Roughly 97% of all carpets are made with synthetic fibers of some sort. This being said, there are still various different types and varieties of carpet fibers. If you’re curious as to what types there are, we’ve got you covered.

Here are a few of the various different types of carpet fibers and their basic uses.

Nylon

Nylon is, by far, the strongest of all carpet fibers. It has an excellent resistance to abrasion, mold, mildew, insects, chemicals, and rot. It’s fairly easy to maintain and can come in an array of colors.

It’s highly durable and static-free, maintaining its fiber height and resisting staining. Its price tag sits somewhere in the middle of the spectrum, being cheaper than wool but more expensive than polyester. Nylon carpet that is of good quality can have a lifespan of 12-15 years.

close up of red wool fibres in carpet

Acrylic

Acrylic is known by many to be the equivalent of wool, earning it the nickname “man-made wool”. It gives off the look and texture of natural wool, but is sold at a fraction of the cost.  Despite being related to wool, acrylic is a totally different fiber. Acrylic fibers are great at resisting mildew and mold, fading, static, sun damage, and staining.

Wool

Wool is the most expensive carpet fiber. It’s all-natural, stain-resistant, and luxurious. It’s very dense and soft to the touch, but also extremely durable and able to hide dirt and debris better than other fibers.

Wool is easy to dye and comes in a variety of colors. However, its downfall is that it requires certain maintenance and is known to fade in direct sunlight. 

Polyester

Polyester isn’t the best fiber when it comes to maintaining its height under heavy foot traffic. It has a tendency to lose its height when frequently walked on or compressed. It does, however, have a soft, luxurious feel and stand up well against abrasions and stains. It’s easy to clean and falls in the middle of the price spectrum, making it relatively accessible. 

Olefin

Olefin is a popular fiber for commercial carpets. Olefin carpets are strong, resistant to fading and moisture, and easy to clean, with bleach being able to be used on many olefin carpets. It’s good for high-traffic areas and is even commonly used on indoor sports turf. In terms of price, it’s cheaper than most other fibers. Depending on the pile cut, olefin carpets may be prone to crushing, scuffs, and matting. 

Triexta

Triexta is a variation of polyester. It’s a relatively new addition to the carpet market and is said to have excellent durability and stain resistance. It’s soft to the touch and is best used in areas of low traffic. 

Blends

“Blend” carpets are carpets that contain two or more different fibers. These carpets can boast a ton of different feature combinations and can be found on either end of the price scale. Most carpet blends consist of carpet types that have similar properties. Commonly, wool is blended with acrylic to reduce costs. 

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