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To start everything off, we’re going to talk about the main carpet fibres that you can expect to be seeing during your time shopping for your next carpet. Each fibre has its own strengths and weaknesses that should be taken into account before your purchase – as important as it is to get the right colour, it’s much more critical to make sure the carpet is suitable for your needs

Time to get started:

Nylon

Classic Florals Brintons Nylon Carpet

A synthetic fibre that is strong, resilient and abrasion resistant. As a general rule of thumb, nylon dyes easily, which also means it stains, however, it is resistant to general wear and tear. Nylon has also been shown to fade with exposure to sunlight and is also a conductor of static electricity.

Advantages: Resilient, abrasion resistant and dyes easily

Disadvantages: Fading, staining (it’s stain resistant, not stain proof), affected by bleach

Polyester

Another synthetic fibre that is extremely colourfast. It’s cleaned with ease and is resistant to most dyes, including liquids like red wine and fizzy drinks, but, unlike nylon, polyester is resistant to sun fading. Interestingly enough, polyester fibres are ‘oleophilic’, which means it bonds with oils, like cooking oils. This means if the carpet is not cleaned regularly, the oils will bond with the fibre and this makes removing the oil’s discolouration almost impossible. Polyester is also less resilient than nylon and does not hold its shape well, which means that high traffic areas tend to change their appearance and can eventually look worn out.

Advantages: Colourfast, stain resistant, fade resistant

Disadvantages: wears easily in heavy traffic areas oils bond to fibres and cause discolouration

Polypropylene

Cormar Carpets Sensation Twist

Yet another synthetic fibre that’s also incredibly colourfast since it’s solution dyed (the colour is added while it is still a liquid, before the fibre is made). Polypropylene is lightweight – it’s the only fibre that’s lighter than water, so it floats on water. It does not absorb liquids, which makes it difficult to stain and it’s resistant to sun fading and fume fading. Like Polyester, it is ‘oleophilic’, so you need to be careful with oils around this fibre. Polypropylene does have rather poor resilience tendencies; this means it will not return to its original configuration when crushed by traffic or furniture.

Advantages: Great for anyone on a budget, extremely stain resistant, colourfast, liquid spills clean up easily

Disadvantages: Compresses easily, lack resilience, oils bond to fibres causing discolouration

Wool

Finally, a fibre that isn’t synthetic. Wool is a protein fibre, primarily from sheep raised in Australia or New Zealand. Wool is naturally opaque, so it has excellent soil hiding capabilities with estimations saying that a wool carpet can hold up to one pound of dirt per square foot before it starts to look dirty. However, wool is easily contact dyed, so liquids like fruit juice or red wine will easily stain wool. Bleach will completely dissolve wool, so don’t even consider bleaching a wool carpet.

Wait! There’s a bit more to this fibre than the others – you can get wool carpet with blends of other fibres. It’s recommended that you get wool in either a pure 100% form, or in a blend that has, at least.

Advantages: Lovely natural feel to it, longevity, elasticity, resilience, flame resistant, cleans easily, natural insulation properties (can reduce heat loss and noise)

Disadvantages: Expensive, stains easily, dissolves with bleach, slight ‘shading’ tendency

And there you have it; we hope you've learned something useful that will help you when shopping for your new carpet.