dust mites or bacteria and actually contributes to air purity in buildings by absorbing polluting gases. The natural flame-resistant quality of wool allows wool to meet the most stringent fire regulations. Walking safety is also assured by its non-slip and non-abrasive characteristics. As an additional bonus wool offers superior sound and heat insulating properties.

Silk in residential or low traffic settings

Tufenkian's 100% wool Shakti quality has achieved successful testing results making it perfectly suitable for heavy use in residential settings. Silk is one of the strongest natural fibers and the silk we use in our Tibetan carpets is stronger and more durable fiber than any low or medium grade wool. Silk is not as elastic as wool nor is it as resistant to soiling or staining when compared to high grade wool. In addition to the durability of the yarn, the elasticity and the high content of lanolin in the natural wool offer an easily maintained and cleanable carpet.

Silk  in commercial or extra high traffic settings

Patterns that contain more than 15% silk and/or have significant and solid areas of silk, will require regular maintenance and care (vacuuming) in order to maintain consistent acceptable appearance. Areas, other than sitting areas, whereby the rugs may be subjected to excessive traffic as well as push carts, dollies, and such should be better suited in all wool construction. Tufenkian cannot accept responsibility for any excessive wear and tear on the carpets in such areas should the silk content represent more than 15% of the overall content of the rug.

Bamboo Silk

Bamboo Silk has much of the same look and feel as silk, but is a more sustainable and lower cost alternative. Since creating a high quality Bamboo Silk for our products we are now using it quite extensively. It is fairly new to the market and we are one of the most prominent users of it in hand made carpets.  With a strong focus in social and environmental sustainability, bamboo silk provides Tufenkian with a sustainable product and allows us to give more back to the communities we work in.

Bamboo Silk is itself a type of viscose.  Normal “viscose” was always made from wood cellulose.  Bamboo silk is made from bamboo cellulose.  In both cases the base material is treated so that it becomes a paste which is then combined with other ingredients, and extruded and dried to produce the fiber.  Because of this, they are both considered to be “viscose,” and the proper name of Bamboo Silk is “Bamboo Viscose.”  This name indicates both how the fiber is made and from what material it is derived. However although both are called Viscose, because of the different base material from which they are made, the two have different performance characteristics, and bamboo’s are quite superior.  

The decision to use Bamboo Silk came after vigorous testing and comparisons to alternative products to ensure we were maintaining the highest quality for our rugs and our source was consistent in providing high quality. We had to make sure we were using the finest Bamboo Silk available and that it would perform satisfactorily for our customers. Since we started using it years ago, we have sold hundreds of carpets with significant percentages of this fiber and have found no problems with durability or cleaning.

In terms of performance, our Bamboo Silk tests 3.7 out of 5.0 for Stain Resistance (after cleaning).  To put this score into perspective, the rating key has 1 being lowest performance and 5 being superior performance with a rating of 3 considered satisfactory.  As a comparison, our unbleached Tibetan wool tests 4.6 out of 5.0.  

Regarding cleaning of our Bamboo Silk, it is best to use a professional.  However, there are times when a quick response is needed.  Gently blot the soiled area, using a clean cloth or paper towel to absorb liquids from spills.  Air dry; heat drying should be avoided.  Do not scrub.

Download the full specs on Bamboo Silk



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