-By Lew Migliore
With all the talk about new carpet fibers, improvements to existing fibers, recyclability and sustainability what are you to believe? How much of this is marketing hype, how much is truth and most importantly what exactly is the difference?
There are four primary fibers used to make carpet they are Nylon, Polypropylene, Polyester and Wool. Let’s look at each one briefly.
Nylon is first since it is the most widely used fiber by about 65%. There are two types of nylon; nylon 6 and nylon 6,6. Most of the nylon used to manufacture carpet, especially if it is the mills brand, is type 6 nylon. Invista (bought DuPont fiber) and Ascend Continue reading
To avoid experiencing a more visible seam on the product Lines EF298, EF204, EF308, EF303 and EF506, a straight row cutting and seaming technique should be used, the same technique used in patterned carpet seaming. These Engineered Flooring styles have a pattern of yarn rows with a light and darker row of yarns ( the diagram
If you fail to run the row finder for cutting and you randomly place the seam, then you may experience two dark lines rows together or two light rows making the seam more visible. Regardless of pattern type, size or condition, pattern seams must be cut so as to maintain the length and width pattern repeat. In other words, when two breadths are joined at a seam, the pattern created at the seam must be indistinguishable from the pattern in the middle of the breadth. The seam edge MUST be created by running a row on both pieces to be seamed such that a complete pattern is created when the two resulting edges are butted together. In other words, pattern visually removed on one side must be left on the other. Continue reading
Nylon has been the dominant fiber used in carpet, both residential and commercial, for several decades. There have been fluctuations over the years where nylon, polyester and polypropylene have gained and lost share. Wool, which only occupies 2% or less of the market, is a factor in high end goods within the luxury market and in rugs. Wool is also used extensively in the hospitality market in four and five star rated hotels. The use of wool in carpet has actually increased worldwide due to the rapid development of the world’s economies. In the commercial market nylon is still king with a proven track record. The dominance of nylon in the commercial market is not going to change any time soon. The major changes in fiber share, configuration, coloration and sustainability are occurring in the residential market.
Fiber Market Share:
The demand for nylon chemistry worldwide has strained the supply. (All synthetic fiber is a thermoplastic with oil in some form as the primary source). Nylon today is a difficult commodity to source and receive in a timely manner. This has extended production times and backlogs, on commercial carpet especially, to as long as 10 weeks. As demand for commercial carpet increases and that is definitely happening today, the problem now becomes getting the carpet to the end user in a timely manner. This is causing fits of frustration in the industry. Supply and demand is also driving up the cost of nylon for residential carpet. In the residential market this bodes well for polyester. It is more readily available and has inherent attributes which make it more resistant to staining and color loss both important factors in carpet performance and marketing. When twisted adequately it will also perform extremely well. The extrusion and processing capacity for polyester has increased exponentially. There are those in the industry who’ve had the foresight to see the value of polyester versus nylon and are capitalizing on it. For a period of time polyester’s share was at the expense of polypropylene. However, it is now eating into the market share of nylon. The supply and demand factor for polyester is less skewed. Lessons learned in the past relative to poor performance of polyester, particularly matting and crushing, have been greatly overcome by properly twisting and heat setting the yarn. This lesson was learned and perfected decades ago by JPS or J. P. Stevens Carpet Company when they had the highest performing polyester on the market simply because of the way they twisted and heat set the yarn. Polyester is the most widely used synthetic fiber in the world mostly because of its use in clothing and other textile products. Continue reading
Sun and Ultraviolet light that occurs with it can be very damaging to flooring materials. UV light is also emitted from florescent ceiling lighting. The constant bombardment on a daily basis from the sun and UV light can fade flooring materials, dry them out, cause them to warp, crack, decompose, degrade and literally burn up. Even if there is a UV inhibitor in the flooring material or on the windows, nature will prevail over the long run. Sun and UV light will have more damaging effect to the flooring material from direct exposure. For example, in front of a sliding glass door the sun will be most intense and will cause the greatest amount of damage or at the base of floor to ceiling windows. As for the effect on color; red is the most influenced and will have the least resistance to sun and UV unless, relative to carpet, it is dyed with automotive type dyes, or protective coverings are on windows. If there is no UV inhibitor in the carpet fiber, which occasionally can happen, sunlight will actually cause the fiber to completely decompose almost to a dust. Continue reading
Mold occurs naturally in our environment and actually floats around in the air, it can be found anywhere and it can grow on anything. It needs moisture to grow and an organic food source which can be dirt, food stuffs, drinks or anything that was once growing itself. Humidity levels should be kept between 30 and 60%. The more dampness and warmth the more the chance mold has of growing. Continue reading