Although the overall use of carpet in homes has been decreasing, homeowners are increasingly choosing high-performance fibers, options in both nylon and PET, and experimenting with bold colors and patterns that express their unique style.
Carpet mills have taken notice and responded with soft surface options that leverage various fibers and proprietary technologies to meet the demands of discerning consumers. As Herb Upton, vice president of soft surface for Shaw Floors, noted: “New innovations in manufacturing allow us to create perfectly imperfect designs that provide one-of-a-kind appeal. While high-performance nylon is still widely used, preference for high-performance PET continues to increase in retail and builder/multifamily due to technological innovations in fiber.”
Following is a sampling of what’s new in the world of carpet fibers.
FIBER OF CHOICE: PureColor, a solution-dyed polyester fiber, notable for superior stain/fade resistance and exceptional durability.
PROPRIETARY TECHNOLOGIES OR PROCESSES: PureColor solution-dyed polyester is produced on state-of-the-art equipment under one roof—from extrusion, twisting and tufting—with each step of the process streamlined to produce the most advanced residential fiber available.
NEW PRODUCTS/INITIATIVES: EF’s focus is on innovation: PureColor with Twistx, and its newest intro: PureColor featuring High-Def Color Technology.
The Dixie Group
FIBER OF CHOICE: EnVision nylon. TDG extols the premium benefits of nylon. EnVision nylon products offer color options and depth of texture. “EnVisionSD Pet Solutions is a high-performing, solution-dyed nylon that’s great for active households with kids and pets,” said Jared Coffin, VP, product management.
PROPRIETARY TECHNOLOGIES/ PROCESSES: Colorplay is a process offering “unmatched performance and beautiful visuals,” Coffin said. “We problem solved solution-dyed nylon. Rather than a single block of solid color, our Colorplay technology gives us the unique ability to put long, subtle movement of color onto solution-dyed nylon yarns.”
NEW PRODUCTS/INITIATIVES: DH Floors is expanding the Durasilk polyester platform with its Elements collection. The textured cut pile Game Plan, another offering, has received compliments as a well-defined, clean and crisp construction.
FIBER OF CHOICE: SmartStrand is Mohawk’s signature fiber for performance and has been engineered over the years to achieve maximum softness and performance.
PROPRIETARY TECHNOLOGIES OR PROCESSES: Mohawk’s latest technology is Xtra. Featured on select products, this is where Mohawk pairs other fibers with SmartStrand to elevate the performance.
NEW PRODUCTS/INITIATIVES: Memory Lane I/II and Tranquil Journey are Mohawk and Godfrey Hirst’s cut pile carpets leveraging Xtra. Modern Plaid and Peaceful Tracery are Karastan patterns that show Xtra’s capability.
FIBER OF CHOICE: Anso. Whether Anso high-performance nylon or Anso high-performance PET, both boast exceptional durability and are designed for the long haul.
PROPRIETARY TECHNOLOGIES/ PROCESSES: Shaw has tweaked its manufacturing processes and developed technology that creates intentional shifts in color and striations for a handcrafted look and produces a high-end, sought-after aesthetic. “From high-traffic areas like stairs and hallways to everyday use in any room, carpets and rugs featuring Anso high-performance fibers are built to handle it all with ease,” Upton said.
NEW PRODUCTS/INITIATIVES: With a recent $400 million investment in its Aiken, S.C., operations, Shaw offers Pet Perfect and Pet Perfect+ carpets featuring Anso high-performance fibers in both nylon and PET, as well as stain and soil protection and bleach and fade resistance.
FIBER OF CHOICE: LION (Luxury Indoor Outdoor Nylon) is a solution-dyed yarn system that is unique and proprietary to Stanton and the marketplace because of the process in which the yarn is made.
PROPRIETARY TECHNOLOGIES OR PROCESSES: LION uses a specific chemical solution that is processed and then ultimately extruded into yarn.
NEW PRODUCTS/INITIATIVES: Brocade is a wool cut pile carpet made on a hand loom. The plain cut pile is prepared and finished and then fed into an embroidery machine, which creates the pattern.
FIBER OF CHOICE: Solution-dyed PET.
KEY BENEFITS: Value, high performance, easy to clean, multiple style options.
NEW PRODUCTS/INITIATIVES: As consumers consider carpet on a room-buy-room basis, they are getting bolder. “Our team is focused on pairing fresh designs and yarn systems in cut and loop technologies for maximum impact,” said Drew Hash, president.
FIBER OF CHOICE: Solution-dyed polyester.
PROPRIETARY TECHNOLOGIES/PROCESSES: Cloud 9 solution-dyed PET delivers the luxury feeling of comfort at an affordable price point.
NEW INTRODUCTIONS/INITIATIVES: Cloud 9 has generated buzz prior to launching this month. From thick, plush textures (Allure) to fashionable patterns in heavier lush weights (Anthropology), there is something for everyone.