What's the humidity level in the basement? Also, are you talking about machine made area rugs or hand made "oriental" rugs? There's a great deal of variation in the quality of wool and that affects propensity for static problems. A good hand made rug uses wool sheared from a live sheep, the wool is supple. A cheap rug can use wool from dead sheep that is coarse and more prone to static. Maybe it's the different lanolin levels in wool types that accounts for the difference? I've never felt a static charge from any of our oriental rugs, but have heard numerous reports of static from people scuffling along over wall to wall machine made wool carpet. That problem gets worse the drier the air is.
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