Updated: Jul 28, 2021
There are many different types of fibers on the market for carpets. There are both natural fibers such as wool and synthetic fibers such as nylon. This article will quickly go over pros and cons of various carpet fibers so you can see which one is more suitable for you.
Nylon - one of the most resilient carpet fibers besides wool and triexta. Resiliency allows the carpet fiber to bounce back to it's original shaper after being walked on. When cleaned they can bounce back to life after heavy soiling. It is also less affected by abrasions and is resistant to oil stains. However, unlike other synthetics , nylon is damaged by strong acids and unprotected nylon stains easily from foods in beverages which is why adding a temporary protector is very important along with getting it cleaned professionally around once a year.
Polyester - one of the most dominant fibers found in the United States. Polyester looks very appealing when new, but its appearance declines in quality fairly quickly. Polyester also has weak resiliency. It is generally a more environmentally friendly form of carpet as some of its production is made from recycled materials. Polyester is also usually less expensive and is far less effected by ultra-violet light than other fibers.
Triexta - is oleophilic which means it is more prone to oil based stains and is four times oleophilic compared to polyester. However, triexta has strong resistance to acid dye stains. It is a soft fiber, but is more affected by brush agitation than other fibers meaning it can be damaged by it. It has to be cleaned with more caution and needs to be treated gently to not damage it.
Polypropylene - Polypropylene, also known as Olefin, is chemically inert which means that it is not reactive to certain substances that other carpets would react to. It will also not shrink with water as it absorbs very low amounts of water that is dropped on it which is why many backings of carpet are polypropylene. Some bad sides to it is that they are the least resilient of all fibers and are more affected by abrasions. This will cause the carpet to be more susceptible to traffic lane greys so frequent vacuuming is extra important. Many area rugs are polypropylene and is why the areas walked on may look a lot more matted and dirty even after a cleaning because of traffic lane greys.
Wool - Wool is a carpet fiber that has been used for centuries. It is a natural protein fiber and is the most resilient of all fibers. It is considered to be one of the finest fibers for carpet due to its price and properties. It is naturally flame resistant which is why it is installed in many casinos and hotels because it extinguishes itself when touched by fire. Wool also absorbs large amounts of water and when wet, can smell like a "wet dog." Cleaning products used on wool should always be declared Wool Safe to prevent damage.