Knowing how carpet is made can be very advantageous. Knowing the different materials that make up various carpets also helps you understand and evaluate their performance aspects: why certain carpets are easier to install, why some wear better, longer, and why others are easier to care for and clean. It can also make you a smarter shopper.
- thicker is not always better
- tight twist in each yarn is better than loose and frayed
- firm and dense pile means quality
- the more backing seen, the less dense and durable
- high traffic areas need lower profiles to avoid matting and crushing
Step 1: Fiber
- basic material of makeup
- 90% is synthetic fiber
- rest is natural fiber, mostly wool
- made up of one of three materials: nylon, polypropylene or polyester
- created by chemical processes from oil and natural gas
- 75% is made of nylon
- performs the best overall
- leader in: appearance retention, fade and heat resistance, soil and stain resistance, color and styling
- highest performance nylon is Type 6.6 for more resistant to stain penetration
- next most common material is polypropylene
- introduced in the late 1950’s in Italy
- BCF represents more than 35% of all fibers
- not as resilient or resistant to abrasion as nylon
- naturally stain and fade resistant
- naturally resistance to moisture
- more limited range of color options
- most often used in loop pile constructions
- third type of material is polyester
- introduced to the carpet industry in the mid 1960’s
- well accepted for bulkiness, color clarity, and good stain and fade resistance
- not as resilient as nylon
- can be a good performer
- Mohawk makes from plastic bottles
- plastic is collected, separated by color, and then ground and melted
- used to manufacture the PET carpet fiber
- carpets made by Mohawk of PET staple fiber made from 100% recycled material
- great color clarity, stain resistance, durability
- keeps over 3 billion bottles out of landfills
- made with DuPont Sonora polymer
- DuPont and Mohawk make this fiber into carpet
- SmartStrand with DuPont Sorona is continuous filament fiber
- eliminates shedding
- highly stain resistant and durable
- 40% of the fiber made from corn by products
- The above three materials make up the majority of synthetic fibers.
- The other type of fiber used in carpet construction is staple fiber.
- While some synthetics are used in the creation of staple fibers, the original staple fiber used in the making of carpet is wool.
- The wool used in today’s carpet comes primarily from New Zealand, Argentina, and the United Kingdom.
- Since wool is a natural fiber, it ranges in color from off-white to black, with many earthen tones between.
- Wool doesnâ€™t stand up to abrasion and moisture as well as synthetics, it cleans well and is known to age gracefully.
- Wool is the most expensive carpet fiber, and represents less than one percent of the U.S. carpet market.
- considered a type of carpet construction
- actually comes from the name of a group of North African sheepherders called the Berbers
- Berbers produced coarse wool, with color flecks in their yarns