Originally used in women’s stockings, fishing line, and toothbrush bristles; synthetic, man-made nylon is now the most popular residential carpet fiber type sold, comprising approximately 65% of United States carpet sales.
Nylon 6 and Nylon 6,6
There are two types of nylon used in carpeting: type 6 and type 6,6 (both are nylon but they have different molecular structures). After much debate within the industry about whether one type is preferable to the other, years of testing have determined that there is minimal difference in durability or resiliency between the two. However, from a “green” standpoint, nylon 6 recyclables more easily back into carpet (cradle to cradle recycling) than nylon 6,6.
- Strength and Elasticity: Nylon’s strength makes it an excellent choice for heavy traffic areas. It can be crushed, bent, and stretched up to 33% of its length for long periods and still “bounce back” or regain its original shape.
- Resistant to Mold, Mildew, and Sun Damage: While nylon fibers themselves provide no food source, mildew can grow on it if another food source is available. Special dyes can be used to make nylon carpets resistant to sun damage from UV rays.
- Spill and Stain Resistant: Nylon will absorb less than 8% of its weight in water but to prevent spills from sinking deep into the fibers and leaving stains, it must be protected with a stain treatment. Solution-dyed nylon, the most stain resistant type of nylon, locks in color during fiber production. Spills are then unable to attach themselves to the nylon fiber’s cells and create stains.
- Minimal Pilling and Shedding: Continuous filament fibers minimize pilling and shedding.
- Heat Sets Well: When properly heat set, nylon retains its crimp, twist, and dye extremely well.
- Easy Cleaning: It is highly recommended that nylon carpet be steam cleaned every 12-18 months at minimum and more frequently in very high traffic areas. This is because the hydrogen molecule in nylon’s structure can be revived by a hot water extraction cleaning method (steam cleaning). The steam heat will reactivate the hydrogen molecule, helping the carpet fibers to bounce back.
- Non-breathing: Nylon fibers do not have the ability to breathe or regulate your indoor air environment (like wool). Nylon can be cool to the touch in winter, hot under your feet in summer, and feel damp if there is high humidity.
Come to Flack’s To See and Feel for Yourself
Overall, nylon’s durability and resiliency make it a very good choice of fiber in carpeting, but as always, be sure to consider all factors when making your purchase. Come to Flack’s today to shop, see, and feel our huge selection of nylon carpets and rugs for yourself!