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As a country that was founded on sheep farming and has six sheep for every person, New Zealand is quite rightly proud of its fluffy friends who provide one of the highest-quality natural fibres available across the world today: New Zealand wool.

In the race to embrace new synthetic fibres, the highly technical abilities of super-strong, renewable and biodegradable wool seem to have been somewhat forgotten.

Designer Rugs specialises in unique, handmade custom rugs and carpets for both residential and commercial interiors, including exclusive world-renowned collections by artists, designers and celebrities.

As a country that was founded on sheep farming and has six sheep for every person, New Zealand is quite rightly proud of its fluffy friends who provide one of the highest-quality natural fibres available across the world today: New Zealand wool.

In the race to embrace new synthetic fibres, the highly technical abilities of super-strong, renewable and biodegradable wool seem to have been somewhat forgotten.

Designer Rugs specialises in unique, handmade custom rugs and carpets for both residential and commercial interiors, including exclusive world-renowned collections by artists, designers and celebrities.

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Managing director Laura Furey is on a mission to educate interior designers, architects and clients alike on the benefits of New Zealand wool and the reasons that the company uses this amazing yarn as the primary material in its high-quality rugs.

“Many people are not aware of the multitude of health and environmental dangers of synthetic materials that are now used in clothing, furniture and in the built environment,” Laura explains. “Synthetic fibres are extremely flammable and are now used in our houses as insulation in walls and ceilings, as floor coverings, and even in some parts of wooden furniture. If your home was to catch on fire, the synthetic materials would melt quickly and release poisonous gases, so the possibility that you would be asphyxiated before getting to safety is much more probable – sobering but true!”

Wool is an excellent fibre regarding fire safety. Because of the way the wool fibre is structured, wool requires more oxygen than is available in the air to become flammable. It is flame retardant up to 600ºC and it does not melt, drip or stick to the skin when it burns, nor releases any toxic gases, unlike many common synthetics.

Managing director Laura Furey is on a mission to educate interior designers, architects and clients alike on the benefits of New Zealand wool and the reasons that the company uses this amazing yarn as the primary material in its high-quality rugs.

“Many people are not aware of the multitude of health and environmental dangers of synthetic materials that are now used in clothing, furniture and in the built environment,” Laura explains. “Synthetic fibres are extremely flammable and are now used in our houses as insulation in walls and ceilings, as floor coverings, and even in some parts of wooden furniture. If your home was to catch on fire, the synthetic materials would melt quickly and release poisonous gases, so the possibility that you would be asphyxiated before getting to safety is much more probable – sobering but true!”

Wool is an excellent fibre regarding fire safety. Because of the way the wool fibre is structured, wool requires more oxygen than is available in the air to become flammable. It is flame retardant up to 600ºC and it does not melt, drip or stick to the skin when it burns, nor releases any toxic gases, unlike many common synthetics.

The issue of indoor air quality and Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) emissions that can come out of synthetic interior furnishings and building products, especially when a house is locked up all day in a hot climate, is another concern for Laura.

“We have such high allergy and asthma rates in children in New Zealand, and it’s not surprising, when so many man-made materials are coming into our now-locked-up homes that children are living, sleeping and playing on.” Sheep wool insulation can help to absorb and neutralise the poisonous gases that formaldehyde, in particular, can create.

“There are a lot of cheaper materials out there – such as nylon, rayon and polyester – but they create toxic fumes and just don’t last,” she says. “Even though you pay a bit more for New Zealand wool, if it is properly looked after it will last easily up to 20 years or more and won’t introduce anything unnatural into your home environment. New Zealand wool is clean and green.”

The issue of indoor air quality and Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) emissions that can come out of synthetic interior furnishings and building products, especially when a house is locked up all day in a hot climate, is another concern for Laura.

“We have such high allergy and asthma rates in children in New Zealand, and it’s not surprising, when so many man-made materials are coming into our now-locked-up homes that children are living, sleeping and playing on.” Sheep wool insulation can help to absorb and neutralise the poisonous gases that formaldehyde, in particular, can create.

“There are a lot of cheaper materials out there – such as nylon, rayon and polyester – but they create toxic fumes and just don’t last,” she says. “Even though you pay a bit more for New Zealand wool, if it is properly looked after it will last easily up to 20 years or more and won’t introduce anything unnatural into your home environment. New Zealand wool is clean and green.”

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A completely natural fibre that is very compacted and fine, the use of wool allows Designer Rugs to create intricate details and patterns in its rugs and carpets. The wool fibre itself has multiple arms which extend out from the fibre and collect dust, locking it in until it’s vacuumed out, so, effectively, New Zealand wool cleans your air.

New Zealand wool is a very soft fibre with a high memory retention and excellent acoustic absorbency, while also being easy to clean and more fade-resistant than other fabrics. The yarn has a high potency of lanolin oil, the wool’s natural emollient, which in turn protects the wool, makes the fabric more durable and creates a type of heavy-duty water shield.

All the New Zealand wool that Designer Rugs uses in its products is farmed in the South Island and then shipped in bales to the company’s mills in Asia. There, it is processed with dying and made ready for tufting. The hand-tufted rugs are generally created in Malaysia, China and Thailand, while the hand-knotted rugs are traditionally crafted in Nepal. Each rug is handmade, so its design will never be completely perfect, but each is highly individual and made with love by skilled craftspeople.

The place of the rug in today’s home is far more important than 15 years ago, says Laura. Today, the design of open, flowing interiors has become the norm. Within those open spaces, however, different areas still need definition, so rugs are increasingly specified where walls once were. With architecture becoming increasingly tactile, and hard surfaces such as concrete, glass, steel and wood very popular, rugs are used to contrast and soften a space and to ensure it remains comfortable and homely.

Designer Rugs recently moved from its Parnell location, where it had been part of the design community for 12 years, to a renovated warehouse in Grey Lynn, designed by RTA Studio. For Laura, the new building far outweighs what was available in Parnell, offering 600 square metres of destination space – a gallery-type showroom that can transform into an event space at night.

Laura says, “We’ve created a very special destination space that showcases products from other like-minded New Zealand companies that focus on quality, such as Me & My Trend Furniture, DBJ, Powersurge and Gaggenau, to name a few.”

“I would like every person that walks through the doors of our beautiful showroom to leave with a better understanding of the value and why we use New Zealand wool and how it enables us to offer such a diverse range of the highest quality handmade rugs and carpets,” she concludes.

Visit Designer Rugs on ArchiPro to peruse the latest collections or visit the team at the Grey Lynn, Auckland showroom.

A completely natural fibre that is very compacted and fine, the use of wool allows Designer Rugs to create intricate details and patterns in its rugs and carpets. The wool fibre itself has multiple arms which extend out from the fibre and collect dust, locking it in until it’s vacuumed out, so, effectively, New Zealand wool cleans your air.

New Zealand wool is a very soft fibre with a high memory retention and excellent acoustic absorbency, while also being easy to clean and more fade-resistant than other fabrics. The yarn has a high potency of lanolin oil, the wool’s natural emollient, which in turn protects the wool, makes the fabric more durable and creates a type of heavy-duty water shield.

All the New Zealand wool that Designer Rugs uses in its products is farmed in the South Island and then shipped in bales to the company’s mills in Asia. There, it is processed with dying and made ready for tufting. The hand-tufted rugs are generally created in Malaysia, China and Thailand, while the hand-knotted rugs are traditionally crafted in Nepal. Each rug is handmade, so its design will never be completely perfect, but each is highly individual and made with love by skilled craftspeople.

The place of the rug in today’s home is far more important than 15 years ago, says Laura. Today, the design of open, flowing interiors has become the norm. Within those open spaces, however, different areas still need definition, so rugs are increasingly specified where walls once were. With architecture becoming increasingly tactile, and hard surfaces such as concrete, glass, steel and wood very popular, rugs are used to contrast and soften a space and to ensure it remains comfortable and homely.

Designer Rugs recently moved from its Parnell location, where it had been part of the design community for 12 years, to a renovated warehouse in Grey Lynn, designed by RTA Studio. For Laura, the new building far outweighs what was available in Parnell, offering 600 square metres of destination space – a gallery-type showroom that can transform into an event space at night.

Laura says, “We’ve created a very special destination space that showcases products from other like-minded New Zealand companies that focus on quality, such as Me & My Trend Furniture, DBJ, Powersurge and Gaggenau, to name a few.”

“I would like every person that walks through the doors of our beautiful showroom to leave with a better understanding of the value and why we use New Zealand wool and how it enables us to offer such a diverse range of the highest quality handmade rugs and carpets,” she concludes.

Visit Designer Rugs on ArchiPro to peruse the latest collections or visit the team at the Grey Lynn, Auckland showroom.

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