Fiber Selection

The esthetics and performance of carpet is similar to the fabric in your clothing. The type of fiber used, the construction of the cloth, and the color all play a role in the styling, cost, and performance of that garment.

All carpet yarn is manufactured from a Staple or Continuous Filament (BCF) fiber.

Staple fiber is a series of short, 6 to 7 inches in length, strings spun together to form one continuous filament. Several of these are twisted together to form a strand of yarn.

BCF fiber is a continuous filament manufactured as one long string. These are twisted and heatset together to form a strand of yarn.

Both of these processes create yarns that produce carpet products with distinctly different looks and characteristics.

A Description of Common Carpet Fibers

Nylon

The most frequently used carpet fiber, highly desirable due to its exceptional durability, versatility, and reasonable pricing. It can be dyed in an endless variety of colors and made into numerous styles and textures. Nylon is commonly used in residential and commercial applications.

Branded Nylon

Brand name fiber such as DuPont Stainmaster®, Solutia WearDated®,and Honeywell Anso® usually indicates additional yarn testing and/or additional soil and stain treatments have been added.

Polyester

Used in residential and a few commercial applications, polyester has good color clarity, colorfastness, and resistance to water-soluble stains. All of Mohawk's polyester yarn comes from our state-of-the-art plastic bottle recycling facility. This "food-grade" PET Polyester fiber is considered to be better quality than "carpet-grade" polyester fiber.

Polypropylene

Also known as Olefin, this fiber resists fading, generates low levels of static electricity, is favorably priced, and can be engineered in outdoor applications. Due to its manufacturing process, polypropylene inherently resists stains. When used in specific carpet constructions, this yarn will perform as well as most resilient fibers.

Wool

The most expensive of the fibers listed here, it is a natural fiber with moderate soil and stain resistance. Durable, luxurious "hand", reduced visible soil due to fine, light-scattering characteristics.

 

Nylon

Nylon

Olefin

Polyester

Wool

 

(filament)

(staple)

(filament)

(staple)

(staple)

Durability

Excellent

Excellent

Excellent

Excellent

Good

Resilience

Excellent

Excellent

Fair

Fair

Excellent

Stain Resistant*

Very Good

Very Good

Excellent

Very Good

Very Good

Soil Resistant**

Very Good

Very Good

Fair

Good

Very Good

Cleaning

Very Good

Very Good

Very Good

Good

Very Good

Available Colors

Excellent

Excellent

Fair

Very Good

Fair

Pilling & Fuzzing

Excellent

Fair

Very Good

Fair

Fair

Resistance to Household Cleaners

Very Good

Very Good

Excellent

Very Good

Good

* assuming nylon is treated with a stain resistant chemical.

** assuming treatment with a soil resistant chemical.


Fiber Type Definition Characteristics 
NylonFiber-forming substance of any long-chain, synthetic polyamide having recurring amide groups as an integral part of the polymer chain."Durable, resilient"
 First used in 1959 in carpet.Abrasion-resistant.
 Offered as BCF or staple.Versatile in coloration possibilities
 Used in residential and commercial applications.Favorably priced.
 Produced as a solution-dyed fiber or white yarn to-be-dyed.Must be treated to be stain and soil resistant.
 Accounts for 65% of all face fibers in carpet. 
PolyesterMade from terephthalic acid and ethylene glycol.Color clarity
 Offered primarily as a staple product, although some BCF in being produced."Colorfastness
 Used in residential and commercial applications.Resistant to water-soluble stains.
 100% of Mohawk's Polyester is PET Polyester, manufactured from recycled plastic bottles."Noted for luxurious ""hand""."
PolypropyleneFiber-forming substance of any long-chain synthetic polymer composed of at least 85%, by weight, of ethylene, propylene, or other olefin units."Resists fading.
(Olefin)Offered primarily as BCF with some staple product available.Inherently stain resistant.
 Primarily sold as solution-dyed or pre-dyed fiber.Limited color selection.
 Can be engineered for outdoor applications.Generates low levels of static electricity.
  Chemical, moisture, and stain resistant."
  Favorably priced.
WoolNatural fiber.Luxurious ""hand"""
 Offered as staple yarn.Durable
  Inherent resilient property
  Scaly character of fiber scatters light and reduces visible soil.
  Largely self-extinguishing when burned. Will char rather than melt and drip