Wool is the most common natural fiber and the only organic used in broadloom. It is soft, plush, and somewhat pricey, although some manufacturers add acrylics to the composition to keep the price down. Next are synthetics or man-made fibers.
The two most popular are nylon and polyester and be aware they each have different subcategories and quality levels. For example, nylon is known for ultra-strength and resilience, softness, and good texture. However, there are different versions, such as Solution Dyed Nylon, where the color is "baked in" during the manufacturing process, resulting in enhanced fade-resistance. There is also nylon 6.0 and 6.6; some say nylon 6.6 has improved stains and static resistance.
Polyester has inherent stain-resistant qualities since it is hydrophobic, meaning it doesn't absorb. A more eco-friendly polyester version is called PET, where the fibers are processed from recycled plastic bottles. Polyester isn't as resilient as nylon, making it better suited for moderately foot trafficked rooms.
The other two standard fibers are olefin (polypropylene), which has superior stain resistance and is budget-friendly. Olefin is often associated with the Berber (looped) style. Triexta is relatively new to the market and already has gained a reputation for superior strength; it also has permanent stain resistance built into the fibers.
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