Tufted wool rugs are very popular! They come in a virtually unlimited number of colors, styles and shapes. Tufted wool rugs are constructed differently than woven rugs. The fibers are “punched” through a primary backing, then latex is poured over the backing, then a fabric skrim is attached as the final backing for the rug. The construction of these rugs varies widely from fairly high quality to very poor.
They present some unique difficulties from a cleaning standpoint. The first consideration is the latex backing. Any contamination (think pet accidents) soaks down into the latex, sometimes all the way through to the skrim. Cleaning this out of the rug is extremely difficult and frequently requires more than one washing. The second consideration is assessing how durable the fabric skrim is. Sometimes the skrim is sewn on (which is best), sometimes it’s tacked on (second best), or unfortunately, sometimes the skrim is glued on. If the skrim is glued on, it will likely require re-glueing after washing.