How to Select the Right Carpet Fiber

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Choosing Carpet Fiber: Acrylic (Art Wool)

Acrylic is a man-made fiber produced from acrylonitrile, which is a transparent plastic. Acrylic carpets came into demand in the 1960s and were seen as a wool substitute. It is the closest to wool in terms of appearance and texture among all the synthetic fibers. It is less expensive than wool and has some favorable characteristics. It is sold under trade names such as Acrilan, Orlon, and Creslan. Although it has lost some of its popularity in recent years, acrylic still has several advantages:

  • Acrylic provides the appearance of wool at a lower cost.
  • It is bouncy like wool and gives a luxurious feel.
  • It resists soiling, stains, static, and mildew. It is easier to clean than wool.
  • Unlike wool, acrylic is not susceptible to moth damage.
  • Acrylic colors are bright and resist fading in sunlight.
  • While wool holds moisture, acrylic repels it.

However, acrylic fiber carpets have a few drawbacks that have affected their use. Acrylic is not as durable as wool or as elastic. As fibers deteriorate, it has a tendency to become fuzzy and to pill like polyester. Acrylic is quickly stained by oil and grease.

You are likely to find acrylic in blends with wool. These have been made to make wool carpeting more affordable and to give it some of the favorable characteristics of acrylic. Pure acrylic fiber is more commonly used for scatter rugs. Because it repels water and dries quickly, it is frequently used in bathroom rugs. Any carpet containing acrylic fiber is best suited for low-traffic areas.

A Deal in Dalton?

Dalton, GA is the hub of carpet manufacturing in the United States and generates 80% of the carpets globally every year. Local stores and factories provide deals on all sorts of carpets. Consumers can save money by buying wholesale, either by traveling to Dalton or by purchasing online [source: Hilton]. But keep in mind that if something goes wrong, you will lose the advantages of a local retailer. And you still have to employ an installer locally.

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Sources

  • Area-rug-tips.com. “Rug Materials – Natural and Synthetic.” (Oct. 6, 2010) http://www.area-rug-tips.com/rug-materials.html
  • Carpet Buying Guide. http://www.carpetbuyershandbook.com/buying-carpet/
  • The Carpet Guru. “All About Carpet Fiber.” (Oct. 6, 2010) http://www.carpetguru.com/fiber200.htm
  • Cooper, Joe. “Carpet Fibers,” The Carpet Buyer’s Handbook. (Oct. 6, 2010) http://www.carpetbuyershandbook.com/carpet-basics/construction-fibers/pile-fibers.php
  • Doityourself.com. “Planning Your Carpet – Choosing Fiber and Density.” (Oct. 6, 2010) http://www.doityourself.com/stry/carpetfiberdensity
  • FacilitiesNet.com. “Carpet Quality Matters: Ways To Evaluate Carpet Quality.” (Oct. 6, 2010) http://www.facilitiesnet.com/flooring/topic/Carpet-Quality-Matters-Ways-to-Evaluate-Carpet-Quality–18640
  • FastFloors.com. “Carpet Fibers,” July 1, 2002. (Oct. 6, 2010) http://www.fastfloors.com/content_32/Carpet-Fibers.htm
  • The Flooring Lady. “Wool Rugs.” (Oct. 6, 2010) http://www.theflooringlady.com/wool_rugs_000733.html
  • Hilton, Michael. “Dalton Carpet Outlets,” The Carpet Buyers Handbook. (Oct. 6, 2010) http://www.carpetbuyershandbook.com/buying-carpet/wholesale-carpet/dalton-carpet-outlets.php
  • National Park Service. “Environmentally Responsible Carpet Choices.” (Oct. 6, 2010) http://www.nps.gov/sustain/spop/carpet.htm
  • OlefinCarpet.net. “Olefin Carpet v. Nylon,” Sept. 14, 2010. (Oct. 6, 2010) http://www.olefincarpet.net

FAQ

1. What are the different types of carpet fibers?

There are several types of carpet fibers, including nylon, polyester, olefin, wool, and blends.

2. Which carpet fiber is the most durable?

Nylon is typically the most durable carpet fiber, as it is strong and resilient.

3. What is the most stain-resistant carpet fiber?

Olefin is the most stain-resistant carpet fiber, as it repels liquids and spills.

4. Which carpet fiber is the softest?

Polyester is typically the softest carpet fiber, as it has a plush texture.

5. Is wool a good choice for a carpet fiber?

Wool is a high-quality carpet fiber that is durable and has natural stain resistance, but it is also more expensive than synthetic fibers.

6. What are the benefits of choosing a synthetic carpet fiber?

Synthetic carpet fibers are typically more affordable than natural fibers and are often more stain-resistant and durable.

7. Can I install carpet with different fiber types in my home?

Yes, you can install carpet with different fiber types in your home, but it is important to consider the different characteristics of each fiber type and how they will perform in each room.

8. How do I choose the right carpet fiber for high-traffic areas?

For high-traffic areas, it is best to choose a carpet fiber that is durable and resilient, such as nylon or a nylon blend.

9. What is the best carpet fiber for homes with pets?

Olefin is a good choice for homes with pets, as it is stain-resistant and durable, but it may not be as comfortable or soft as other fibers.

10. How do I care for my carpet based on its fiber type?

It is important to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for cleaning and care based on the specific fiber type of your carpet.

11. How do I know if a carpet fiber is eco-friendly?

Look for carpet fibers made from recycled materials or those that are certified as environmentally friendly, such as wool or recycled nylon.

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