What’s Wrong With Polypropylene Or Olefin Area Rugs?

When I browsed a popular chain-store not long ago, I noticed that rugs have made a dramatic shift in the composition compared to a few years ago. Since my livelihood is based on having a thorough knowledge of the flooring products that I suggest to my clients, I always read labels … especially on deals that seem too good to be true. And as I flipped through the sacrifice of rugs in the chain-store, I noticed that almost all the rugs are made of polypropylene or its very close cousin, olefin. I am convinced that inform consumers well and getting good value for their money. So I’m looking to give a fair comparison of the fiber against what is clearly a better fiber for your interior home decor needs.

Let me start with the good properties of polypropylene and olefin. This fiber is a fairly strong artificial fiber that is well suited to mats and runners that can be used at the entrances or patio or even outdoors, if properly treated for UV protection. In the past, you would almost always this kind of fiber a low profile, very tight loop style carpet, and that is what it is best suited for. Lots of light to medium commercial carpets are made from this fiber (always in a loop). This fiber is usually extruded to the color that it is (not dyed after extrusion), so that it tends to keep its good color and may be in intricate designs. This fiber is also resistant to most types of stains and cleans well (in tight loop shape). Many manufacturers of fiber rugs choose this because it is cheaper than other fibers, they can pass the savings on to consumers.

Now I want to point out the not so good qualities of this fiber. This fiber is a man-made synthetic fiber which is based petroleum (not very “green” or environmentally friendly. Although it is a good indoor-outdoor type of fiber in tight loop shape, it is basically useless in a different form. In a cut pile or plush carpet has a bad reputation of the mat and quickly breaking, so even though the fiber is not wearing out, it starts pretty soon look very ugly. Although it possesses good color and is resistant to many types of stains, it tends to hang on stains that are oily or greasy (even body oils from the bottom of your feet and the feet of your pet). In other words, it’s not that easy to clean in a cut pile or plush style. So basically, if manufactured in anything but tight loop shape, you end up with a brightly colored, greasy, oily, matted and crushed carpet that looks like it has been there for years rather than months. Finally, because it is the cheapest fiber manufacturers use, it is not the greatest value. I also noticed that a shift in the major brand carpet and rug manufacturers, they are also using polypropylene and olefin in their latest generation of carpets, so just because it can be a good brand name it does not mean you have a good quality area to get carpet. If you want a cheap, disposable mat or runner who will end up in a landfill sooner rather than later, this is to buy the carpet. If you are going to buy a synthetic fiber area rug, at least it is certain nylon or manmade silk. It will wear better and last longer.

If you have an area rug Fine Quality required for the interior or home decor, the absolute best fibers are silk and wool. Silk costs more and requires professional maintenance, so that leaves us with wool. Wool is a natural fiber that has better resistance to matting, crushing, fading and is a natural for the built-in protection against stains (you can spray a fine mist of stain protector directly from the can for even better protection). It does not soil easily as other fibers and do not mat and crush over many years. Some wool carpets are also passed from one generation to another; if properly maintained. Wool area rugs are not that much more money than a nylon carpet (like a machine made product. Handmade will cost you more). Value per dollar has increased significantly by choosing a timeless pattern with wool fibers.

Source by Charles Beason

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