Carpet Fibers

WHICH CARPET FIBER IS BEST FOR ME?

> Wool (protein fibers)

PROS

  • Excellent soil hiding capabilities.

  • Very strong, elastic and resilient.

  • Excellent insulator.

  • Good absorbency.

  • Soil release.

  • Flame retardant.

  • The cleaning wool Bureau recommends water-based cleaning solutions with a Ph between 4.5 and 8.5.

Quick Links:

Wool

Nylon

Polyester

Olefin

Silk

Cotton

Sisal / Jute

Acrylic

Rayon

Definitions

CONS

  • Very expensive.

  • Prone to distortion especially under heated conditions.

  • Stains easily.

  • Chemical sensitive (strong detergents).

  • Staple yarn, can cause a fussing effect.

> Nylon (1st- 5th generation)

PROS

  • Excellent strength

  • Good elasticity.

  • Very abrasion resistant.

  • Static resistant.

  • Heat sets well.

  • Good resiliency.

  • Non-absorbent.

  • Mildew resistant.

CONS

  • Easy staining.

  • Problems with bleaching, urine, and fading.

> Polyester

PROS

  • Disperse dye or solution dye.

  • Very heat resistant (up to 480-550 degrees).

  • Stain resistant.

  • By-product from plastic bottle recycling (some cases).

  • Low absorbency.

  • Soft hand.

CONS

  • Limits the variety of colors.

  • Not resistant to oily stains.

  • Crimp or twist loss (which can cause matting and tangling).

> Olefin (like burbur)

PROS

  • Good for outdoor applications.

  • Very moisture resistant.

  • Chemical resistant.

  • Resistant to fading.

  • Lightweight.

  • Strong.

  • Good clean ability and stain release.

CONS

  • Not a resilient fiber (mats).

  • Very heat sensitive fiber (friction can cause permanent marks).

  • Exposure to oils may become permanent.

  • Very difficult to die.

  • May scratch in walkways causing visual distortions.

> Silk ( Protein fibers)

PROS

  • Stronger then a similar filament of steel.

  • Stretches up to 20% of its length but retracts 2%.

  • Good insulating capabilities.

  • Resist temperatures up to 330 degrees.

CONS

  • Sensitive to alkalinity and chlorine bleach.

  • Rarely used and highly expensive.

> Cotton ( Cellulose Fibers)

PROS

  • Very strong and increases when wet.

  • Cotton is very absorbent means good dye acceptance.

  • Static resistant.

  • Heat resistant.

CONS

  • Very Absorbent means slow drying.

  • Easily stained.

  • Natural fibers are food sources for mildew.

  • Highly flammable.

  • Prone to shrinkage.

  • Browning takes place (wicking to the surface after cleaning).

> Sisal / Jute cellulose fibers

PROS

  • Strong and elastic

  • Generally inexpensive.

  • Imparts dimensional stability to carpets as a backing.

CONS

  • Prone to shrinkage.

  • Alkaline sensitive (some detergents).

  • Flammable.

  • Susceptible to mildew damage.

> Acrylic

PROS

  • Have wool-like properties.

  • Improves on wool in strength and is lighter in weight.

  • Solution dyed.

  • Good clean ability and stain release.

CONS

  • Resistance (scratches and other physical damage show)

  • Poor resiliency.

  • Sensitive to alkaline chemicals.

> Rayon (cellulose fiber)

PROS

  • Easily dyed.

  • Mildew resistant.

  • The appearance of rayon resembles silk.

CONS

  • Neither resilient nor strong.

  • Stains easily.

  • May bleed during cleaning.

DEFINITIONS:

Protein fibers – Those coming from animals (wool and silk).

Cellulosic fibers – Those coming from plants (cotton, jute / sisal).

Nylon (1st generation) – transparent, round fiber that magnified dirt appearing more soiled then it actually was.

(2nd generation) – New shapes to refract light and eliminate the apparent soiling.

(3rd generation) – A carbon core was added to reduce static electricity.

(4th generation) – Fluorochemical coating to increase surface tension, Also to repel dry soils.

(5th generation) – Acid dye resistor (fills any unused dye site and makes it more difficult to stain a fiber. Resisting acid-base dyes is found in colored beverages.