The Difference Between Carpet Fibers: What You Need To Know

Carpet offers a soft, comfortable and attractive flooring choice that is very popular in American homes, and there are a range of different synthetic and natural carpet fibers to choose from. Each carpet fiber type offers different characteristics and requires different methods of care and cleaning to provide beautiful results in your home. Here we take a closer look at 4 of the major carpet fiber choices available in the U.S., their strengths and weaknesses and how to clean your carpet fiber type more effectively and safely according to it’s characteristics.

Nylon

Nylon is one of the most popular choices of carpet fiber, with over 65% of the carpet in the U.S. being made from nylon. The advantages of nylon fiber carpet include its durability and performance, with resiliency that will allow it to spring back, and amazing abrasion resistance that gives a guarantee your nylon carpet will last longer than any other fiber. Nylon carpet fiber is also easy to clean. It hides dirt well, giving a spotless look and feel even between cleans, and responds very well to most professional cleaning methods and treatments, drying in no time and springing back to its original condition.

One of the issues with nylon carpets is that they are often acid dyed for their coloring, which can make them susceptible to issues with bleaching, fading and stains from acidic substances like urine and spilt drinks. A professional carpet cleaner can help to safely remove stains from nylon carpet and provide the ultimate care for this popular flooring choice.

Olefin (Polypropylene)

The demand for Olefin carpet fibers is one of the fastest growing today due to its low price. Because olefin is dyed before it’s made into a fiber, it’s extremely stain resistant to dye-related stains.  However, it is also made from oil based chemicals which makes it very susceptible to great and oil stains.  In fact, you should avoid having it in the dining room or hallways leading to the garage.  In addition, olefin is more crush and heat prone than other carpet fibers, and even the friction of furniture being dragged across it can be enough to cause damage.

It’s also very resistant to water, which makes it challenging to clean.   As a result, cleaning the carpet can be tricky and will require professional carpet cleaner to get them out.

Polyester

The popularity of polyester carpet goes up and down, however because of the beautiful color options available for this carpet and its relatively low cost it’s still frequently chosen today. Polyester carpets offer excellent stain and fade resistance, and it’s quick drying so it’s easy to clean.

However, polyester carpet is susceptible to crushing, pilling and shedding, and isn’t as resilient as other fibers. Oil based stains can really wreak havoc on this carpet fiber but it responds well to professional carpet cleaning and can even be enhanced by stain removal treatments.

Wool

Wool remains the premier and traditional favourite of carpet choices, but it’s price is out of reach for many. While the synthetics aim to mimic the qualities of wool, none can get all of them right, and wool retains high quality and performance for resilience, durability, color and response to cleaning.

However, wool is very expensive and requires maintenance, particularly mothproofing. It has a tendency to wear down as well as being slightly more prone to stains, so it’s ideal if wool carpet cleaning is conducted by professionals. Because wool can hold a lot of moisture it’s also prone to shrinking, as well as mold and mildew which can cause odors, so odor removal may also be necessary for wool carpets.

With this guide to 4 of the most popular carpet fibers, you can choose the right carpet for your home, and the most effective cleaning technique for your carpet choice.

 

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