The first step to buying a carpet is choosing what kind! When it comes to carpet fibers, there are a few options that you’ll need to consider. Different carpets are good for different reasons, and you’ll need to think about your project’s needs and what fiber will fit those requirements best. The most common fibers used in carpets and rugs today are wool, nylon, and polyester. There are also other synthetic fibers used for special purposes, like indoor/outdoor flooring or stain resistance.

Below, you’ll find a little bit of information about each fiber: how they differ, how they’re made, and how they’re best used. Read on for some valuable introductions and determine which fiber is right for your next project.

Wool Carpets

Enduring Elegance:

Wool carpets are considered the most luxurious of all fiber types, effortlessly merging style and practicality, recommended for residential and commercial spaces alike.


RESISTANT: At the heart of wool’s resilience is its crimping, the unique curl of the fibers. Its wave pattern allows for durability, allowing each strand to “bounce back” to its original shape after being stepped on. This keeps your carpet plush over time, gracing your space with luxurious allure.

VIBRANT: Wool easily absorbs dye, making it a canvas of vivid artistry. This characteristic allows wool to take on a rich spectrum of colors, unveiling endless options of captivating designs. From stair runners to statement rugs, wool’s different hues and patterns can be matched to any interior design.

ECO-CONSCIOUS: Beyond its aesthetic allure, wool is also environmentally responsible. The production of wool demands significantly less energy than synthetic alternatives. This, combined with wool’s long life, makes for a sustainable choice that’s both beautiful and ethical.

While wool carpets boast remarkable resilience, they may show heightened sensitivity to day-to-day stains. Yet, the natural crimping facilitates professional cleaning, easily restoring the carpet’s pristine appearance. Wool is also a shorter fiber, which may lead to shedding and pilling. Never vacuum wool carpets with beater bars or other agitators and use suction vacuums only.

Nylon Carpets

Day to Day Durability:

Nylon carpets are made of synthetic fibers known for their ability to withstand wear and staining, a favorite for high-traffic and exposure areas in any home.


RESILIENT: Just like wool, nylon has a bouce back that keeps its appearnace and texture plush over time. Nylon maintains its natural shape even under foot traffic, maintaining a consistent and sophistocated look. This makes nylon an excellent choice for areas of high-traffic in your home.

CLEAN: Many nylon carpets, including the prestigious Relax... it's Lee's nylon offer impeccable stain performance characteristics. Being inherently resistant to stains, nylon ensures a pristine presence even in the face of everyday spills.

SOPHISTOCATED: Nylon is like a backdrop for your tranquil spaces, offering a wide range of colors and patterns to choose from. Nylon can take endless color options, but strives in simplicity, dying best in monochrome and classic patterns.

While the day-to-day durability of nylon is unparalleled, it's important to remember that its initial crisp appearance will fade over time, faster than wool counterparts. However, their enduring charm and remarkable longevity are sure signs of their exceptional quality and aesthetic appeal.

Polyester Carpets

Vibrant Variations:

Polyester carpets are a cost-effective and still beautiful flooring option that comes available in a wide variety of striking colors and textures.


BRIGHT: Since polyester can easily accept dye, it comes in rich and beautiful hues that fill a room. It is a fade-resistant fiber that stands strong in high exposure areas of your home.

RESISTANT: Polyester carpets are known for their resistance to water-based stains. The fiber is naturally hydrophobic, less likely to absorb everyday spills. This is especially beneficial in homes with children and pets.

COMFORTABLE: Polyester carpets are celebrated for their soft and luxurious feel underfoot. The fibers create a plush and cozy surface that’s perfect for bedrooms, living rooms, and other areas where comfort is of priority. Additionally, this property makes the fiber ideal for rugs, too.

While polyester offers a more affordable and still beautiful flooring option, it is important to remember that the fiber crushes easier than other fibers like nylon. Thus, it is not recommended for stairs or other high-traffic areas.

Other Fibers

TRIEXTA / SMARTSTRAND: Relatively new to the market, these branded fibers are made using corn glucose rather than petroleum. This provides an alternative to nylons that is more eco-friendly, stain-resistant, and soft. These fibers do best in areas of moderate traffic, not preserving their shape as well as wools or nylons.

OLEFIN: Used in commercial settings or rental units, Olefin is one of the least expensive synthetic carpet fibers. While difficult to stain, it is also difficult to clean. Like polyester, oils will bond to olefin and cause discoloration. It is also the least resilient fiber, crushing and losing shape easily. Friction can also burn streaks into Olefin.

VISCOSE: Viscose is a synthetic fiber meant to appear like silk, considered one of the softest fibers in the industry. While beautiful, it is incredibly delicate and stains easily, even from water spills. To reduce the chance of discoloration, it is recommended that you have your Viscose carpet sealed after installation.

TENCEL: Tencel is derived from the wood pulp of sustainably sourced trees. Like Viscose, it is incredibly soft and silky, but is much more stain-resistant and easy to spot clean.

SISAL: Derived from the leaves of the agave plant, sisal is an eco-friendly flooring option that provides extreme durability and a unique texture, ideal for area rugs. Sisal is a much harder material with less capacity to take on dyes, limiting its color palette.

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