Posts Tagged ‘carpet fibers’

Flooring Inspection Safari: Causes of Dirty Carpet

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014

soapy carpet spot | carpet expert Glenn Revere

In a previous post, I discussed why a three-year-old carpet stayed clean after its first cleaning, but quickly soiled after its second cleaning. Sometimes, even a brand new carpet starts to “soil up” after just a few weeks. Here’s why.

Carpet mills have to add a detergent-based lubricant to any synthetic fiber (nylon, polyester, or olefin) when they spin it into carpet yarn. Otherwise, the heat from the spinning process could damage the fiber. This is called a spin finish. This lubricant is normally removed during the production process. But mistakes happen. Sometimes the spin finish stays in the carpet instead of getting removed. You can’t see it. When the new carpet is installed in your home, dirt starts to (more…)

Carpet Buying Guide: All About Triexta Carpet

Thursday, April 10th, 2014

The Triexta carpet fiber took almost twenty years to develop specifically as a carpet fiber. While related to polyester, the Federal Trade Commission recognized it as a unique fiber in 2009. Mohawk markets Triexta fiber under their SmartStrand brand.

Triexta fiber has become very popular in the last few years. It is very stain and fade resistant. It cleans well. It is available in a huge range of colors and styles. And it is as resilient as nylon fiber while generally lower priced. It does have an affinity for oily spills. These spills tend to wick and re-appear if they are not carefully cleaned. (more…)

Carpet Buying Guide: All About Polyester Carpet

Tuesday, April 8th, 2014

Polyester carpet (PET) has a great “green” story. Most of the polyester used in carpets is made from recycled bottles. In fact, billions of bottles each year are diverted from landfills, melted, and turned into carpet fiber!

Polyester fiber is dyed while still in a melted state. Called solution dyeing, this process puts the color in the molecular structure of the fiber. Solution dyed fibers are extremely colorfast even in strong sunlight. This fiber is very stain resistant to almost all household spills. It also cleans well. Static is non-existent. Generally, polyester carpet costs less than nylon carpet.

Polyester carpet fiber has a few drawbacks. It does not have the same resilience as nylon. Once badly crushed, it will not “bounce back” like nylon. Furniture marks are much more difficult to remove. Polyester carpets must be made in heavier weights to perform as well as nylon carpet. While water based spills come right out, oil based spills are more difficult to remove. Oily spills tend to reappear and could take several re-cleanings to completely remove the spill.

To learn more about carpet fibers, read the following blog post: Carpet Buying Guide: Know the Difference Between Carpet Fibers.

To learn more about carpet buying, carpet care, carpet styles, carpet warranties and more, please subscribe to this blog and check out my book, All About Carpets: Everything You Need to Know.

Who is Glenn Revere?

Glenn Revere has been a carpet expert since 1973. He’s a certified flooring inspector and the author of All About Carpets, the only book written to protect and inform you about your carpet choices, from carpet buying and carpet warranties to carpet care and maintenance. You can find him on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter.

Carpet Buying Guide: All About Nylon Carpet

Tuesday, April 1st, 2014

Chemists have formulated synthetic carpet fibers from petroleum for decades. Some of these synthetics did not work well. Nylon was the first commercially successful synthetic carpet fiber. It wore extremely well.

But earlier generations of nylon fiber also stained badly. Chemists spent years figuring out how to make nylon fiber more stain resistant. Stainmaster brand nylon hit the market in the late ’80’s and changed the carpet industry. Suddenly you could put light colors of carpet in heavily used rooms and maintain it much more easily.

Today, virtually all synthetic fibers are stain resistant. (Note: none of these fibers claims to be stain proof). The trend is towards ultra soft fibers. (more…)

Carpet Buying Guide: All About Wool Carpet

Tuesday, March 25th, 2014

sheep

Wool, used in rugs for centuries, is the only natural fiber used in wall to wall carpeting today. The sheep whose wool is used for carpet fiber are special breeds. The characteristics of their wool are different than wool used in clothing. Wool is scarce and therefore expensive. Many retailers don’t show wool carpet samples because it is beyond the budget for many people. It is common to see wool blended with other fibers, such as nylon or acrylic. This way, you still get the characteristics of a wool carpet but (more…)

Carpet Buying Guide: Know the Difference Between Carpet Fibers

Thursday, March 20th, 2014

wool carpet

As everyone knows, there is a lot to talk about when it comes to carpeting: usage, fibers, styles, patterns, etc.

Carpeting is used everywhere we live and work. You’ll find it in most homes, from the most basic cottage to glamorous homes regularly used to entertain many guests. You also see carpet throughout high-rise office buildings, convention centers, airports, and other large commercial installations. This article will focus on residential carpeting. Commercial applications are a separate story.

Carpeting brings quiet and warmth to any setting. Because it is an absorptive fabric, carpet reduces sound levels and makes a noisy room more quiet. Carpet also acts as insulation. It helps keep rooms warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. So carpeted floors are good in any climate. (more…)

Carpet Defects: All About Carpet Cornrowing

Tuesday, March 11th, 2014

With cornrowing, cut pile carpet lays down in irregular rows 1⁄2 to 2 inches apart. This is a severe type of texture change. Most people think it is ugly. Cornrowing always runs across the traffic flow, but it even happens in little-used rooms that are only vacuumed. You’ll sometimes see it when a door drags across the carpet pile. It usually happens with longer piles, more than 5⁄8 inch, and softer, fine denier yarns, especially low-density carpets with low gauge and stitch rates.

Despite years of research and testing, no one has figured out why some carpets cornrow and others don’t. It is generally agreed that because (more…)

Carpet Problems: Carpet Sprouts and Snags

Thursday, March 6th, 2014

carpet yarn sprout | carpet expert Glenn Revere

Carpet sprouts and snags are tufts that have worked themselves up so that they are higher than the surrounding pile.

Snags are face yarns, cut or loop, that have been pulled from the backing by something in the home. Snags are more common with loop piles. Vacuum cleaners with sharp corners or broken parts, pets, protruding nails from shoe heels, chair legs, and children can all pull out tufts and cause snags. Single snags should be clipped flush with (more…)

Carpet Problems: All About Carpet Shading

Tuesday, February 11th, 2014

carpet shading

Carpet shading is an apparent color difference between areas of the same carpet. It is a common complaint with cut pile carpets. The industry considers it a “normal characteristic of cut pile fabrics.” Shading ranges in intensity from slight to severe. It is caused by the face yarns changing the direction of their lay. Footprints and vacuum wheel marks are two types of shading, caused when the yarns are crushed down.

You also sometimes see shading along a seam. One side looks lighter than the other when you enter a room. Then when you walk to the other end of the room and look back, it (more…)

Carpet Problems: The Difference Between Crushing and Matting

Tuesday, February 4th, 2014

Crushing and matting are two common problems that are easy to confuse. Crushing is the flattening down of face yarns through normal use, especially with cut pile carpets. Carpeted traffic areas like hallways typically show crushing. An area directly in front of furniture, such as a chair facing the TV, will crush. When the carpet is vacuumed, the pile should stand up again. It is normal for the tip of the tuft to open. This is called blossoming or blooming.

Matting is more noticeable. It occurs when the tips of cut pile yarns untwist and fray, then get tangled with neighboring tufts. If the tufts untwist one-third of their length or more, and if the affected carpet is widespread and not a confined area subject to unusual usage, the carpet is generally considered defective if it is less than a year old.

Matting and untwisting happen because the heat-set of the yarn is weak. Plied yarns are put through a process that crimps the yarns, twists them, and then (more…)