Choosing A Carpet
Carpet fibers are either natural or synthetic. Wool is the natural fiber used in carpet;
cotton and other natural fibers are widely used in rugs. The major synthetic
yarns are nylon, olefin, acrylic and polyester.
- Wool offers a deep, rich look and feel with excellent resilience and durability.
Although it's naturally stain resistant, it requires a high level
of maintenance, including mothproofing.
- Nylon is the most common carpet material. It's the strongest fiber, making
it an excellent choice for heavy traffic areas. It's also the most
durable of the synthetics, easy to clean and maintain. Nylon is soil-
and mildew-resistant, resilient and non-allergenic. Some nylon may pill
and be prone to static.
- Olefin (Polypropylene) was originally for outdoor carpeting and basements
due to its resistance to moisture, mildew, water damage, staining, pilling,
shedding and static. Now it's more widely used for its durability
and wool-like feel and appearance. Olefin is dyed before it's made
into a fiber and therefore is colorfast. Some olefin can flatten and
fade in direct sunlight.
- Polyester is not as durable or as nylon, but still quite wear-resistant.
Polyester offers a wide selection of textures and colors. While it's
susceptible to pilling and shedding, it's non-allergenic, sheds
moisture, resists moths and mildew and cleans easily.
- Acrylic is the closest to wool of any of the synthetics. Acrylic is manufactured
primarily for commercial use. It offers soil resistance, excellent cleanability
and resistance to static, moths and mildew. Acrylic is available in
a wide choice of colors, and is less likely to fade in bright sunlight
than nylon or polyester.