My wife and I really need to buy some new carpet for our home. Our carpet is more than 18 years old now and is definitely showing some wear and tear. What we are starting to realize is that there are many different kinds of carpet to choose from. Not only are there many styles and colors, there are many different materials to choose from. We have been doing some reading online to try to figure out which is the best carpet choice for us.
One of the major characteristics of carpet that people need to know before they make a decision is what kind of fiber the carpet is made from. Basically there are natural and synthetic fibers, and both have advantages. Synthetic carpet fibers include nylon, polyester, rayon, and polypropolene. These are all produced using petroleum products; nylon and polypropolene are both very durable and long lasting, while polyester is better at accepting bright colored dyes and is softer. Rayon is sometimes used for area rugs, but is not a good choice for carpets as it is hard to dye.
Natural carpet fibers include cotton, jute, and wool. They all come from animal or plant sources and have the advantage of appealing to the "natural" crowd. Wool carpet is expensive because of high demand and short supply, so it is not usually for the common working man. It is however, an excellent choice for luxury carpet as it is long lasting and resistant to soiling, staining, and crushing. It is also fire resistant. It is considered the high end carpet. Acrylics were a popular substitute for wool in the 1960's because they look and feel similar to wool. The fiber has a tendency to pill and fuzz however, and is not a good choice for longevity.
So what is the best fiber to choose for your new carpet? Experts recommend nylon because it is strong, holds dye easily, and is readily available. There is a lot of carpet information available on the internet. I highly recommend that you do some research before you buy, just like my wife and I did. It could save you a lot of trouble in the future.