Natural Fiber Carpet

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Natural fibers used with carpet are produced either

by insects, animals, or even plants. The fibers

that are produced by insects or animals are known as

protein fibers. Those that are made by plants are

known as vegetable fibers. Vegetable and protein

fibers share the common disadvantage that they are

both very absorbent and will have extended drying

times when wet cleaned – which can lead to mildew,

shrinkage, and even dry rot.


Wool fiber is produced from the fleece of lambs or

sheep. Wool of carpet is imported from countries

such as England, Australia, and New Zealand. Wool

is the oldest and considered to be the finest of

all carpet material.

The ability of wool to stretch up to 40% of its

original length and the fact that it can be bent

back and forth more than 180,000 times without

breaking makes it very resilient. Wool is the most

expensive material for carpet, although it is also

the best you can buy.


The fiber of silk is produced by the larva of

various insects known as silk worms. The silk, in

continuous lengths from 300 to 1600 yards is spun

to produce the cocoons. As a fiber, silk is naturally

non flammable, strong, and not affected by static

charge problems – even at low humidity.

Cellulose fiber

This type of fiber is produced by plants and normally

not used as face yarns. These types will however,

show up as backing materials of tufted as as well

as carpets that have been woven.


Cotton is a vegetable seed fiber that is produced

from the cotton plant. The primary use for this

fiber is yarns woven in carpet or rugs. Cotton is

resistant to alkaline solutions and becomes stronger

when it is wet.

The biggest disadvantages to cotton is the fact

that is the most absorbent of all fibers and requires

extended drying times after being wet cleaned. It

is also easily damaged by acids, stains easily,

mats down, soils quickly, and is subject to mildew,

dry rot, and shrinkage.


The fiber of jute is produced by the jute plant

which grows in South America, Pakistan, and even in

India. The stalk of the jute plant is where the

longer coarse fibers are obtained, located between

the outer bark and within the inner pulp.

Jute is normally used as weft yarns, across the

width, in woven carpets and as a backing material

in the construction of tufted carpets. Jute is an

inexpensive material that also serves other uses

than just carpet. Like all other fibers, this one

has disadvantages as well. The fiber is weak when

it becomes wet and is also subject to dry rot,

shrinkage, and mildew.


The fiber of sisal is produced by the leaves of the

agave plant. Sisal is very strong and primarily

used for making rugs, sacking, rope, and even

carpet. The fiber stains easily and is also very

difficult to clean. Wet cleaning can also cause

shrinkage so its best to use low moisture methods.


There is quite a bit of confusion about rayon and

it is easy to understand why. Rayon is a

synthetic fiber that is produced from natural

cellulosic fibers of wood pulp or cotton. The

material is put through several chemical treatments

which help to turn it into a synthetic fiber.

Primarily, rayon is used for area rugs because of

its silk like appearance. It can be damaged by

acids, has low resistance to abrasion and is also

prone to cellulose browning.

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