Nylon is the most popular fiber (about 90% of residential carpets and 65% of all carpets). Nylon is a good choice for all traffic areas because it is durable and static free, maintains fiber height, and resists soiling, staining, and mildew. Nylon fibers, which are dyed after production, maintain color. Nylon comes in continuous or spun fibers. Spun carpet is made of short lengths of fibers that are spun together. These continuous fibers are less likely to unravel.
Polyester is luxurious, durable against abrasions, easy to clean, and resistant to water soluble stains. However, polyester does not hold its fiber height under traffic and shifting weight as well as other carpet fibers and it can fade with sunlight. Polyester carpets cost less than wool and nylon.
Some carpet is made from recycled material. PET (Polyethylene Terephthalate) carpet is made from recycled plastics of consumer packaged goods (typically soda and other rigid containers). PET carpet is durable, water resistant, and static resistant. Nylon scrap fibers and used carpeting can also be re-cycled and made into “new” carpeting.
Olefin (polypropylene) is the next-best seller after nylon (about 80% of commercial carpet). These fibers are colorfast because the production process involves mixing polypropylene with dyes. Olefin works best in loop carpets such as Berbers. It is strong (resisting abrasion), mildew resistant, moisture resistant, and easy to clean (bleach can be used safely in some cases). However, olefin can be easy to crush depending on the pile. This fiber is good for indoors and outdoors (for example, artificial sport turfs).
Blends are typically made from nylon and olefin. This blend is resilient but the different fiber types often resist stains unevenly. Stains will often stand out prominently with these blends.
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