Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Olefin Fiber vs. Nylon Fiber by Chris Coltran

Have you ever wanted to know the difference between olefin fiber and nylon fiber?

In this one minute training video, I explain how some manufacturers are using olefin in place of nylon for certain styles and constructions of carpeting.  Nylon has always been the most durable fiber in terms of wear and performance.  Nylon staining has always been a problem and continues to be an issue for retailers and consumers.  Olefin however, is almost stain-proof.

Most manufacturers, Shaw, Mohawk, Beaulieu, Stanton, Kane, Dixie to just name a few manufacture with both fibers, including a third fiber, polyester.  Olefin naturally stain-resistant or stain-proof.  It is a solution-dyed fiber and the color is locked into the fiber when it is extruded and before it is made into yarn and then tufted into carpet.  The downside to olefin is its durability.  It was mainly used in level-loop carpeting in light-commercial applications as a cost reduction or cost saving method for an end-user.  Because of its lack of durability compared to nylon, it was not used in high-end commercial carpet or residential broadloom.

With the continuing advancement in tufting machines, and the unlimited styling and patterns created on computers and transferred to the tufting machines, manufacturers have started using olefin fiber and yarns to produce carpets that can perform under heavy traffic.  This is done with combinations of loop and cut-pile constructions and patterns.  If a cut-pile is dense, tight, and short, it will hold up to traffic.  Olefin also is a big cost savings to the manufacturer and can offer material at lower prices to the retailers and in turn to the end-users. 

In the end, the consumer wins with olefin.  (and polyester)  Don’t not buy or purchase olefin carpet just because of the fiber.  Be sure to also consider the construction.  Construction is more important than the yarn or fiber in many cases.

Chris Coltran is a 24-year flooring industry expert, keynote speaker, sales trainer, and consultant to the floor-covering industry.  He has a one minute training series that is designed to help salespeople, managers, and owners in running the business or companies.

You can find out more at

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