Fiber is carpet’s basic ingredient.
The four basic fibers used in carpets today all have their individual strengths. Even more importantly, they all make excellent carpets. Your ultimate choice will be determined by the characteristics that are most important to you.
Although some carpets are made of blends, most are made entirely of one of the following four fibers:
Nylon is the most widely used carpet fiber. Though it has many strengths, the greatest is its…strength. Nylon is incredibly durable and resilient. Nylon carpet fiber is soft yet strong, shows color brilliantly, and cleans well. Though not inherently stain resistant, most nylons are treated with a stain-resist carpet treatment for protection against household spills and stains.
Polypropylene (also called Olefin)
The use of polypropylene in carpet has grown dramatically over the past ten years due to the popularity of Berber style loop carpets. Polypropylene is extremely resistant to stains, fading, and moisture. Polypropylene, a value-oriented fiber, is also notably colorfast because it is solution dyed, which means the color is added during production and not dyed later. The color is such an inherent part of the fiber that you can even clean polypropylene with bleach.
The appreciation for polyester’s versatility as a carpet fiber continues to grow. Polyester offers exceptional softness, making it ideal for thick, cut pile styles. Polyester is also naturally and permanently stain resistant and fade resistant. It has excellent color clarity, color retention, strength, and abrasion resistance. Carpets made from this fiber are easily cleaned and they resist water soluble stains.
The preeminent natural fiber, wool yields a soft, warm, comfortable feel. Although wool does not possess natural resistance to moisture or abrasion, it ages well and is easy to clean. Because it is the most expensive carpet fiber, wool is generally used only in luxury carpets and area rugs.