Carpet is beautifully soft underfoot, providing a luxurious and warm surface for your feet in any location. However, with so many fibers, styles and options in the flooring market today, how do you know which carpet fiber is best for you, your home and your lifestyle?
Carpet is made from a variety of synthetic and natural fibers, with four most common materials being nylon, polyester, polypropylene, and wool. The production process includes looping yard through carpet backing – these loops can then be either left in a loop or sheared off.
Which Carpet Fiber Is Right For You?
Nylon is soft, incredibly durable, and stain resistant. The fibers are highly resilient and can be revived by steam-cleaning to restore much of their original buoyancy. Nylon is the most popular carpet material and is used in roughly three-quarters of all manufactured carpeting.
Polyester is popular as a carpet fiber for its ability to hold bright colours that don’t fade overly much over time. The fiber is also non-allergenic. In many cases, this material is made from recycled plastic bottles, making it incredibly eco-friendly. It is, however, prone to flattening over time which doesn’t make it an ideal choice for high-traffic areas.
Also called ‘olefin’, polypropylene is a soft carpet fiber that is similar to wool and often used as a synthetic wool substitute. This fiber is very resistant to staining but is known for holding onto body oils which will, in turn, attract dirt. Since it’s less resilient than nylon, it is regularly used for Berber carpet, where the loop construction adds some resiliency.
Wool is a natural carpet fiber that is beautifully soft, luxurious and long lasting. Something to keep in mind, however, is that low quality wool carpet is more prone to staining than other carpet fibers and high-grade wool carpet is extremely expensive. If wool carpet is what you’re after, look for a carpet that mixes both wool with synthetic carpet fiber which will improve it’s stain resistance and lower the overall cost.
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