Carpet Basics: Durability and Judging Quality

Here are some general terms for understanding how carpet is made and how to judge carpet quality.
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Courtesy of STAINMASTER® carpet

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Durability

The measure of how long your carpet will look and feel good. Ideally, carpet will retain its original texture and appearance for years to come. Durability depends on finding the right balance of three important factors defined below:

1. Fiber
During carpet manufacturing, natural or synthetic fiber is converted to yarn and tufted, or locked into a backing to form the pile or surface that you walk on. There are five major types of carpet fiber - nylon 6,6, nylon 6, polypropylene (olefin), polyester, and wool; the most popular being nylon.

Ideal for carpeting, nylon 6,6 is a man-made fiber that is wear-resistant (soil and stain resistant). Its natural properties allow for a very wide range of colors and color blends and the newest fibers offer the look and feel of wool, but with much less maintenance and expense. All STAINMASTER® carpets are made of 100% premium nylon 6,6 fiber with soil and stain protection not found in other fibers.

2. Twist
The twist of the fiber is the way the fiber filaments are spun into yarn, and how the yarn is in turn twisted upon itself. Twist is usually locked into the fiber with a steam or heat-setting. The tighter the twist, the more the carpet will resist changes in appearance and texture. All STAINMASTER® carpet construction is conducted under strict twisting specifications.

3. Density
Density describes the amount of pile in the carpet and how close the tufts are to one another. In general, the more dense the carpet the better the quality. Check density by pressing your fingers on the carpet and trying to reach the backing. It will be difficult to reach the backing of a very dense carpet. With the tufts facing outward, bend the carpet into a U shape to see how much of the carpet backing shows. The less backing you see, the more dense the carpet.

Remember, the best way to ensure that you get a high quality, durable carpet is to ask for STAINMASTER® carpet.

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