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Carpet Fibres | What different types of carpet fibres are there | Manchester House Cleaning Services

Carpet Fibers | What different types of carpet fibres are there | Manchester House Cleaning Services 


carpet fibers

Do you know what your carpet is made out of? We will examine the most common (and not so common) types of carpet fibres.

There are many different variations when considering carpet. Carpet is universally one of the most popular floor coverings in the UK. However, there are differences. Different carpet fibres, feel and "act" differently. If you are looking to replace your carpet, maybe you got bored of the colour, liven up your living room or you have redecorated or refurbished your house knowing what carpet fibres you can choose from is very important.

Different types of carpets have their individual qualities. Occasionally, cleaning one type of carpet will be different from cleaning another.

Carpet falls into two main categories as far as fibres are concerned, delicate (natural) materials and regular (synthetic fibres). The vast majority of carpet is very susceptible to conventional steam cleaning processes. Knowing the specific type of fibres of your floor covering gives you several advantages. Firstly, you will have a better understanding of the cleaning processes, what method is best applicable to cleaning your carpet and what method will produce the best carpet cleaning results, as far as stain removal and removing soiling from your carpet from heavy traffic areas. Secondly, knowing the individual fabric your carpet is made of will allow you to choose a cleaning product if you decide to go after a DIY carpet cleaning approach, that will not damage your floor coverings, bleed or discolour your carpet.

Different types of carpets have specific individual qualities, that should be taken into consideration before cleaning, however, firstly, what are the main categories of carpet fibres you can choose from?

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What qualities should you look for in your Carpet? 

As mentioned carpet will fall under two main categories, natural and synthetic fibres. One isn't necessarily better, they are just different. These individual fibres will differ in feel and texture but more importantly, they will also differ in they are to be cleaned. Because carpet should be resistant, durable and not easily damageable most carpeted flooring is made out of manmade, synthetic, materials.

Carpet plays an important role not only for decorative appearances in your home but also for practical reasons. Carpet should resist damage and soiling as much as possible, a material that can be worn simply through walking isn't of much use. The carpet should be relatively easy to clean and maintain, the easiest way to make sure that your carpet is looking its best for the longest period possible is to periodically steam clean it. The same applies to major stains or spills. However, general cleaning, the type of cleaning you can do yourself at home, should be relatively easy. You can't book a carpet cleaning service once a week, so maintaining your carpet at home with relative ease is very important. The carpet should be comfortable to walk on. Carpet can liven up the appearance of a room or help you transform the overall look of a room you may have gotten bored of. But importantly carpet should be comfortable to walk on, especially if you are barefoot! Much to that point carpet should also fit the overall design of the room. Comfort is a big point when it comes to discussing qualities you are looking for, but so designs. Your carpet should blend in and fit with the overall design of the room. Even a completely unfurnished room can be made beautiful when fitted with the right carpet. And carpet should fit your overall budget requirements. This one is self-explanatory, isn't it? Some carpet fibres are simply more expensive, but again, that doesn't mean that they are better.

carpet fibres image 2

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What Carpet Fibers can you choose from?

The vast majority of synthetic carpets possesses all of these qualities. It is easy to clean at home, it's fluffy and comfortable, it looks beautiful and is relatively affordable. This is why this is the most popular choice.

The two main overall categories for carpet are natural fibres and synthetic/fibres.

Natural fibres include wool (by far the most popular choice and the ultimate in carpet), sisal, cotton, seagrass, jute, silk and coir.

Synthetic fibres include nylon, polypropylene, polyester and triexta.

What are the main differences between these specific Carpet Fibers?

Natural Fibers.

wool carpet

Wool is by far the most popular choice when it comes to natural carpeted flooring. Wool has amazing qualities that you can look for in a carpet. Wool is also applicable to steam cleaning (more often than not) although it's somewhat more delicate and requires a more experienced touch. Wool is pretty resilient and it will behave well in heavy traffic areas, it is unlikely to easily tear and wear. It is naturally soil resistant, however, stains are a different matter. Wool is well, all-natural. It is renewable and an environmentally friendly choice, if you can afford it (literally) that is important. Wool is non-allergenic and flame resistant and lastly, it is beautiful in both touch, feel and appearance. Wool is by far the most luxurious carpet material you can find. Now for the bad news, it is susceptible to staining, hard to clean and expensive. Some carpet manufacturers will mix will with acrylic to try and eliminate some of the negatives wool has and benefit from the positives. Pure wool is a natural fibre, it "breathes" this is why it can develop mould and mildew in areas with high humidity. Wool also seems to have an unnatural attraction to stains. Stains on a pure wool carpet are really hard to eliminate. Wool can attract moths and other types of insects. Long exposure to sunlight will discolour pure wool carpets. And it does not behave well to stain removing chemicals.

sisal and seagrass carpet

The other types of natural fibres we mentioned have many of the same negatives. They are hard to clean, silk especially so, they are expensive and they are susceptible to stains. Sisal is impossible to steam clean, sisal carpet has natural fibres which are woven together in a mesh or pattern, water will just seep out of your carpet and find its way below it. Seagrass and sisal carpet are similar. They differ in feel and touch but have very similar qualities. Seagrass is sustainable and environmentally friendly. It is also very beautiful and really hard to clean. For general maintenance, we recommend scheduling a carpet cleaning service with a reliable professional cleaning company. Seagrass carpet is exactly what you would imagine, a carpet fibre made from grass...from the sea (well, more exactly it's grass from a place right next to the sea). Sisal are long woven strands usually of the agave plant. Knowing this and trying to think of a carpet cleaning method for these fabrics the problem should be self-evident. Seagrass is the least expensive option in this category, it also comes in one colour, green, always green. This green will turn brown over time when exposed to sunlight. Coir is very durable and will tend to have the feel of sandpaper on your bare feet. Coir is made from the outer shell, the husk of coconuts. Coir carpets are beautiful but their specific qualities are best applied to commercial use. Silk carpet and rugs are gorgeous, feel amazing and rare and for good reason. They are extremely hard to clean, we recommend professional treatment from a reliable and experienced cleaning provider. You will rarely find cotton carpets, cotton rugs are common and a very similar story, they are beautiful, they are very hard to clean, maintain and stain, easily. And jute, jute is made out of the stalk of a giant tropical herb grown in India (Corchorus). Jute has a fibrous structure and high oil content, so it can easily catch fire.

The main cons for natural fibres are price, durability, stain resistance, longevity and how suspectable they are to cleaning.

The main pros of natural fibres are appearance, feel touch and overall they are a more natural, eco-friendly option for carpeted floor coverings.

Synthetic fibres.

nylon carpet

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Nylon- the most popular choice. Nylon is very soft, very durable and very resistant to stains and soiling. Not as soft as wool but nylon will still feel very nice to walk on. Nylon is the most popular option not only for synthetic carpets but for carpets in general. A large majority of carpet fibres will be made out of nylon. Nylon is durable, if cared for and maintained nylon has a "shelf life" of about 15 years, it is easy to clean at home and by a professional cleaning company. It is resistant to mildew, mould and insects. It is resistant to stains and soiling. That doesn't mean that it is stain-free, but fresh stains on a nylon carpet are very easy to eliminate with a carpet steam cleaning service. Nylon will take dye very well so it can come in any colour you would like and are relatively affordable. There are more budget-friendly options in the synthetic category, however, the popularity of Nylon carpet has made it relatively affordable. Nylon is also the most durable synthetic fabric. Polypropylene or olefin is the second most popular choice when it comes to manufactured carpet fibres. It's essentially made of plastic, polypropylene is a type of thermoplastic that is used to make a wide range of domestic products (including, yes, your carpet). Olefin is almost as soft as Nylon and is growing in popularity. The appearance of olefin is very similar to wool, it does look beautiful, and it can even pass as a synthetic wool substitute. Olefin is highly stain resistant but prone to soiling and holding on to oils, these oils make it somewhat flammable and mean that olefin can easily accumulate dirt. Olefin is made of plastic, as such, it is very easy to clean. In theory, because of its' durability, it should be possible to use something as aggressive as bleach to clean olefin carpet, although we definitely would not advise it. Olefin will respond excellently to steam cleaning and industrial carpet cleaning detergents and stain removers. Olefin should be, at least in theory, completely stain resistant. It's made of plastic, it is not affected by moisture, so a spillover of an olefin carpet really shouldn't pose much of a problem. Because of its water-resistant properties, olefin can be used in places with high humidity, it is not affected by mould or mildew. Olefin is inexpensive. Polyester is best used because of its ability to hold colour. Polyester comes in any colour you can imagine. Polyester is made from plastic, recycled plastic bottles, it is an eco-friendlier choice in this category. Polyester is stain-resistant and water-resistant. It will not be affected by humidity, moisture, mildew and mould. Polyester is susceptible to damage. It will not last long in heavy traffic areas. The fibres will eventually crush together and it will look worn. If you have kids, consider a different option. We also would not advise moving furniture over the polyester carpet, it can easily be damaged. Triexta, a relative newcomer. Triexta is made out of (take a deep breath) polytrimethylene terephthalate. As simply as we can put it polytrimethylene terephthalate is a commercial polymer (a very detailed explanation we know). Polytrimethylene terephthalate (Triexta) is essentially commercial polyester. It is a semi-aromatic, crystalline thermoplastic that can be very easily spun into fibres. The main application triexta has is in the carpet. Triexta is manufactured from ethylene glycol and terephthalic acid. Ethylene glycol is a liquid obtained from ethylene and terephthalic acid is a crystalline solid obtained from xylene. When exposed to heat together these two compounds, under the influence of chemical catalysts, produce polytrimethylene terephthalate, a vicious mass, that can be spun together to form fibres or solidified and later processed into plastic. Long story, short triexta is essentially plastic. Triexta is very soft and feels quite nice. It has excellent stain resistance and moisture resistance (it's after all plastic), however, is susceptible to soiling, dirt, mud or dust and oily stains. Triexta is interesting as far as manufacturing and cleaning go, it is worth examining in individual article submission. 

The main cons of synthetic carpet fabrics are overall longevity, price differences between specific fabrics, some wear and tear resistance and how eco-friendly they are.

The main pros of synthetic carpet fabrics are price (when compared to natural fabrics), durability, stain resistance and ease of cleaning.

One category of carpet fibres isn't better than the other, what type of fabric you choose is a matter of personal preference. What feels and looks best for you, what will tie with the overall styling of your property, and is price, for example, a bigger determining factor in your choice than having an all-natural eco-friendly option.


Knowing the specific type of carpet fabric you have is very important when it comes to cleaning. Cleaning is the detailed application of scientific knowledge. Cleaning is chemistry. When it comes to carpet cleaning this is especially the case. You need to know what is your specific type of fabric before you can match the chemistry and begin cleaning your carpets. You can always give us a call, you can schedule a reliable cleaning company that takes care of your carpet cleaning requirements. Carpet cleaning by a professional cleaning company is affordable, fast and reliable. Carpet cleaning technicians will use specialized equipment and detergents that are designed to clean carpet and remove stains. You can clean your carpet on your own as well. Now that you know the fibres all you have to do is match the chemistry, for that part, stay tuned.


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