From Grass to Wine Glass

vineyard wool carpet Wool carpet in vineyards? Bellbridge Wool Carpets, Benicia, CA has launched an exciting recycling project with a leading Napa Valley wine producer, Nord Vineyards. Following the impressive results from ‘Wool… the blooming success’ project with Pleasanton Middle School in California; Bellbridge has partnered with Nord Vineyards who have ‘installed’ Bellbridge wool carpets among their Cabernet Sauvignon vine. The goal was to investigate additional sustainable practices for reuse of wool carpets. The carpet is laid in some areas face down to the soil and in other areas with backing to the soil. Wool carpet is expected to deliver 4 benefits to the growing of the vine and the grapes. Weed Blocker: Carpet laid between the vines will inhibit weed growth that would otherwise take moisture and nutrients away from the vine. Fertilizer: As wool degrades it releases significant amounts of essential elements, including high levels of Nitrogen that promote vigorous plant growth. Carpets will be cut around the vines to ‘feed’ the plant. Moisture Barrier: Wool carpet will act as a barrier to help hold the moisture in the soil reducing evaporation during the peak hot weather in California, thereby conserving water consumption. Erosion Mat: The carpet will help prevent erosion of the land as hilly exposed terrain is a common feature of the Napa Valley. This could be a major benefit.

Julie Nord, owner of the Nord Vineyards is also a qualified soil scientist; this large scale project involves thousands of feet of used and scrap wool carpet that would otherwise end up in landfill. The project will be closely monitored and is an exciting use for Bellbridge wool carpets.

Nord are also introducing sheep to the same vineyard. The sheep will feed on the grass between the vines, reducing the need for manual cutting with equipment, and thereby completing a sustainable recycling model. From fine carpets to fine wine!


EcoTex Wool Blend Carpet



EccoTex is blended wool products offer a combination of a tryly “green” carpet with real value.  This combination is a RENEWABLE + RECYLED FIBER.  Made of 50% pure natural dye-free wool and 50% recyled PET.  The carpet is both soft and resilient plus durable and reliable.  Made in the USA.

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PURCHASE AT HEMPHILL’S RUGS & CARPETS — A Wools of New Zealand Premier Partner Showroom of Excellence

Our showroom offers wool carpet, area rugs and runners from the following Mills:  Stanton, Karastan, Hibernia Woolen Mills, Godfrey Hirst, Hycraft, Masland, Fabrica, Radici of Italy, Woolshire, Robertex, Carousel, Prestige Mills, Stark, Weave-Tuft, Missoni, Concepts International, Fibreworks, Design Materials, Bellbridge, Unique Carpets, Couristan, Nourison, J. Mish and more.




What The Heck Are V.O.C.’s?

Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC’s) are emitted as gases from certain solids or liquids and include a variety of chemicals, some of which may have adverse health effects. Concentrations of VOC’s are up to ten times more concentrated indoors than outdoors. They’re emitted by a wide array of products such as paints and lacquers, paint strippers, cleaning supplies, pesticides, building materials and furnishings, office equipment and adhesives. Organic chemicals are widely used in household products. Paints, varnishes and wax all contain organic solvents as do many cleaning, disinfecting, cosmetic, degreasing, and hobby products. Fuels are made up of organic chemicals and all of these products can release organic compounds when in use. Of the many products used as interior furnishings, Carpet is among the lowest emitters of Volatile Organic Compounds. And even that number dissipates as new carpet is exposed to routine maintenance and the environment.

As examples, some relative emissions are:
Paints 100.0
Adhesives 72.5
Wall Coverings 8.3
Wood 1.0
Carpet 0.5
(with paints rated 100)

So-called new carpet odor is usually caused by minute but very odorous quantities of a by-product of the latex used in the back, 4-PCH, which is not harmful and will dissipate with good ventilation within days.

Moth resist agents used on wool carpets are increasingly applied using low (or zero) effluent techniques and, once applied, are totally safe to humans and pets.

Because wool carpets soil less rapidly than man-made fibers, the reduced use of cleaning chemicals makes a positive contribution to the environment.

Sick Building Syndrome is not related to the type of pile fiber used in carpets.

Carpets are not implicated in Legionnaire’s Disease.

Did you know…Wool actually assists in stabilizing the relative humidity in buildings by absorbing or releasing moisture during periods of high or low atmospheric humidity?

There are several gases produced by the burning of fossil fuels and by emissions from certain building components that pollute the indoor air. Among these gases are nitrous oxides, sulphur dioxide and formaldehyde. Scientific studies have shown that wool fibers absorb these gases, thereby purifying the indoor air and improving the health and well-being of building occupants. Wool chemically reacts with these gases, neutralizing and binding them irreversibly in structure.

Natural fiber backings, as in those made from jute or cotton, have a similar beneficial effect.

Nylon fibers have a much more limited ability to absorb these gases, having a much slower rate of absorption and being unable to reduce the final concentrations to the very low levels achieved by wool.

Heating of wool carpets — as in by underfloor central heating — does not cause significant quantities of the gases to be reemitted into the atmosphere.


Seagrass Rug Featured on the Cover of Traditional Home

Once again, one of the natural fiber products offered by Hemphill’s Rugs & Carpets is featured on the September 2010 issue of Traditional Home magazine. This seagrass rug features a microfiber binding that is very durable and colorfast compared to the cotton bindings. The seagrass field is offered in either a latex back or with a urethane attached cushion for extra comfort. Hemphill’s Rugs & Carpets recommends using the latex back when the rug is being used over hardwood floors.

Hemphill’s Rugs & Carpets
had a Diamond Sisal Area rug featured on the cover of the July/August 2010 Issue of Traditional Home – see more HERE

Here are the available colors in the microfiber binding:








Below are some different examples of seagrass weaves that are available:




Contact us for pricing. There is no extra charge for small or custom sizes. These seagrass rugs are a great value.


Wool Carpet Fibers Assist With BP Gulf Oil Spill

The Gulf oil spill, which was triggered by the explosion of the Deepwater oilrig on April 20, has become the biggest environmental disaster ever experienced in the U.S. The devastation has impacted lives, jobs, marine life, wildlife, tourism and the health, financial and emotional wellbeing of many. At this point, the reach of the catastrophe is uncertain, but some leading scientists believe the damaging effects will be felt all the way to Europe and the Arctic. Those of us living outside of the Gulf keep reading the headlines and listening to the news with a feeling of helplessness. Although no news about the oil spill is good, the wool industry is finding ways to lend a hand and help in the clean efforts.

You may have heard that many salons are donating cut hair to help fill booms. Well…another sought after filler for booms is wool. Wool, which has been shown to soak up 40 times its weight in oil, traps the contaminant instead of absorbing it. This means the oil can be removed from the wool and recycled and the wool can be reused several times before its efficiency decreases.
To aid in the oil-spill cleanup, volunteers throughout the Gulf have been making miles and miles of booms. These booms are typically filled with polypropylene, which doesn’t work near as well as hair and wool. To help provide better filler, Wools of New Zealand contacted its U.S. manufacturer partners who answered the call to donate wool waste for use in the clean-up efforts. The wool waste material is shipped to Matter of Trust, an organization that warehouses the fiber and makes it into booms. The wool is joined by thousands of pounds of hair, fleece and feathers that will be turned into booms and used for shoreline protection and oil spill clean up.

Wool has been called on before for this same purpose. As reported by BBC News, New Zealand sent wool booms to the Persian Gulf during the first Iraq war in 1991. The wool booms successfully helped clean up the million tons of oil released by retreating Iraqi soldiers.

It’s not surprising that wool can be of benefit. It is natural, biodegradable, hydrophobic, buoyant and has large retaining capacity. Wool truly is an incredible fiber. Even though it has been around for thousands of years, it continues to surprise us with its ability to make the world around us a better place.

Hemphill’s Rugs & Carpets is proud to be associated with the Wools of New Zealand as a Premier Partner. Many of our wool carpet vendors have partnered with our showroom and the Wools of New Zealand in an effort to make the world a “greener” place. Some of our key wool carpet manufactures include Karastan, Fabrica, Masland, Nourison, Stanton, J. Mish, Robertex, Hagaman, Couristan, Bellbridge, Concepts International, Prestige Mills, Carousel, Woolshire, Unique Carpets and more.

As you can see from the impressive list above, Hemphill’s Rugs & Carpets offers a huge selection of natural fiber products including wool, sisal, abaca, seagrass, mountain grass and jute.

Please continue to browse our informative blog and website. Better yet, come into our showroom. We are open to both the Trade and Public.


Recycled Veledo Leather Floor from Germany

Veledo Leather Plank Floor

The elegant look of leather and the durability of a hard surface flooring come together in Hemphill’s Rugs & Carpets new Veledo leather flooring tiles. Made of 96% natural materials in a process that conserves water and recycles waste, Veledo is a sustainable way to create a luxurious atmosphere. A range of natural colors and textures gives expression to a unique and visually appealing aesthetic.

Veledo leather flooring may be used in high-end retail stores, boutique hospitality projects, residential design, corporate offices, design showrooms, and restaurants, bars, and lounges.

Veledo Chocolate Leather Floor

Veledo Saddle Leather Floor

Hemphill’s Rugs & Carpets also offers Torlys Leather floors – learn more about it HERE


Not All Carpet Pad Is Created Equal

Karastan Ultra Step Pad

The importance of a good carpet pad can be easy to see by reading the following: In research conducted by Independent Textile Testing Service, a test was used whereby different carpet/cushion systems were subjected to rolling a chair with 150 lb. Weight over them 20,000 times. The results indicated that carpets with no cushion had an average of 19.3% loss in pile height (thickness) as opposed to a 5-10% loss in thickness for carpets with a separate cushion. The favorable effect of cushion in reducing the appearance of wear was indicated by decreased loss in thickness. So since carpets with separate cushion remain thicker, they could also appear more luxurious for a longer period of time. And with separate cushion, it’s possible to select the degree of luxury or firmness of tread you desire.

Our most popular pad is called KaraStep™ Ultra that was created for Karastan carpets. However, we use is with all of the brands that we sell. KaraStep Ultra does it all: blocks stains and odors, reduces noise, prevents mold and mildew, and minimizes moisture—while making every step a luxurious wonder. Nearly four times thicker than the average cushion, KaraStep Ultra turns every carpet into a comforting oasis for the mind, body, and sole. KaraStep™ Ultra is a 22 lb. made of synthetic rubber with an integrated moisture barrier. As a comparision, the typical rebond foam pad ranges from 4.5 to 8 lbs.

KaraStep Ultra is so heavy that the roll has 90 SF of material. The rolls of rebond have 360 SF of material.

Rebond Carpet Pad

Hemphill’s Rugs & Carpets also offers premium ALL Natural wool carpet padding.

Wool Carpet Pad