It’s no wonder that solution-dyed carpet has fueled the growth of polyester carpet. As technology advancements have improved, mills have been able to produce solution-dyed carpets that offer difference-making benefits to consumers—from soft feel to durability to environmental advantages.
“Consumers want carpet that has high performance standards while at the same time maintaining a beautiful look for years—and solution-dyed fiber checks all of those boxes,” said Mike Sanderson, vice president of marketing for Engineered Floors. “With the fiber’s natural stain resistance and ease of upkeep, it appeals to the entire range of lifestyles—pet owners, active households and families with young children. We see nothing but growth ahead for the solution-dyed fiber market.”
Indeed, mill executives cited several key factors behind SD’s growth. Among them:
The carrot/radish analogy is often used to explain the colorfastness of solution-dyed vs. piece-dyed technology. If you cut open a radish, you notice that only the outside of the radish is red, and the inside is white. The radish looks as if it had been dipped in a vat of red dye. If you cut into a carrot, however, it is orange all the way through the way it is with the solution-dyed technique.
“With solution dyed, the color of the carpet lasts longer, it resists stains, fading, and wear and tear,” said Matt Johnson, senior director, residential carpet, Mannington/Phenix. “Surface-dyed fibers, conversely, become dull over time because the color is worn away. SD carpet looks newer longer because the color lasts for the life of the carpet.”
Because traditional-dyed fibers contain empty dye sites, they can be more easily stained. Spills are absorbed by these empty dye sites, which make them very difficult to remove. However, because solution-dyed fiber has no empty dye sites—since the color goes all the way through—spills are not able to be absorbed by the fibers. The result is a carpet that is as close to stain-proof as is possible. “Solution-dyed PET carpets are durable and still have the inherent stain resistance and fade resistance—and it comes in at a price point that families demand,” said Allison Bromwell, director of marketing, Tarkett Home.
Sun and UV fade resistance
Resistance to sun and UV fading ensures that solution-dyed carpets remain visually appealing over time, making it an ideal choice for spaces with significant natural light.
According to Bailey Walton, marketing director for Anderson Tuftex, solution-dyed’s cleanability and resistance to bleach discoloration make it a practical and durable option for homes. “Whether a homeowner prioritizes aesthetics or functionality, solution-dyed carpet stands out as a versatile and dependable flooring choice,” Walton said.
Increased color separation
Solution-dyed carpets allow for more significant differences between yarn colors and, therefore, bolder and sharper color contrast. This has become increasingly important with the decline in popularity of solid color, cut-pile carpet. “We attribute a lot of that change in trend to the popularity of hard surfaces and how much movement and personality that is innate to those products,” said Dakota Aft, Shaw Floors’ soft surface category director.
From a manufacturing standpoint, solution-dyed products have much less impact on the environment due to the drastic reduction in water consumption vs. piece-dyed products.
“It comes down to value,” said Thomas Kilgore, senior product director for Mohawk. “With solution dyed you can usually hone in on specific looks and colors and do very well from an efficiency standpoint.”
Drew Hash, president of Southwind, summed up the benefits package this way. “The quality, color options, color vibrance, inherent stain resistance and pricing are driving solution-dyed products to their position in the market today.”