If you're looking for new carpets there are a few things to consider. The first should be "how much money do I have?" and "do I really want to spend it on new carpets?" If your answers to these questions were "enough" and "yes" then you really are in the market for carpet and here's what you need to know:
A recent industry survey conducted by showed that man-made carpet was far more receptive to traditional cleaning methods than organic fabrics like wool or cotton. If you have a cleaner, get whatever carpet you want, as you likely won't be the one cleaning it. If you are among the many people who do their own cleaning, man-made fabrics like rayon and microfibre might be a good option. Treating man-made carpets with stain protectors like scotchguard is cheap and easy. Should you ever strike it rich and hire a team of domestic cleaners, you'll sleep better knowing that your carpets will pose no problems for them.
Wool might look and feel better, but hours spent on hands and knees removing pilling with a pair of tweezers and scrubbing tiny imperfections will certainly make you forget that. You'll be resenting your fancy new wool carpet and the South African mountain-dwelling mohair-bearing sheep it was made from in no time at all. What's more, wool carpets, because of their cushy, malleable quality, are also quicker to wear than other fabric types, making them look old before their time.
To make the great wool vs. man-made carpet debate more accessible to the average Irish person, here is a simple analogy, borrowed from the famous children's story "the tortoise and the hare"; wool is sleek and beautiful like the hare, it goes fast and, for a few wonderful moments, it will look great and all your friends will admire you for it. Man-made fabrics, on the other hand, are the tortoise. They may not look like much in the beginning, but as the race goes on they will win you over with their persistency. Also, hares require far more love and attention than tortoises, which is not included in the children's story but very pertinent in terms of the big carpet debate.
You would do well to ring around to a few companies, to get their thoughts on the matter. There are a lot of pros and cons regarding the material we choose for our carpets, get advice on your needs.