Synthetic Fiber Carpet

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The fiber nylon was introduced first by the DuPont

Chemical Company in 1938. Several years later, after

a great deal of development, nylon became the first

synthetic fiber to be used in the entire carpeting


The first 3 generations of fiber experienced many

problems with the worst being staining. The 4th

generation fiber of nylon had a mill applied coating

that solved a majority of the staining problems. The

ability of the fiber to repel water and oil based

spills as well as soil helped to propel nylon into

the top selling carpet fibers out there.

After several other changes, the DuPont company

introduced the fifth generation nylon fiber. This

stain resistant fiber would repel most dye stains

if treated in a reasonable time. This fiber is

more accurately called an acid dye blocker in that

it doesn’t allow acid dyes to penetrate and stain

the fiber.

The protective coating mill is applied and fills the

dye sites with anionic molecules.


An easy way to test fiber for the presence of a

fluorochemical is to cut a couple of fibers from a

non traffic area and apply a few drops of oil and

water mixture. If it beads up, then there is an

active fluorochemical present.

Whenever testing for the presence of the acid dye

blocker, you should again cut a couple of fibers

from a non traffic area, then immerse the fibers

in a red kool-aid mixture and wait for 5 minutes

or so. Remove the fiber from the liquid and

flush with neutral detergent solution. If the

acid blockers are present and active, there will

be no discoloration.


The fiber of polyester was first introduced into

the garment industry around in the 1950s. By the

late 1960s, polyester was introduced into the

carpet industry as a face yarn. In hand, feel,

and appearance it is similar to nylon, although

it doesn’t possess that same resiliency.

Polyester doesn’t absorb water based spills, isn’t

affected by urine or kool-aid, but it will

absorb oil based spills. Polyester is non allergenic

and mildew resistant.


Both of these fibers were first used as carpet

yarns around the late 1940s. They disappeared

around 1988 due to the competition from other fibers.

In was reintroduced to the market around 1990

in Berber styling.

This was done so that people could take advantage

of the wool like appearance, hand feel, and the

fact that its more spot resistant, much easier to

clean, and not damaged in the ways that wool is.


Olefin is the latest of the synthetic fibers to

be adopted to carpets. Once only available in

continous filament, it is now produced in staple

form as well. Olefin has a wide variety of uses

that include primary and secondary backing of

tufted carpets, warp yarns, and other uses as well.

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