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FIXTURES & FINISHES


Finding the fibre for you


Carpet manufacturer Lano’s Gary Alp talks through the different carpet fibres available today, from old favourites to the latest innovations, to help you make the perfect selection for your build


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here’s more to think about when choosing a carpet than colour or texture: today’s carpets come in a bewildering wide range of fibres that offer myriad benefits, from stain- resistant man-made yarns that can be bleach cleaned, to plant-based choices with great ‘green’ or even antibacterial credentials. Is bamboo right for you? Would traditional wool be best? Or are you better off with SmartStrand? The choice can seem overwhelming, but the carpet that’s ultimately right for your build will depend on your priorities, and whether you consider colour fastness, comfort or durability – or another factor altogether – to be key. Here we take a closer look at five of the most popular carpet fibres and their main advantages.


SMARTSTRAND


An established favourite in the US, SmartStrand is now making its mark in the UK, bringing a unique blend of resilience, eco credentials (it’s partly made from corn!) and lifetime stain protection that no other fibre can match. Its top performance in stain tests is down to the fact that, unlike other materials, SmartStrand yarns present a closed cellular structure, making it impossible for any kind of fluid or liquid to get absorbed by the fibres. Unsurprisingly it’s increasingly being seen as a rival to nylon and is becoming a more popular choice for households with small children and pets, and for those looking for a ‘greener’ flooring choice. However its advantages don’t stop there; SmartStrand fibres are soft to the touch and feel silky underfoot, and offer a high level of UV resistance. So even if you choose a bold colour, it shouldn’t become washed-out over time.


november/december 2017


WOOL


Few fibres can compete with the unique look and feel of wool, and there’s good reason why this material has been championed in the craft of carpet making for centuries on end. Wool carpets are 100 per cent natural, dependable and excellent for thermal and acoustic insulation. They are also mothproof, fire-retardant and biodegradable, achieving all of this without sacrificing on style. A major advantage of wool is its natural ‘springiness’, which makes it incredibly resilient, while the fact that it takes dye well means wool carpets are


available in an incredible array of colours.


On the flipside, pure wool carpets tend to be more expensive than their man-made counterparts, and can need regular maintenance to look their best – hence they’re probably not the first choice for households with small children or pets prone to accidents. However, properly looked after, a wool carpet should look fabulous for years to come.


NYLON


Nylon has a reputation as the most durable and resilient of all carpet fibres


www.sbhonline.co.uk 49


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