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More About Carpet Fibers (page 2 of 2)

By Alan J. Fletcher - 30-Year Carpet Expert & Consumer Advocate

 

How to Compare Carpet Fibers -  Nylon vs Smartstrand?

 

 

POLYESTER (also called P.E.T. Polyester) 

(May be manufactured from recycled materials like clear plastic water bottles)

 

Don't be fooled by the softness of this fiber. When new, polyester looks great and feels very soft to the hand. It's a very soft synthetic fiber available in many wonderful colors, however the Polyester fiber has very poor resiliency. That means it does not spring back to its original upright position after being crushed or walked upon. 

 

A fiber with poor resiliency means in medium to heavy foot-traffic applications, fibers like Polyester and PET polyesters are well-known for matting down quickly, especially in main traffic lanes and stairs and once the tufts fall over and become crushed, they won't spring back, not even after a professional cleaning. Polyester is cheap to manufacture and there are huge profits to be made by retailers and manufacturers selling it to you. This is why they push it so hard and say it is as durable as Nylon. (it is not)

 

"If you feel like the salesperson is pushing you hard to buy a carpet made from polyester, it's likely because they can make more PROFIT selling you a Polyester carpet than they can make selling you a carpet made of Nylon."

 

Sales people often recommend this type of carpet to consumers without sufficient fiber knowledge or experience. Because polyester is so inexpensive to manufacture and higher profits using this fiber, carpet manufacturers continually try to enhance carpets made with polyester hoping that they can somehow "miraculously" create a new and improved Polyester carpet that wears well and resists matting and crushing. So far they have had limited success.

 

Because prices are lower for polyester carpets you may be tempted to buy a carpet made from polyester, just be sure that your expectations are not very high. 

 

Generally, I do not recommend buying carpets made from polyester fibers to those who need a carpet that wears well and resists matting and crushing. It might perform reasonably well in a low-traffic application for a life span of 10 years or less.

 

 

No Matter What Carpet Salespeople Tell You...

 

When you go out to shop for new carpet, you may hear some salespeople say that carpet made from Polyester are better today than they were a few years ago. They might tell you that polyester is new and improved. They might tell you that Polyester is almost as durable as Nylon. They may try to convince you that Polyester would be a good choice for you. 

 

 

Polyester's Bad Characteristics. 

 

Here is the truth about Carpets made from Polyester... If you have very low foot-traffic in your home or if you only want your new carpet to last 3 to 7 years, then you might consider buying a carpet made of polyester, or a P.E.T Polyester Carpet. But if you have medium to high foot-traffic or if you want your new carpet to last longer than 7 years, then you need to avoid Polyester and P.E.T Polyester and buy a carpet made from NYLON instead. 

 

Do you think you have low foot-traffic in your home? Take my Free Carpet Foot- Traffic Test to find out what grade of carpet you need to buy.

 

 

Polyester / P.E.T Polyester's Good Characteristics:

  • It is a strong fiber that resists abrasion.

  • It is very soft.

  • There are brighter colors available than with the Nylon Fiber

  • Holds Color Well / Is highly Fade Resistant

  • Resists Stretching and Shrinking

  • Quick Drying

  • Mildew Resistant

  • Abrasion Resistant

  • Resists Most Stains and Cleans Easily

 

 

Sorona® Polymer by DuPont™  Smartstrand® by Mohawk™ (also called Triexta or PTT)

 

A relatively new fiber on the market (about 12 years or so) is also called Sorona®, or Smartstrand® by Mohawk™, and is a polymer derived from corn (Actually it was originally invented back in the 1940's). 

 

Invented by Dupont™, they claim this new fiber has great anti-stain properties and that it is very durable. Some folks really like their carpet made from this fiber and say it is absolutely wonderful. Other folks say their new carpet has stains they can't remove and their carpet is quickly matting down in the traffic lanes. 

 

Obviously Sorona is not going to replace Nylon as the most popular and most durable fiber. 

 

Mohawk has trademarked it's carpet made from this fiber and calls it Smartstrand. I have been hearing more and more complaints about carpet made from this fiber lately. 

 

Should you buy carpet made with this new fiber? If you want a carpet that resists stains as well or maybe better than other fibers on the market today, then perhaps you might want to consider buying a carpet made with Sorona. If you want your carpet to last as long as possible and still resist stains and clean easily then I suggest you buy a carpet made from Nylon. Learn more about Nylon Fibers

 

Learn as much as you can about Carpet Fibers before you make your final carpet selection. Your Carpet Fiber choice must be made based on your needs, goals, expectations and your lifestyle. If you have kids or pets that needs to be considered too. 

 

If you choose a carpet that cannot handle the amount of foot traffic you have, your new carpet will wear out much sooner than you might expect. 

 

Take my Free Carpet Foot- Traffic Test.

 

 

More Free Carpet Information:

 

 

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