What are the Different Carpet Fibers? [Consumer Guide]

Looking for the right kind of carpet for your home renovation in Arizona can be quite disorienting; most especially, since there are so many types and kinds around. No matter where you are, there are just a lot of choices to choose from. You may be looking for the right carpet installation that could match your Tucson home remodeling or even just the kitchen remodel in Scottsdale. Or maybe you just want your home renovation in Phoenix to stand out through your new carpet. Whatever the case is, a good carpet will do the right job. So without further ado, allow us to tell you everything you need to know about carpets.

What are the Different Types of Carpet?

Before choosing the carpet for you, you must first learn how to distinguish its two types. There are two different types of carpet, and they are ‘cut pile’ and ‘loop pile’.


Cut pile:

Cut piles get their durability through the kind of fiber they use, the density of the tufts, and the twist of the yarn. There are four known styles of cut piles. They are:


Plush carpets have a more formal look due to its smooth and even finish.


The textured carpet style uses fibers that are low in density thus hiding the dirt with an informal look. However, this is not suited for areas with high traffic.


Like plush, Saxony has a smooth and even finish. However, the fibers used are longer and have a twist than the two styles mentioned above. It is one of the most popular styles of carpet, but it has a tends to show footprints and other marks more than other carpets.


Frieze also has long fibers but with more twists. As a result, the look is like that of textured, which is informal. And unlike Saxony, it easily hides footprints and other marks. But it is still not generally suited for high traffic areas. It is called ‘shag’ if the piles are longer.


Cable is made with thicker and longer fibers for that more cozy and comfortable feel when walked on.

Loop pile:

Just like what it is called, loop pile carpets do not cut the yarn tips, which make the loops visible. It is considered an all-purpose carpet since they are very durable in construction. Loop pile also has various styles under it, which are:

Level loop or Berber:

Level loop or Berber carpets have packed short looped fibers; making it a durable surface for areas that are high traffic with informal appearance. The color flecks in the fiber make it easier to hide dirt. However, the height of the fibers could make the seams more visible.

Patterned multi-level loop:

This carpet style contains loops that vary in height to create a texture and a pattern.

Cut and Loop:

For cut and loop carpet style, the fibers are a mixture of cut pile and loop pile fibers. For this reason, it creates a textured appearance perfect for high traffic areas. It also hides dirt and stains well.

What are the Best Fibers for Carpets?

The fiber of a carpet determines its durability, look and, feel, as well as the price. To help you narrow down your fiber choices, here are the kinds of fibers used for carpets today.



This carpet fiber is by far the most popular out there. It is resent in roughly 60% of all carpets sold in the United States. Nylon has two different kinds that are used to make carpet: the nylon 6 and the nylon 6.6. Dye is added during the manufacturing process to produce different kinds of colors. Nylon is also known to be a highly durable fiber that is water and tear resistant. However, it is generally not that much resistant to stain. But there are treatments though to help protect it from those. Also, nylon tends to fade when exposed to direct sunlight for a long time since it is a conductor of static electricity.

Olefin (Polypropylene):

Though not as durable as nylon, the olefin is less likely to fade. It is also a strong fiber that is resistant to wear and tear as well as mild dew; making it great as outdoor carpeting. But be cautious stepping on it with bare feet since it is not comfortable to walk on. The seams of olefin may be more visible than other types of fibers.


Another fiber that is increasing in popularity behind nylon is polyester. The reason for this is its cost-effective quality compared to other fiber choices. The downside is that it is not recommended for areas with high traffic since it is less resilient than nylon. It also is more likely to show visible damage and fade. For a softer feel, you can use it with a thick cut-pile construction.


Towards the less preferred side is acrylic. But unknown to most, it is an actually cheaper alternative to wool since it provides the look and feel of wool-based carpets. It is not a major conductor of static electricity and is resistant to mold and mildew.


For wool, what you can get is the only natural fiber used out there in carpet production. But in order to get it, you will have to pay the price, as wool is the most expensive fiber available on the market today. It feels good against bare feet and is also highly durable as well as resistant to stain and dirt. However, it does to tend to fade easily when exposed to direct sunlight.


Blends are a mixture of the fibers above. It is made to improve the overall quality of carpet in terms of look, feel, and durability. The usual combinations of blends are wool and nylon, and olefin and nylon.

What is the Most Durable Carpet Fiber?

Choosing the most durable carpet type depends on a lot of factors. And these factors include what you and your household greatly needs. So to find out the best and most durable one for you, you must take into consideration the following:

Fiber construction:

Finding the most durable carpet fiber takes looking into the construction.

Bulked continuous filament:


Bulked Continuous Filament or BCF is yarn made from one strand of fiber. It is added with texture to increase the bulk of the carpet. This makes the twist more permanent, more durable, and longer lasting.


For staple construction, the fibers are made into short pieces of yarn. The problem with this is that it causes the carpet to shed; thus removing the fibers when vacuumed.


The twist pertains to how the carpet fibers are twisted around additional fiber to strengthen the final carpet. This makes it more resistant to wear and matting, and texture changes.

Heat setting:

For the twist to hold on to each other and strengthen the final carpet, heat setting is applied. Heat setting ‘locks in’ the twist to prevent the twists from unraveling.


Tufting is the finishing step in producing a carpet. The fibers are pushed through needles and tufted to the backing. To determine the density of the carpet, look at the amount of yarn there are and how close the tufts are.


Speaking of density, it is the second thing that will help determine the durability and life of the carpet fiber. Density shows how many fibers are used in a pile and how close the fibers are tufted together. When the carpet is denser, the better its quality is. To test the density, run your fingers through the carpet and, if possible, feel its backing. If the backing is hard to determine, the carpet is unfortunately dense.

How Can You Tell the Quality of a Carpet?

While determining the quality for average shoppers can be very hard and tricky, there are actually many hidden properties that can identify the carpet’s quality just by simply looking at it. Here are the properties/characteristics that you must take into consideration together:

Face weight:

Face weight is exactly what it is: the weight of the carpet pile per square yard of carpet that is measured in ounces. However, you must still be cautious of this. The face weight has been so heavily marketed that many consumers are tricked into thinking that it is the only best way to determine the quality of the carpet. But this is not the case because there are so many features and properties that influence the carpet’s weight.

Carpet density:

As mentioned above, the density pertains to how closely tufted together the fibers are into the carpet backing. When you compare carpet’s for their different densities, choose the one with the highest density value since that one is the most durable of them all.

Fiber twist:

Often overlooked by most, the fiber twist actually is one of the best indicators of carpet quality. He fiber twist is the number of times the strands of the fiber are twisted together It is measured as within one-inch in length of a fiber. This is known as a carpet’s twist number, referred to as turns-per-inch (TPI).

Type of fiber:

We have discussed the types of fibers above. And it plays a very important role in determining the carpet’s quality. By now you have a firm grasp of what type to avoid according to your preferences.

Manufacturer warranty:

When you buy a carpet, you will be given together with it the manufacturer’s warranty. However, you should take note when the warranty uses the terms such as ‘texture retention’, ‘abrasive wear’, and ‘exclusions’ since they could mean differently than what you are led on to believe.

Carpet style:

The last thing you should be wary of is the style of the carpet since it can influence and affects its performance. You can usually see styles like Saxony, Berber, Frieze, and cut-and-loop in residential areas. There are actually a lot more styles available out there that range in quality. So you must take note what style is best for your living condition. Is your home more prone to high traffic or not, etc.?

How can you tell the quality of Carpet

Which Carpet Material is Best?

Ultimately, what everything above points to is the question of what really is the best carpet material? To give you a concrete answer, we would say that it is nylon.

Nylon is a generic name that is designated to a family of synthetic polymers first produced in 1935 by the DuPont Company. Since then it has been hailed for a lot of benefits that surpasses all other carpet material out there.

One of the most notable things about nylon is its durability. It is known to be the most durable synthetic carpet available. And the reason for this is its resiliency or the ability to maintain its original form or compaction even after it has been bent, compressed, and stretched. Nylon is certainly the most resilient fiber used in the carpet making industry. For this reason, nylon carpets tend to look new longer than any other fiber.

Furthermore, nylon is very absorbent; thus making it very good in soaking liquid and spills. There is also some type of stain protection that covers all residential carpets on the market today. So you can be assured that nylon carpets are treated to help prevent spills from setting in and staining the fibers. And if you want a carpet that maintains its color, nylon is the one since some nylon is solution-dyed. This means that the color goes completely through the fiber instead of just being on the surface. It comes in a range of colors and styles, which you can pick from to match your own personal aesthetic.


The only drawback that would discourage people from it is the expensive price tag attached to nylon carpets. It is second to wool in that aspect. However, if you want a carpet that will outlast your home’s floor traffic, it is better to get this rather than buying again from another type, which could be more costly. You can trust nylon to keep it cost-effective in that aspect since it is the best wearing and most durable fiber available out there.

What are the Different Carpet Fibers? [Consumer Guide] was last modified: February 23rd, 2018 by Jason Valasek