Innovative fiber systems make innovative carpets

2017-04-06  From: AGAPPARQUETBrowsing times:1582

As a mature industry, the tufted carpet business requires differentiated product to drive sales. Because most carpet manufacturers are vertically integrated back to fiber extrusion, developing unique fiber systems is a first step in creating innovative carpet.

Nylon and polyester each have a place in today’s carpet market, according to Brad Christensen, vice president, soft surface category management at Shaw Floors. “If we can achieve a better product, it doesn't matter if it’s PET or nylon. Consumers are becoming fiber agnostics. They just want a beautiful carpet.”

Innovation for Shaw carpet goes all the way back to fiber extrusion, where the company is experimenting with both nylon and PET with different cross sections produced with new spinnerets, Christensen reported.  

Shaw’s newest fiber system, ClearTouch Platinum PET, is used for the polyester styles in the TruAccents collection. “The ClearTouch Platinum PET yields better durability and resiliency,” Christensen explained, adding, “It will perform close to nylon.”

Mohawk’s EverStrand carpets are made with the Continuum PET process for products that “start clean and stay clean.”

Engineered Floors’ solution dyed PureColor yarn systems give its carpets a cost advantage as well as performance features. Mike Sanderson, vice president product marketing at Engineered Floors, said, “It’s the manufacturing process that makes the difference. Whether it’s polyester or nylon, it’s always PureColor. Our state of the art manufacturing facilities allow us to manage the entire production process, from fiber extrusion to quality assurance and distribution. This streamlined manufacturing process allows us to be price competitive in the market.” And solution dyed PureColor also offers superior colorfastness when subjected to direct sunlight and can withstand cleaning with a bleach solution, according to the company.

Beaulieu has engineered SoftSense Polyester and Nyluxe (nylon) fiber systems to enhance the design and performance characteristics of its soft floorcovering products, said Dallas Chapman, executive vice president at Beaulieu America. “SoftSense and Nyluxe provide the ultimate in design flexibility with numerous style options in both solution dye and piece dye methods. We have developed products like Urban Chic that blend SoftSense and Nyluxe together in a dense, tight, tailored construction giving the product stylish yet durable characteristics,” Chapman explained.

Beaulieu has also enhanced the appearance of traditional carpet using a new technology called D.I. Design, which takes white Nyluxe patterned substrates and creates added depth and dimension through an exclusive dyeing process, Chapman said.

Phenix introduced its Opulence HD solution dyed polyester fiber this past January at The International Surface Event, said Susan Curtis, senior vice president, product development.

“We developed this new fiber from the ground up working with our extrusion division to develop a yarn that provides great bulk, with a soft, very luxurious hand. This fiber is a finer denier yarn that aesthetically is low luster, with well-defined tips that delivers a beautiful suede-like finish,” Curtis noted. “Because this fiber is manufactured from solution dyed polyester it is inherently stain resistant. Opulence HD is available in our Cleaner Home collection of fine carpets that also feature Microban, an antimicrobial and SureFresh odor capture.”

Flourish from the Phenix Cleaner Home Collection is made of Opulence HD solution-dyed polyester.

Shape matters

Continuous filament fiber is made by being extruded through a spinneret (showerhead-like device). The filament can be extruded in different cross-section shapes — round, trilobal, pentagonal, octagonal, etc. — which can produce different visual effects and performance attributes in the finished carpet.


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