Carpet fiber is the material that your carpet strands are made from, and all carpet fibers come in two categories: natural or synthetic. Each kind has its own characteristics, along with certain pros and cons. Knowing the specific strengths and weaknesses of each fiber type will help you choose the right carpet for your home and lifestyle.
Natural carpet fibers are made of materials that grow in nature and are harvested and processed into the fibers of the carpeting. There are many natural materials, but wool is the most common natural fiber used for carpets. Other natural fibers like sisal, cotton, seagrass, jute, and coir are often used to make area rugs since they’re not as durable or soft as wool.
Pros: Durable & Long-Lasting
Wool is one of the oldest fibers used for carpeting, and there are plenty of reasons why it’s continued to be a top choice for homeowners. Wool fibers can hide dirt well since they aren’t transparent like the fibers of synthetic carpets.
Natural wool carpet is also extremely durable and strong. The fibers are elastic and can be stretched and crushed while retaining their original shape, which makes it ideal for high-traffic areas of your home. Because of these traits, natural carpets can last for years and years in your home.
Cons: Expensive & Easily Stained
The downsides to wool carpeting are that it’s rather expensive and it stains easily. While wool itself isn’t that expensive, the processing, cleaning, and preparation are what drive the price up.
The absorbent nature of wool means that it will soak in liquids that land on your carpets like wine, juice, and accidents from pets. Wool is also sensitive to certain chemicals, so being able to remove the soaked-in stains can be difficult.
Synthetic materials, on the other hand, are those that are not found in nature. They are machine-made from various chemical compounds. Synthetic fibers make up the majority of carpet fibers sold today.
There are four main types of synthetic fibers used for carpeting: nylon, polyester, polypropylene (olefin), and triexta.
Pros: Stain-Resistant & Strong
In general, synthetic fibers are more stain resistant because they’re treated, which makes synthetic carpets a great choice for families with younger kids or pets. This type of carpet is also less likely to fade or be damaged by chemicals. Synthetic fibers are less absorbent and dry quicker, making them more resistant to mildew.
Aside from polyester, synthetic carpets are relatively strong and will withstand years of traffic throughout your home.
Cons: Less Variety & Easily Damaged
Just like natural carpet, synthetic has its downsides as well. These types of carpets tend to have less variety since they’re more difficult to dye and some kinds of synthetic fibers are susceptible to damage. While synthetic carpets resist water-based stains better, oil-based stains (if not treated right away) will oxidize and leave permanent discoloration.
Additionally, with high amounts of foot traffic, polyester carpets can face crimping loss, and olefin can be damaged by friction and excessive heat.
Call Springer for Carpet Cleaning & Installation
We know you may have more questions about carpet fibers and which is the best for your home, so give us a call at Springer! And if you already have carpeting installed and are in need of a cleaning, our professional staff knows the best ways to clean and care for every type of carpet. Contact us today!