Need a Guide on Selecting Carpet Fiber Right For You?

Basic idea of the expected qualities of a good carpet fiber is necessary in selecting the right carpet. A quality maybe seen across all fiber types while some maybe peculiar to a particular fiber type. There is no perfect carpet fiber.

Really the above statement is what it is. Every carpet fiber has its strengths and weaknesses. They are being continuously improved. I think what you should be looking for is what is in the market that best suit your need at a reasonable price. That said, lets examine:

Qualities to Look Out For in Carpet Fibers:

Moisture Absorption and Desorption

Most fibers tend to absorb moisture when in contact with the atmosphere and this quality is affected by their chemical and physical properties .
This quality is defined as moisture regain. Carpet fibers that absorb water tend to be easy to dye and process. Naturally those with low moisture regain tend to dry faster.

Resistance to Chemicals and Stains

A carpet fiber should have the ability to stand the effects of materials it comes in contact with. It should be able to reasonably withstand the chemicals, organic materials and gases it will surely come in contact.


This is the level of gloss or sheen of a carpet fiber.


For a carpet fiber to be useful to the user it should be able to bounce back to its original form when pressure is applied to it. Carpet fibers are constantly under stress as a result of usage. Stress can come in form of human traffic, heavy objects, and changes in temperature and humidity . A fiber should be able to handle these forces without damage.

Closely related to resiliency is abrasion . Abrasion resistance of a carpet fiber is its resistance to mobile stress.

Thermal and Flammability

This quality is very important for safety. A carpet fiber should not ignite easily and should also be self-extinguishing.

Common Carpet Fibers in the Market:

There are two types of carpet fiber : Synthetic carpet fiber and natural carpet fiber.
Nylon, olefin, polyester and acrylic are synthetic while wool, silk and cotton are natural fibers.


Nylon is by far the most popular carpet fiber for both residential and commercial applications. It is the most common fiber used in the manufacturing of wall to wall carpet. Its popularity stems from the fact that it has quite a number of advantages over other fibers. It is strong , tough and durable. It has good resiliency and relatively inexpensive too!

It is easy to clean and can really resist matting. Due to its inherent
susceptibility to stain , it is treated to be able to resist stains. A popular example of stain resistant nylon is the stainmaster from Invista (formerly DuPont). Stainmaster nylon fiber is the most popular carpet fiber brand in US especial for residential carpets.

Primarily, there are two types of nylon carpet fiber; they are the type 6 and 6,6 . Although type 6,6 is marketed as a premium brand by Invista, the two are very similar in properties. The difference that may be doesn't really count in the expected end- user values.


It is second to nylon in popularity. It is pigmented, that is color is added to it while in molten state. This makes it colorfast and resistant to sun fading.It has low moisture absorption and desorption ,this makes it resistant to soil but unfortunately undyeable. It has good stain resistant except for oil and grease stains. It is resistant to mold and mildew, and easy to clean.

Olefin has low fiber resiliency and crushes (flattens) under stress, therefore it manufactured in BCF(loop-pile) only. Due to its low abrasion resistance and low melting point , it can fuse if a heavy object is dragged across it.


Polyester is not as common as nylon and polypropylene in carpet production. It has an excellent resistance to mildew and abrasion. It has good stain resistance. It has poor resilient property and susceptible to crushing. Polyester is normally sold in heavy face weight creating a rich luxurious feel .

Face weight is a product of pile density and pile height. Avoid high pile height; it crushes fast. The pile density should be high.
It is made in staple fiber(cut pile) and reasonably durable. It pills and stained by oil and greased.


It is a premium carpet fiber and have prestige attached to it .Its usage in carpet manufacturing is dated centuries back. It is crush resistant and durable. It is expensive and represent a very low percentage of fibers used in carpet making.

It resistant to pilling. It has a rich , luxurious look and feel . It is commonly used in rugs . It is easy to clean but will require a little more carefulness. It soils easily.

Which Carpet Fiber is Right For Me

As I said earlier , concentrate on defining your need and use it as basis for selecting from brands and types available in the market. This makes selection easy for you. For instance, if you have kids and pets which makes stains very likely and also want to give your living room a posh look.

Then you will be thinking of a carpet that has good stain resistant , easy to clean , high densed pile fiber to give a soft , luxurious look and feel and then a nice color to match your taste.

If you love playing around with colors and likely to repaint your living room in the next one or two years then it is very likely that you will be dyeing your carpet and therefore not a client to polypropylene. Olefin carpet fiber is good for outdoor carpeting.

Personally, I will advise that you keep to the popular good performer-nylon ,for indoor carpeting but if you are a bit adventurous you can try out good carpet brands in polyester and olefin.

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