Selecting a Carpet
Selecting the Right Carpet Fibre for Your Home will determine how long your new carpet lasts, how soft it feels, what colors are available, how easily it cleans and how much it costs.
You must compare apples to apples. For example, you cannot compare a NYLON carpet to a POLYESTER carpet, or a WOOL carpet to an OLEFIN carpet. This would be like comparing apples to oranges. You have to compare similar carpets and narrow it down to the one that best meets your needs and lifestyle as well as your budget.
Nylon is a generic name or designation for a family of synthetic polymers Nylon is the most durable and the most resilient of all carpet fibers. A resilient fiber is defined as having the ability to return to its original form or position after being bent, compressed, or stretched. Nylon is the most resilient fiber used to make carpet. This is what keeps a nylon carpet looking like new longer than any other fiber. Nylon is one of the more expensive fibers second only to wool.
Polyester or P.E.T. Polyester
Polyester is one of the least expensive fibres to manufacture. A thick polyester carpet may feel nice and soft, but it is not a resilient fibre, and it does not a make a long-lasting carpet. Polyester carpets mat down in a hurry, and that has always been the problem with carpets made from this fibre.
When you walk on a carpet, with every footstep you bend and compress the fibers and soon they begin to fall over. Once polyester fibers are crushed, they won’t spring back to their original position.
Some carpets are made with a blend of Polyester and nylon. Usually a small amount of nylon is added to the mix. They do this to try to make a polyester carpet a little bit more resilient and durable. While this may have a benefit in some situations,
Olefin (also called polypropylene)
Olefin is a very strong fibre. It is often used to make Berber carpets, commercial carpets and outdoor grass carpets. Olefin wears well and has good stain resistance when anti-stain treatment is applied. Olefin also has good anti-static properties. It has poor resiliency so smaller looped Berber styles wear better than do larger looped styles.
Wool and Wool Blends
Some carpets are offered with a blend of nylon and wool in varying amounts. Usually I see 20% nylon and 80% wool. This gives wool some of the characteristics of nylon like increased resiliency and durability as well as lower cost.
Wool carpets are considered the most elite of fibres and are the most expensive of all carpet fibers. Wool is a natural fiber and is very soft. It has excellent insulating qualities and is naturally fire resistant.