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Natural fibers are made from organic sources that have not been chemically altered and include cotton, silk, sea grass, jute and hemp. Natural fibers require more drying time because they are very absorbent, are more easily damaged by chemicals; shrinking, staining, water spots, fade and are readily attacked by mold and insects.

Jute

  • Second most important vegetable fiber after cotton due to its versatility.
  • Used chiefly to make cloth for wrapping bales of raw cotton, and to make sacks and coarse cloth.
  • The fibers are also woven into curtains, chair coverings, carpets, area rugs, hessian cloth, and backing for linoleum.

Cotton

  • vegetable fiber obtained from the seed of the cotton plant,
  • The most common use for cotton is in fringes in rugs.
  • soiling and graying are a problem.
  • braided cloth rugs, that can be washed and dried easily.
  • Some woven rugs have cotton asthe warp fibers.
  • Unlike silk, cotton is 15% stronger when wet!

Silk

  • The only natural filament fiber.
  • Protein fiber obtained by unreeling the cocoons of various silkworms.
  • high sheen, silk is very sensitive to alkali, sunlight, etc., and tends to yellow when exposed to alkaline detergents.
  • Dye loss, yellowing, and ringing are common problems when cleaning silk. Silk is normally dry-cleaned.

Wool

  • Normally from fleece (sheep hair), but in antique rugs the wool can also come from other animals like goat hair, etc.
  • Hides soil much better than synthetic fibers because it is not clear and, therefore, soil cannot be seen through it.
  • Wool's high moisture content and protein constituents provide natural flame resistance. Wool also "feels" softer to the touch. Wool carpets wear well and age beautifully and have a look and feel that is unmistakably their own. However, nylon and olefin carpets will last longer in high traffic areas.

Mountain Grass (Hemp)

  • Durable natural fiber created into durable natural carpet.
  • Hypoallergenic, chemical free, petroleum and oil free, and Anti Static.
  • Design professionals love the basket weaved look, and use this carpet for creative carpet installations wall to wall, made to size bound rugs, runners and stair runners.

Bamboo

  • Is a cellulose fiber extracted or fabricated from natural bamboo, and possibly other additives, and is made from (or in the case of material fabrication, is) the pulp of bamboo plants.
  • Extremely resilient and durable as a fiber.
  • Better moisture-wicking properties, and better moisture absorption.

Man-made fibers are spun and woven into a huge number of consumer and industrial products, including garments such as shirts, scarves, and hosiery; home furnishings such as upholstery, carpets, and drapes; and industrial parts such as tire cord, flame-proof linings, and drive belts. The chemical compounds from which man-made fibers are produced are known as polymers, a class of compounds characterized by long, chainlike molecules of great size and molecular weight.

Polyester

  • Easily recycled from 2-liter soda pop bottles (a good "talking point" to environmentally conscious consumers)
  • Inherently stain resistant.
  • Soft to the touch.
  • Very poor resilience, which obviates its use in high traffic areas and it readily attracts oily soils.

Nylon

  • Excellent resilience (the ability of a fiber to "spring back" to its original configuration), abrasion resistance, mildew resistance, and very good color retention.
  • It can be acid dyed or solution dyed
  • Easily stained by acid dyes (the dyes in most foods and drinks), and is bleached out by chlorine bleach.

Corterra®

  • Originally made by Shell Chemical, was touted at one time as the eventual replacement for nylon as the primary fiber of choice in carpet, but that has not happened.
  • DuPont developed a new process to product PTT from corn sugar and calls this fiber Sorona®. The FTC determined that fibers made from PTT offer a unique combination of benefits which merit a new generic name, Triexta. This is the fiber used in Mohawk's SmartStrand®
  • It is anticipated that Triexta fibers will resist staining with acid food dyes and be somewhat resistant to disperse dyes (the yellow of turmeric in mustard is an example of a disperse dye).
  • Affinity for oil and grease, but should respond well to cleaning if it is done on a regular basis, at least annual, for typical family use.

Olefin

  • Prevents moisture damage, is stain resistant and is low in static.
  • Not as durable as wool or nylon and should not be installed in heavy usage locations.
  • Oil based product that attracts grease stains and may take no an undesirable sheen.
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