The Different Types of Carpet Fiber

Did you know that 97% of all carpet is made with synthetic fibers? Well, it’s true. There is a very good chance that carpet you are surrounded by now is made from either acrylic (art wool), nylon, olefin (polypropylene), polyester, wool, or recycled material. But what makes each type of fiber unique?

This article from Carpets.org better explains each category of synthetic fiber.

Acrylic: Also known as art, art wool, or man-made wool, this artificial fiber provides the look and feel of real wool, but at a fraction of the price. It resists static electricity, moisture, mildew, fading, crushing, staining, and sun damage. The only downside to this synthetic fiber is that it tends to break down easily in high traffic areas.

Blends: Typically a combination of nylon and olefin, this blend is resilient, but is not very resistant to stains.

Nylon: About 65% of all carpets (90% residential) are Nylon, making it the most popular carpet fiber available. It is both durable and static free; it maintains fiber height and resists soiling, staining and mildew.

Olefin (Polypropylene): After Nylon, olefin (the least expensive of the synthetic fibers) is the best seller in the carpet world, accounting for about 80% of commercial carpets. It is strong (resisting abrasion), mildew resistant, moisture resistant, and easy to clean (bleach can be used safely in some cases).  However, olefin can be easy to crush depending on the pile.

Polyester: Polyester is luxurious, durable against abrasions, easy to clean, and resistant to water soluble stains, but it will not keep its height under traffic.

Recycled: Some carpet is made from recycled materials.

Wool: Although it is a hot bed for static and moisture, frays easily and is expensive, Wool is, perhaps, the most luxurious of all carpet fibers. It is strong, and stain resistant, but many homeowners are scared away by the price.

Well, now you know about the many types of carpet fiber. Hopefully this will help you pick out your next residential or commercial carpet. If you have any questions, contact Jim Boyd’s Flooring America by calling 410-667-0620 or click here today!

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