September 2012: Invista expands into polyester

Home Inside FCNews September 2012: Invista expands into polyester

Volume 26/Number 16; Dec. 17/24, 2012

Stainmaster, the industry’s first stain-resistant nylon fiber, is branching out to now include polyester under its umbrella.

Invista, owner of the Stainmaster brand, announced the name will now be used on an entry-level line of carpets consisting of nylon 6,6 and polyester.

Called Essentials, the collection is the entry-level line known as Stainmaster Carpet, except it will now include products made with polyester, along with the current 40-plus nylon styles offered under the moniker.

Three mills—Mohawk, Phenix and Shaw—will be the first manufacturers to offer Stainmaster Essential polyesters. “These three are sampling the products for release, while other manufacturers are getting ready for either later this year or in the first quarter of 2013,” said Steve Griffith, chief marketing officer for Invista Surfaces.

By the end of the first quarter next year, he said there will be 20 to 30 styles offered with each consisting of 20 to 40 colors; the final number of SKUs will be determined by the individual mills and how they want to launch the product. The new styles will carry a warranty consistent with other Stainmaster products in the line, namely 10-year texture and durability, and lifetime stain and soil guarantees.

Zach Kennedy, vice president of marketing for Phenix, said, “We know the Stainmaster name resonates with consumers. We want to  see how well the brand can lead to sales outside the realm of nylon.”

For Phenix, the initial release will include three styles with at least six more by the winter markets. Compared to the nylon products Phenix already produces for the Essentials collection, the polyester ones “are higher in weight and are more of a frieze construction.” Products are solution dyed and carry a minimum of 25% recycled PET.

Shaw’s Trey Thames, vice president of residential marketing and product management, said the company “has partnered with Invista to introduce a limited collection of four Stainmaster-branded polyester products this month.”

He noted all products are made using “PET yarn consistent with Invista’s requirements. They are all filament PET styles containing a minimum of 25% post consumer recycled content processed at our Clear Path recycling facility.”

Because the products are piece dyed, Thames said “retailers and consumers will see a nice range of color offerings, including 20 solids and 10 tweeds in our 40-ounce style. Our two tweed products yield a stunning blended visual.”

New Essentials products will feature in-store merchandising marketing materials, and Invista plans on supporting these methods with interactive marketing.

The initial launch of products will be available through Stainmaster Flooring Centers, Stainmaster Showcase Dealers and other Stainmaster-aligned dealers.

Griffith noted the company tested more than 100 products, and “selected the handful that met our Stainmaster product specifications” and will satisfy consumers.

“We would not have done this if we thought it would diminish the Stainmaster brand and all it stands for,” he explained. “If we felt the polyester carpet would not meet the standards expected from the Stainmaster brand we would not be doing this.”

While polyester is inherently stain resistant, it is not soil resistant. As such, Griffith pointed out the Stainmaster polyesters will feature Invista’s proprietary anti-soil chemistry. “More than half the carpet claims are made due to soiling. Our objective is to meet the staining, soiling and durability expectations of consumers.”

Unlike traditional Stainmaster fibers, Invista is not the one providing the yarn to mills. They are using their own polyesters and constructing them to meet Invista specifications in order to place the Stainmaster logo on them.

The initial Stainmaster polyester offering is at the entry level, but it is unknown what the future will bring. Invista is not ruling out polyester Stainmaster styles eventually being available at higher price points.

To learn more about the new Stainmaster Essentials line, visit stainmasterlink.com or contact your local Invista and/or mill reps.

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