The starting point of carpet is the fiber, a fine thread-like unit that is converted into yarn then tufted or woven into carpet.
There are only four primary fibers used in carpet today: Wool, Nylon, Polypropylene (Olefin) and Wool Blends. The terms “carpet” and “rug” are sometimes used interchangeably. Rug generally means a textile floor covering that is not fastened down and that does not extend over the entire floor. Carpet usually refers to a floor covering that is installed and fastened down from wall to wall. Rug fibers would include these fibers and many others.
Wool is the classic choice for floor covering material. Wool has been used for carpet making since ancient times. It will last throughout the years. Its superior properties assure quality, function and design. Wool is an animal fiber taken from the hair of the sheep. These protein fibers have characteristics that make wool the premium classic floor covering material. Today, wool used for carpet making comes from sheep in countries like New Zealand, Argentina and the United Kingdom.
DuPont first introduced nylon in 1938, since then; nylon has been developed further and improved. Nylon is a petrochemical synthetic fiber made from carbon, nitrogen, oxygen and hydrogen. Today’s greatly improved ‘treated nylon fibers’ are sometimes referred to as ‘sixth generation’. This started the era of modern synthetic fibers for apparel, industrial applications and tufted carpet. Nylon has good resilience, soil resistance, abrasion retention, durability, and color retention. With issues such as soiling and cleaning, nylon performs very well and is resistant to staining if it receives a stain-resistant treatment. This enable enhanced removal of soil and most common household food and beverage stains through professional cleaning.
Was first introduced into the carpet industry from Italy in the late 1950’s. Offers good stain and moisture resistance. Proven performance features, unique aesthetics and exceptional value for both residential and commercial carpeting. These yarns are offered in a range of deniers, which are twisted and heat set. Polypropylene is the fastest growing carpet fiber in popularity. It is naturally stain and fade resistant.
TENCEL® is a natural, man made fiber derived from wood pulp (Eucalyptus) sourced from sustainable tree farms. Tencel® textiles are created through the use of cutting edge green technology with a minimal impact on the environment.
Different fibers can be mixed to create carpets with various qualities in performance and style. A popular blend is the 80% wool and 20% nylon for strength and stain resistance. More modern blends combine polyester with nylon, as well as various acrylic blends.
Sisal’s textured look is a favorite of interior designers. Sisal is a natural fiber derived from the ‘agave sisalana’ cactus plant. Sisal grows in semi-arid regions. The largest producers of sisal are located in northeast Brazil and Africa. Sisal fibers (which can be up to three feet long) are harvested by hand from the leaves of the cactus plant. Sisal is not the same fiber as coir or jute. Sisal is stronger and more durable than other natural fibers. Sisal is therefore preferred for carpet and rugs. Living rooms, family rooms, entry halls, bedrooms, computer workstations, home offices, exercise rooms and covered patios.Natural fibers provide a massaging underfoot, which is preferred for rooms where you do not sit on the floor. Sisal should be used in a covered area protected from the elements. Natural fiber rugs are highly recommended for enclosed and screened porches. Do not expose to rainfall or allow to become water-saturated (i.e. sisal and seagrass are NOT for bathroom, sauna, Jacuzzi, uncovered patio deck, swimming pool or roof top patios).
Although traditionally used as carpet backing, is now being used for Jute area rugs and carpet. Jute is a long, shiny fiber that can be spun into coarse, strong threads. The fibers are off-white to brown and 3 to 15 feet (0.9 to 4.5 meters) long. Jute fibers are composed primarily of the plant materials cellulose, lignin, and pectin. Jute is a rainy season crop that grows best in warm, humid climates. China, India, and Bangladesh rank as the top producers, where other than area rugs they are also woven into curtains, chair coverings, carpets, and burlap. Its soft texture makes Jute rugs a welcome choice for bedroom floors, but it is not a practical material for areas of heavy wear.