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February 12, 2021

Comparing Fibers: A View From the Carpet Cleaning Experts

A stack of various carpets.

Everyone loves a luxurious carpet. Carpet is graded and cleaned based on the materials it's made from, the amount of fiber it contains, and how well it is constructed. In this article, we will focus on the types of fibers used in carpets, and how they differ from one another. Modern carpets are made from four main fiber materials used as fiber for modern carpets. Each material has its own strengths and weaknesses, which determines how they are cleaned. Experts at our company use carpet cleaning that cater to each type of carpet fiber. This is especially true when it comes to spot stain removal, or the effectiveness of various approaches to carpet cleaning. (steam cleaning versus dry clean carpet cleaning, for example). Although some carpets can be made from blends of these materials, most are made entirely of one of the following four fibers: wool, nylon, polyester, or polypropylene.

Nylon Carpet Fibers

In most performance measures, nylon is considered the most versatile of all fibers. It provides good overall flexibility and durability, and is used in a wide variety of both cut pile and loop pile styles. Nylon also has great color variety and color consistency, even after multiple carpet cleaning services.

Nylon yarn can be made very thin or very thick. That means a nylon carpet can be exceptionally soft, although not as durable, or exceptionally tough, but rougher to the touch, like AstroTurf. Although nylon is not stain resistant by itself, most carpets made with nylon usually are given a stain resistant treatment that affords better protection and aids with carpet cleaning services.

Polyester (PET) Carpet Fibers

Polyester fibers are known for their exceptionally soft and supple texture and color vibrancy. They're also naturally stain and fade resistant. One must be careful however, because polyester fibers are not as inherently strong and durable as nylon. Usually, extra care must be taken when performing stain removal or carpet cleaning services.

Polyester fiber carpets are great for low-to-medium traffic areas. That makes them a great value for homes, as they are usually more inexpensive than other types of fibers. Polytrimethylene Terephthalate, also known as Triexta Polyester, is a new type of polyester fiber. PTT was first patented in 1941, but it was not until the 1990s when commercial production was possible. PTT has better resiliency and stain resistance than ordinary polyester fibers. Manufacturers have recently started applying an additional treatment to PTT carpets to make stain removal easier.

Polypropylene (Olefin) Carpet Fibers

Unlike other fiber types, polypropylene does not absorb water. That makes it much more stain resistant than other fiber types. Since colors cannot be transferred into the fibers using dye, the color is added into the fiber when it is created. That makes the color an implicit part of the the fiber, which cannot be removed. This means that the carpet's color will never fade, even when exposed to harsh sunlight, or chemicals. It also means that color choices will be more limited than with other fibers.

Stain removal is easy with polypropylene, but it doesn't hold up to oil-based stains as well as other fibers. Polypropylene is also not as strong as other materials, which means carpet cleaners must be extra careful when dealing with the delicate fibers.

Wool Carpet Fibers

Wool fiber is made from the fleece of lambs and sheep. It is one of the oldest fibers used by man, popular for over two thousand years. Wool is still considered one of the finest materials available for carpet, and is also the most expensive of all carpet fibers.

Because wool is a natural fiber, it is softer than most other carpets. It has excellent insulating qualities, and is naturally fire resistant. Wool is also very strong, elastic and resilient. Wool fiber in a well-constructed carpet will stand up to the heaviest traffic and still look beautiful.

Wool will not show soiling as much as other fibers, but it stains easily. That's less important than with other materials, because wool fibers respond very well to modern carpet cleaning techniques. Moisture makes the fibers swell, naturally releasing trapped dirt and stains.

It's highly recommended that wool carpets be professionally cleaned due to their natural fibers and higher price tag. Stain removal can be especially difficult due to wool's absorbency.

Carpet Cleaning by Fiber

Knowing what fiber is in your carpet makes a big difference in stain removal and carpet cleaning. Dry carpet cleaning works best from some carpets, others respond better to low moisture carpet cleaning techniques. An expert carpet cleaning service will be able to determine the best method of carpet cleaning service to makes sure your carpet looks its best.

Naturally Green Cleaning carpet cleaning and rug cleaning services serves the Los Angeles area. They use a special low moisture carpet cleaning method that works well with all types of carpet fibers. Naturally Green will keep your carpets looking their absolute best -- and when a carpet looks its best, a home looks its best!s

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