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Nylon v/s Polyester: Who’s the winner?

Aug 2

Written by:
8/2/2012 7:10 AM  RssIcon

The majority of carpet in the United States is comprised of six basic fibers; nylon, polypropylene (olefin), acrylic, polyester, wool and cotton. Synthetics make up the overwhelming majority at 99%. All are manufactured in two ways, either staple yarn or bulk continuous filament (BCF). Each has drawbacks and each has benefits. So when it comes choosing between tile, carpet, and flooring, it is essentially going to be determined by budget and personal preference.

Because nylon carpet is produced with BCF and staple yarn, in contrast to just staple like polyester carpets, nylon gives a slightly larger selection where that is concerned. Staple yarn is much more flexible for styling and design, so in that respect polyester provides a broader range of possibilities. However BCF carpets do not shed like some staple yarns. This is typically not a problem with higher quality carpets past the initial installation.

Polyester carpet is typically about a third of the cost of its nylon counterpart. (don’t compare a BCF with a staple) It is possible to find a lower price point for nylon in what is called a type 6 nylon. Type 6,6 is the premium nylon, but through technological advances, type 6 is catching up, while keeping a lower price point.

Nylon carpet has a good memory that allows it to hold its form better than the polyester, which tends to be more susceptible to crushing. Polyester on the other hand is much more fade resistant and is naturally more resistant to non-oil based stains.

For a lower cost, polyester carpet, provides a non-allergenic, mildew and moth resistant flooring, but is prone to pilling and shedding. Nylon carpet is equally stain resistant when treated, and is not prone to pilling or shedding.

Polyester fibers are often manufactured with reclaimed post consumer use products. So it can be more environmentally friendly, if that is of importance to you. Other than this type of manufacturing, all synthetic fibers are petroleum-based products.

With so many advantages to each type of carpet fibers, it all truly does come down to a personal preference and budget. Of course you can find high quality polyester or nylon carpets, just as well as you can find very low quality in either fiber. Remember that the quality test for any carpet, regardless of fiber, manufacturer, or manufacturing process, the tighter the pile, the better the quality. If you find it difficult to wiggle your fingers into the pile so as to touch the backing, then it’s a suitable carpet.

If you have additional questions about nylon v/s polyester carpets or any other flooring related queries either pop into one of our 3 Chicagoland design locations to speak with a design consultant or contact us on the web at

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