Carpet Fibre Types
Wool carpets are the most popular carpet fibre, but there are a number of different options to choose from, and each has different characteristics. Our consultants are trained to help assist you make the right choice for your individual requirements.
For many years the pre eminent carpet fibre in NZ, wool carpets are resilient and is naturally resistant to soiling and staining and has a soft warm comfortable feel. Wool ages well and has good appearance retention properties and is natural and renewable. Most of the wool carpets sold in NZ are locally manufactured from NZ wool. Because it is a popular segment in the market it also has many colour and style choices available. In world terms wool is actually a small part of the market as it is generally more expensive than other fibres and not readily available in many countries. NZ wool is recognised as being amongst the best quality in the world.
Wool Carpet Blends
There are 2 types of wool blend commonly available.
This is where a small amount of synthetic fibre is used to bond a wool yarn together. They are commonly at least 80% wool, have been in the market for over 10 years and generally perform very well. Mostly seen in cut pile carpets they are cost effective and basically share the same attributes as wool carpets.
80/20 or 50/50 Polyprop wool.
Is a combination of low cost, tough polypropylene with soft resilient wool. The colours are sometimes less vibrant than other yarn types because of the blending process, however they are durable and offer the look and feel of wool at a lower cost.
Standard nylon fibres have the same wear characteristics as Solution Dyed Nylons except they are made into yarn in white form and then dyed. With these nylon carpets, the colour is on the surface (i.e. apple rather than carrot). They are treated to help prevent staining so carry specific stain warranties, but generally do not have the Fade or Colourfast warranties offered on Solution Dyed Nylons. They are hard wearing and generally do not shed their fibre. Around the world nylon is the single biggest fibre type used in the manufacture of carpet. They have been superceded locally in recent years by SDN ranges which particularly suit the local market with their superior fade resistance.
New generation polyester fibres are becoming a significant part of the market, driven by product imported from America where it is the fastest growing fibre type for residential use. It is naturally stain resistant, soft to touch and less expensive and more readily available than nylon, making it attractive to the manufacturers. Comparatively it is less resilient than wool or nylon so is generally made in higher weights to help counter this characteristic. Because of this it is generally seen in more luxurious styles rather than the short pile hardwtists that are common in NZ. Like nylon these products do not generally shed their fibre so are given long wear warranties. They tend to be quite colourfast and as they do not absorb moisture sometimes come with pet stain warranties.
Solution dyed nylon is fibre which is dyed while in liquid form, so the colour is right through the yarn ( Like a carrot rather than an Apple). These products have superior fade resistance and colour fastness and are also stain resistant. Nylon is a tough fibre and very hard wearing although it is not as resilient or soft as wool. In general these yarns don’t shed their fibre so carry long wear warranties and many carry specific stain and fade warranties. As a fast growing part of the market there are more and more colour and style options becoming available. A good choice for sunny environments.
"Just to say thank you Rachel for your help in the
process of buying our new carpet. Also thank you
to Neville and Tonga for the great workmanship in
laying the carpet and kitchen flooring. We are
thrilled with the look of our new flooring and will
recommend Harrisons Carpet One for the expert
service we received to our friends."
C & R Hampton
There are many different warranties in the market, some of them fairly broad and non specific, others that are pages long. Make sure you understand what the warranties on offer actually mean to you.
There are a lot of variables when it comes to carpet performance. Well constructed carpets using quality fibres will help your carpet look better for longer. There are many long term wear warranties in the market that could give the impression you are buying better quality than you actually are. These warranties apply to fibre loss only and are not necessarily an indication of how your carpet will look in the years to come. Our exclusive Performance Rating Guide helps you to assess our carpets range by range. This is based on independent testing so you can be assured you are getting the right information to make your selection.
No wool products carry stain warranties. While they are naturally stain and soil resistant and have good appearance retention properties they cannot be treated against staining as many synthetic products are, so do not carry any specific warranty.
Most, but not all synthetic products carry some form of stain warranty as they are generally manufactured to resist staining. The latest generation of Solution Dyed Nylon, Polyester and Zen3 products carry the most comprehensive warranties however even these products can be stained or damaged so you should treat your carpet with care to get the best performance from it. No matter what the fibre, quick attention to any spill will get the best result.
All carpets have to meet criteria relating to colourfastness and fading and there is a minimum standard they have to meet. That standard allows a measured amount of fade after exposure to light for a predetermined period of time. Carpet laid in bright sunny areas can fade quite quickly while still being to standard. You may have experienced this when you have moved your furniture or a rug. This is actually normal and not generally due to any fault in the carpet. NZ has very high UV levels, your carpet needs protection from the sun just like your skin so it is wise to treat your windows, particularly in sunny northerly aspects.
The only products in the market that carry specific fade warranties are Solution Dyed Nylon, Polyester, Zen3 and some polypropylene ranges. This is because the colour is right through the yarn, not just on the surface so manufacturers are able to offer specific warranties. There is no question these products have superior fade resistance however they are not fade proof and where specific warranties are offered they do allow for a certain amount of fade to occur.
Is the least expensive carpet fibre. It is tough and relatively stain resistant, it is widely used in lower end commercial product and entry level residential product. It is not as soft to touch as wool or nylon and less resilient so has a propensity to flatten. It does not shed its fibre so is durable and a good option for rentals or those on a tight budget.