There are four basic fibers that are used to manufacture carpets today, and they all have unique qualities and strengths. Better still, they all make excellent carpets. Ultimately, your choice should be determined by the characteristics that are most important to you and your home.
Nylon in overall performance characteristics, nylon is the most versatile of all fibers, providing excellent durability and flexibility in creating a variety of carpet styles. Nylon is the most commonly used carpet fiber and can be found in a wide range of both cut pile and loop pile styles. Nylon also has great color flexibility and uniformity, and many nylon yarn systems are exceptionally soft. Though not inherently stain resistant, most Shaw carpets made with nylon feature a stain-resist carpet treatment for protection against household spills and stains.
Shaw’s premium branded Anso nylon is also Cradle to Cradle Silver Certified, meaning its design has been evaluated to assess its positive impact on both people and the environment. The Cradle to Cradle certification process looks at a number of factors, including the use of environmentally safe and healthy materials, design for recycling, water and energy efficiency, and social responsibility.
Polyester offers exceptional softness and color clarity, and is also naturally stain and fade resistant. Although polyester is not as inherently strong and durable as nylon, Shaw’s carpets made of polyester fiber still perform very well. Polyester styles are good choices for low - to medium - traffic settings such as bedrooms and represent great value for your home.
Polypropylene unlike other fiber types will not absorb water, so it is solution dyed. Solution dyeing is a process in which color is actually built into the fiber when it is formed making the color an inherent part that cannot be removed from the fiber. This means the color will not fade, even when exposed to intense sunlight, bleaches, atmospheric contaminants, or other harsh chemicals or elements. Polypropylene is normally used in loop pile construction in which there is less need for resiliency because it is not as strong as other fibers.
PTT (Polytrimethylene Terephthalate) is a polyester fiber, first patented in 1941, but it was not until the 1990s, when Shell Chemicals developed a low-cost method of producing high-quality 1,3-propanediol (PDO), the starting raw material for PTT polyester, that commercial production of the company’s Corterra polymers was possible. Shaw introduced the first BCF PTT (Corterra) residential carpet in the United States in 2001. PTT features good resiliency and excellent inherent stain resistance. Recently, some manufacturers have begun applying a topical treatment to PTT carpets. While adequate for staining, PTT still attracts dry and oily soil substances, leading to premature wear in high traffic areas. For this reason, many oil-based stains are extremely difficult to remove.