Fiber is carpet's basic ingredient. The type of fiber used and the way the carpet is constructed determine how well the carpet will stand up to spills, pets, and daily traffic. Approximately 97 percent of all carpets are produced using synthetic fibers that are designed to feature style, easy maintenance, and outstanding value.
Types of Carpet Pile Fibers
There are five basic types of carpet pile fibers.
WOOL is as beautiful inside as it is out. Its luster, color, dyeing characteristics and versatility make it one of the most luxurious, and sought after, carpet and rug fibers. The wool shorn from the sheep is completely natural. It is composed entirely of amino acids, the building blocks of life. As such, it boasts many natural qualities that support health and well-being. Wool carpet can improve air quality by absorbing common household contaminants. It also creates a more balanced environment by absorbing vapor from the air in humid conditions and then releasing it when the atmosphere becomes dry. Wool has excellent flame resistance; it is difficult to ignite and is self-extinguishable. Wool is a non-allergenic fiber and does not promote the growth of bacteria or dust mites or give off harmful emissions.
NYLON is the most popular and represents two-thirds of the pile fibers used in the United States. Nylon is wear-resistant, resilient, withstands the weight and movement of furniture, and provides brilliant color. It has the ability to conceal and resist soils and stains. Nylon is generally good for all traffic areas. Solution-dyed nylon is colorfast because color is added in the fiber production, making it an ideal choice for commercial environments.
PET (POLYESTER) is noted for luxurious, soft "hand" when used in thick, cut-pile textures. It has excellent color clarity and retention. Polyester is easily cleaned, and is resistant to water-soluble stains. It is one of the strongest man-made fibers.
P.E.T. is a top quality resin required by the US Food & Drug Administration in the production of plastic beverage bottle. Discarded P.E.T. containers, which are diverted from landfills, are cleaned and then ground into tiny chips. The chips are heated to the melting point and extruded into carpet fiber. It's versatility; durability and inherent resistance to stain make it a popular choice.
SORONA® is a renewably sourced polymer. In a partnership with DuPont, Mohawk offers this carpet exclusively with fiber made with Bio-PDO™ (the key Sorona® ingredient), which is produced from corn sugar. By utilizing this new ingredient, 37 percent of Sorona® is being made from renewable resources. This marks the first time that a luxuriously soft carpet offers durability that is equal to or better than nylon and engineered-in, permanent stain protection, while also making less of an environmental impact. Check out Mohawk's SmartStrand Carpet- one of the industry's best!
OLEFIN (POLYPROPYLENE) is strong, resists wear and permanent stains, and is easily cleaned. Olefin is notably colorfast because color is added during fiber production. It resists static electricity and is often used in both indoor and outdoor installations because of its resistance to moisture and mildew. It is used in synthetic turf for sports surfaces and in the home for patios and game rooms. Many berbers are also made of olefin fiber; while durable, it's resistance to matting and crushing area not as good as a nylon fiber.