Date of this Version



© 1994, The Board of Regents of the University of Nebraska on behalf of the University of Nebraska–Lincoln Extension. All rights reserved.


This publication discusses structural characteristics to consider when selecting carpet, including fiber and yarn construction.

The Fibers

Both natural and manufactured fibers are used in carpeting. Naturals include wool and silk. Cotton tends to crush and soil easily so it is not used for carpeting. Manufactured fibers used in carpeting include nylon, polypropylene/olefin, and polyester.

As with all commodities, carpet fiber use changes. Times, availability and cost have an impact on the market. Ninety-nine percent of today's carpet fibers are manufactured. About 68 percent of the carpet market is nylon, 22 percent polypropylene/olefin, over 9 percent polyester, and one percent wool.

Fiber performance in a carpet depends on the construction of both yarn and carpet.