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Carpet: Noteworthy trends in pattern, texture, design

March 13/20, 2017: Volume 31, Issue 20

By Ken Ryan

 

Everybody who follows the flooring industry knows the biggest trend impacting carpet is the growth of hard surfaces, which in many instances has forced flooring dealers to revamp their showrooms. However, there are other trends in carpet that are both surprising and noteworthy.

Executives and design experts offered their takes.

Focus on soft
Screen Shot 2017-03-17 at 11.56.40 AMFor a time last year, the term “soft enough” was being bandied about by some carpet companies. But the notion that consumers would be OK with soft-enough carpet was beaten back by mills, chief among them Mohawk, which staked its claim to luxurious soft carpet.

Mohawk went out on the road with five brands of soft carpet in seven styles to 10 markets and spoke to more than 300 consumers. “First we asked them which was the softest? And four out of five selected SmartStrand Reserve over a leading soft nylon,” said Seth Arnold, vice president of residential marketing.

The takeaway from the survey: Astonishing softness immediately captures attention and conveys high quality.

Likewise, Shaw did its own research and concluded consumers are choosing carpet according to softness and luxury, style and design regardless of fiber type. “The consumer understands the benefits of upgrading to a better fiber like nylon, but she also knows the value and array of prices and styles in both PET and nylon fibers,” said Teresa Tran, carpet category manager, Shaw Floors.

Luanne Holloway, head of product development for Southwind Carpet, added, “The popular soft trend continues to grow as consumers want that feeling of luxurious comfort underfoot when it comes to their carpeting. This offers a sharp contrast to the hardness of wood and vinyl flooring.”

Within the soft trend, the Dixie Group is witnessing a trend toward soft pattern designs with less rigid patterns and blurred, brushstroke looks.

Smaller job sizes
There is less carpet being installed in homes today, and in many cases the bedroom is the last bastion for carpet within a home. However, a reduced carpet footprint is having an unintended consequence: It is driving consumers to invest in elevated styling and better goods. That’s according to Doug Jackson, vice president of marketing for Tuftex, who said the industry should expect to see more design oriented, fashion-forward purchases for this smaller footprint.

Carpet tile
Modular carpet has long been the purview of the commercial market. However, carpet tile is starting to make inroads into the residential sector. Mike Screen Shot 2017-03-17 at 11.56.34 AMSanderson, vice president of product marketing for Engineered Floors, cites several factors for this trend. “Ease of installation, preference for a modular look—particularly among younger, urban demographics—compatibility with hard surfaces throughout the home and the popularity of crossover Main Street styles. With the resurgence of small businesses and entrepreneurship, we’re seeing a growing trend in Main Street commercial applications.”

Patterned/textured
Trending strong this year are patterned multi-level cut loop and level cut loop products, according to Rodney Mauter, executive vice president of marketing for Lexmark, who said today’s consumer expects each room of her home to make a fashionable statement. “The depth, color and style of pattern carpet styles allow each consumer to create a remarkable room. The surprise for me this year is the use of multiple patterns in the same home. Lexmark utilizes the same colorways throughout many of our styles, which allows the end user to change patterns by room while using the same colorway. Creating depth and differentiation without having to repaint or change furniture—it’s an easy way to stand out.”

Ayme Sinclair, marketing director for Stanton Carpet, identified hot, new trends. “Patterns that are diffused, distressed, abstract and undefined, with mixtures of shiny yarns and textured effects with varying pile heights combined to create sculptured effects. The addition of bolder colors that create more diversity and colored neutrals combined with neutrals is another new trend.”

Millennials’ influence
Screen Shot 2017-03-17 at 11.56.45 AMWall-to-wall broadloom carpet may be down but that’s not to say consumers don’t want soft flooring solutions, especially in low-profile designs. “While we see these trends are resonating with all consumers, they are especially important to millennials, who are cost conscious but demand the highest quality, style and performance,” said Brian Warren, senior vice president of sales and marketing for Foss Manufacturing. “Low-profile soft flooring is also appealing to millennials with kids and pets, as they are looking to cover and protect a wood floor with a softer surface while maintaining a low-profile look.”

Debbie Houston, creative director, residential soft surface for Shaw Floors, said the increased connectivity of the digital age has given the designer unprecedented access to resources and information, enabling her to envision and customize her space. “Consumers want their homes to make a statement to the world about their unique personalities, and they use the floor as a blank canvas for building upon the desired look of a room.”

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Carpet: Solution-dyed PET offers numerous advantages

April 11/18, 2016; Volume 30, Number 21

By Ken Ryan

Screen Shot 2016-04-22 at 1.56.15 PMThere are many good reasons why carpet mills have focused on the solution-dyed PET segment. It is an easy sell, offering value to the consumer and increased profits for the dealer, especially at the high end.

How is this possible? Start with the fact that almost all PET carpets are made from continuous filament fibers, which lend themselves to high speed and efficient tufting, ultimately a cost savings. Solution dying is also a very efficient way to apply color to fiber, so there is a low production cost.

“Since most carpet styles are value-measured by the amount of face yarn weight constructed in the carpet, the dealer and consumer get more bang for the buck,” said Rodney Mauter, executive vice president, sales and marketing, for Lexmark.

Susan Curtis, vice president of marketing at Phenix Carpet Mills, said solution dying creates increased opportunities to differentiate product through yarn styling and processing to develop unique looks. “This is important because a complex color development creates flexibility for the consumer. It will also match more easily with other materials in the home and will have a longer aesthetic life as the environment evolves over time.”

Screen Shot 2016-04-22 at 1.56.00 PMThe major difference between nylon fiber and PET is the raw material cost. The resin, or chip cost per pound, is roughly 30% to 35% higher for nylon than it is for PET. This has to do with the expense involved in obtaining the raw materials for the resin and producing the chip. As Mauter put it: “The cost does not have anything to do with the perceived better performance because of the ‘it costs more’ mentality. Couple this with the fact that typically the largest cost component of a piece of carpet is the yarn and the balance of the carpet production process is the same, regardless of the yarn type being used.”

Another major advantage of solution-dyed fiber cited by executives is the improved color-fastness and stain-resistant properties. “PET polyester fiber is an affordable alternative to nylon that has really opened the door to providing creatively styled products at price points the consumer is comfortable with,” Curtis said. “As a result, there is more diversity and choice for homeowners in selecting the right product for their homes.”

Some mills have built their business models around the use of solution-dyed fibers to avoid the cost of dyeing equipment and processes. Although the color lies of solution-dyed (SD) carpets are typically shorter than those of piece-dyed carpets, mills are producing SD lines with 30-plus colors in some cases. Some companies have also developed multi-color looks by blending and mixing various solution-dyed fiber colors in a single carpet, with sometimes as many as six different individual colors used in a single carpet SKU.

Engineered Floors is a leader in the solution-dyed PET space. Its PureColor solution-dyed PET fiber is said to have numerous advantages, yet it’s the colorfastness that resonates most with its customers’ everyday needs, according to Mike Sanderson, vice president of product marketing. “That’s because the color will not stain, fade or wear off,” he said. “We have also been recognized for our color clarity and consistency throughout all our PureColor family of brands. This virtually eliminates concerns like side match.”

Still another advantage of PET is the nature of its very smooth mono-filament (like that of a PET water bottle) resulting in a far greater moisture- or spill-resistant attribute than the rough, cratered surface of the nylon fiber, Mauter said. “The rough surface of the nylon fiber allows for far more harboring of the spills than PET.”

 

Countering the doubters

Screen Shot 2016-04-22 at 1.55.54 PMSome carpet executives have said color limitations of 100% solution-dyed products are out of step with consumer demand for color choice. With solution dying, the color the carpet is to eventually become is determined at the extrusion process. As a result, small runs are not efficient or effective. “The results are a limited number of fiber colors to work with to create a carpet,” said John Sheffield, vice president, North America, Godfrey Hirst USA. “However, that does not mean beautiful carpets cannot be created. By plying two colors together or running multiple colors through the tufting process, you are able to achieve a wide range of colors and tonal colorations that are very well suited for the current consumer market.”

Proponents of solution-dyed carpets argue the vast majority of the colors selected by consumers are contained in a small medium of ranges—beige, gray and beige/gray; off-whites, tans and varying brown tones. Few selections made today in broadloom have strong color tints and hues. “Many of the SD PET manufacturers do limit their color offerings per style,” Mauter explained. “We produce a much wider color selection in our SD PET styles than some other PET manufacturers. We now produce over 50 different color combinations in our PET color assortments. To date we have few complaints about color limitations in our line.”

 

Company initiatives

Godfrey Hirst was one of the first mills to offer loops and patterns in solution-dyed PET. It used this yarn system as a styling tool to create attractive patterns and tonal colorations that tied in well with a dealer base that was familiar with the company from its wool offerings. “We offered heavy weight, thick cut pile products and targeted the upper end of the retail business with this yarn system,” Sheffield said. “Our products have been very well received.”

Lexmark also has a story to leverage its success in the hospitality segment to residential. “All of our yarn—and it was entirely nylon SD—for our hospitality carpets has always been SD,” Mauter said. “So when we launched our residential line of products in 2012 our concept of the optimum fiber was solution dyed.”

Several mills market solution-dyed yarns for PET and nylon. Solution-dyed nylon provides the advantages of a pre-colored yarn, which some carpet mills prefer, with the improved wear performance and durability of a nylon fiber vs. a PET fiber.

Marquis Industries’ extrusion plant produces millions of pounds of continuous filament solution-dyed polyester and nylon. Cones of yarn are then processed in the company’s computer-controlled twisting and heat set plant. Every yarn SKU is regulated so products are made to the same high-quality specification every time.

According to T.M. Nuckols, senior director of product strategy at Invista, there are many solution-dyed nylon fibers from which to choose. “However, just because a nylon fiber is solution dyed does not necessarily make it stain resistant.” SuperiaSD is Invista’s special solution-dyed nylon 6, 6 fiber that has been engineered to be inherently stain resistant. It also has exceptional colorfastness, which means it resists fading and discoloration from UV rays and harsh cleaners. SuperiaSD is the only fiber used in Stainmaster’s PetProtect carpet program.

 

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Carpet: Innovation continues to drive evolution of PET

July 6/13; Volume 30/Number 2

By Ken Ryan

Screen Shot 2015-07-10 at 11.19.32 AM For the last 10 years PET has been gaining market share over nylon on the strengths of PET’s value proposition: Retailers were able to sell consumers on lower-priced carpet that still offered quality.

Today, PET has become the largest fiber in the industry, commanding 45% of the residential market. Overall, including commercial and residential, polyester has 35.5% of the market compared with 22% in 2010.

“PET is a lower-cost polymer compared to nylon 6 or nylon 6,6,” said T.M. Nuckols, senior director of product strategy, Invista. “However, 10 to 15 years ago most PET in the carpet industry was staple fiber and used in basic cut pile constructions, and nylon was the preferred fiber based on durability and versatility. The improvement in extrusion technology over the past five to 10 years allowed BCF PET to become a more versatile option across many construction categories. This, along with the increase in nylon raw materials in the late 2000s, has allowed the fiber to gain a significant share of the market.”

Seth Arnold, director of brand marketing for Mohawk, said a combination of price and value with color and style have been instrumental in polyesScreen Shot 2015-07-10 at 11.19.10 AMter’s rise. “The obvious trend influencing the market has been price. Price-conscious consumers are looking for a value, and polyester provides that, so price has been the factor driving polyester. Color and style are No. 2.”

Brad Christensen, director of product management for Shaw Floors, noted that the availability of a wide variety of styles and price points in PET “have allowed consumers to find a style to meet their design needs within their budgets, and that is driving the increased demand.”

Solution dye enhances category

One of the biggest developments in PET’s growth is the movement toward solution-dyed product. Solution dye is not a new innovation but companies—mainly smaller mills—are investing in it today and adopting their own solution-dye models. By doing so, these entities avoid the large investment in dyeing capacity and reduce water consumption. In some cases, commercial mills that are familiar with managing a solution-dyed nylon product offering have entered the residential segment with solution-dyed PET.

“PET, specifically solution-dyed PET, continues to make inroads into mainstream retail show floors as the variety in styles and colors continues to grow, [with more] offerings available,” said John Sheffield, vice president, North America, Godfrey Hirst USA. “With very little product problems, retailers are becoming more comfortable showing the products that still provide an excellent value for consumers.”

Sheffield added that solution-dyed carpets offer a host of performance attributes not found in piece-dyed carpets such as color fastness, cleanability and manufacturing efficiencies, which essentially mean lower cost.

“Solution-dyed fibers and yarns have also leveled the playing field for manufacturers,” he said. “PET chip pricing seems to remain close regardless of the volume purchased. This allows smaller manufacturers to remain relatively competitive.”

Mike Sanderson, vice president of product market at Engineered Floors, said solution dye is continually enhanced and perfected with many styling options available.

Manufacturer innovations

The most dramatic manufacturing innovations in PET are in styling, executives said. The visuals that are being developed today are coming about thanks to more sophisticated tufting machines creating unique patterns and styling. The mixing of colors to create subtle patterns and a more extensive breadth of offerings have also brought PET on par with nylon.

“We continue to innovate within our manufacturing practices: manipulating fiber cross sections, researching optimal twist levels and denier count, and employing new heat set technology to lock in twist,” Christensen explained.

Engineered Floors has enhanced its PureColor fiber system for polyester so it can capture a wider variety of colorations and combinations within tweeds, accents and tonals that was once reserved for nylon products.

Stainmaster Essentials, Invista’s PET offering, was developed based on performance criteria and product specifications. “We are continuing to look at opportunities to improve this offering and provide meaningful differentiation to the retailers who embrace this program,” Nuckols said.Screen Shot 2015-07-10 at 11.19.20 AM

In early 2015, Phenix Flooring launched new carpet styles using its proprietary ColorSense technology, an inventive process that delivers carefully blended distinctive color and an overall balance of tone. The company employs this technology with its SureSoftSD PET solution-dyed polyester carpets.

“This supports our belief that quality goes beyond a well-made product and addresses the aesthetic sensibilities of our consumers,” said Susan Curtis, vice president of marketing and product development. “We leverage these technical advances of BCF PET into well-styled, affordable residential carpet products. We are working on new constructions that highlight the natural clarity of color, stain resistance and comfort underfoot that polyester delivers across all styling categories.”

Curtis said that consumers today, especially younger generations, are generally more fiber agnostic and look for products that deliver desired styling and value. “PET polyester products have performed well for some time now and satisfy those needs.”

Marquis Industries’ (formerly known as Best Buy) extrusion plant produces millions of pounds of continuous filament solution-dyed polyester and nylon. Cones of yarn are then processed in the company’s computer-controlled twisting and heat set plant. Every yarn SKU is regulated so that products are made to the same high quality specification every time.

Tailored by Lexmark—one of the hottest products of 2015—is created with tufting equipment that develops patterns with higher levels of definition than a standard cut loop machine; it also varies the density in a single piece of carpet. These two characteristics deliver more sophisticated looks with a level of depth and dimension not previously possible.

Mohawk has differentiated its PET lineup by providing what Arnold called “the most comprehensive assortment” of patterned carpet within polyester. “We have done some exciting things with color blending using our SmartStrand fiber together with our EverStrand fiber to provide interesting tonal colorations that have been some of the best selling colors in our line.”

EverStrand, Mohawk’s premium PET fiber, is made with Continuum, a process that takes premium PET from the highest-grade polymer, strengthens the fiber and removes dirt-attracting residue with a multi-step purification system.

Many executives note the core strength of PET is its resistance to staining. The purification process of Continuum helps Mohawk produce polyester carpet that is easier to maintain while increasing impact resistance from wear and tear.

Shaw’s Clearly Chic Collection plays to the soft trend that continues to be popular among consumers. “This represents a significant advancement in technology over the years, allowing us to use a proven high twist yarn that creates incredible softness while maintaining high performance standards,” Christensen said.

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PET developments address color, performance

July 7/14, 2014; Volume 28/Number 2

By Louis Iannaco

Screen Shot 2014-07-14 at 11.27.38 AMWith the development of soft carpet fibers in recent years, there’s no doubt the proliferation of these super soft yet durable yarns into the marketplace has been the major trend in the soft broadloom category. Mills continue to perfect and fine-tune their soft products while at the same time working on the next big thing.

So in addition to soft, or as a subsequent result, what else do the mills have going on when it comes to polyester? The emphasis is on making more colors available, increasing performance and developing proprietary initiatives such as odor-resistant technology and stain resistance. Executives from several of the industry’s major polyester producers recently gave FCNews details on the latest from their respective companies and the segment overall.

According to James Lesslie, assistant to the chairman, Engineered Floors, while soft continues to be the fastest growing category within polyester, combining beiges and grays—as the company does with Dream Weaver’s natural Tonal Solids collection—remains the fastest growing trend. “The unique ability to blend colors with solution-dyed fibers allows us to create new looks with an endless array of color combinations.”

Polyester continues to be a favorite with many of Beaulieu America’s dealers. In order to respond to demand, two of the mill’s most popular polyester collections, Bliss Healthy Touch and Bliss EverClean, received updates this year. “We added 84 SKUs to Healthy Touch and 54 to EverClean,” noted Matt Johnson, senior director, product management, residential division.

Both collections bring the softness and inherent stain resistance of the company’s polyester together with proprietary features such as Magic Fresh odor reduction, 3M Scotchgard and, in the case of Healthy Touch, Beaulieu America’s antimicrobial Silver Release treatment. “We plan to continue improving and expanding our polyester line in 2015,” Johnson said.

As noted, the trend toward softer fibers in polyester carpet continues and Shaw is innovating to meet that demand, said Trey Thames, vice president, residential marketing/product development. “A good example of Shaw’s latest PET evolution is the Clearly Chic Collection, introduced earlier this year. Not only a ‘super soft’ carpet, the collection is available in bold colors and features ClearTouch Platinum PET construction with a high twist yarn that also offers great performance.”

As Shaw focuses on innovative processes and sustainability, another initiative for the mill is its recently announced $17 million investment in the new Evergreen recycling facility in Ringgold, Ga., which will process both nylon and polyester carpet (see story on page 3). Complementing Shaw’s carpet recycling portfolio, “Evergreen Ringgold will create a high purity post-consumer recycled material that can be used in a broad range of applications,” Thames noted.

Extruding excellence

Investing in fiber technologies continues to be key for the industry’s major polyester producers. Mohawk is continuing what it started two to three years ago in reinvesting for the future by making considerableScreen Shot 2014-07-14 at 11.28.04 AMcapital investments with heavy emphasis on extrusion and product innovation.

According to David Duncan, senior vice president, marketing and sales operations, the mill is currently well positioned with a full assortment of next generation fiber technologies in SmartStrand as well as polyester BCF and nylon platforms. “As we continue into 2014, we believe we now have the capacity and capabilities with our patented Continuum PET BCF technology to lead the industry in the next round of polyester innovations.”

Susan Curtis, vice president, marketing and product development, Phenix Flooring, believes polyester’s continued growth in residential is due in part to advances in extrusion equipment that help create a uniform, highly bulked yarn. “Polyester has a naturally soft hand and feel,” she said, “and improved yarn bulk adds tactile value. Continued advances in polyester resin chemistry intended for bottles and packaging have improved the performance of BCF PET, making it a more flexible fiber.

“Additionally, a stable polyester supply chain with huge scale creates favorable economics for PET as carpet yarn consumes only .5% of the supply—even at half the North American residential carpet market.”

As previously noted, creating new looks through the blending of colors is paramount among polyester’s latest innovations. At Lexmark, Ed Williams, president, residential, believes the development of new patterns through the use of colors is critical when it comes to polyester and the different looks it can offer.

“We’re working mostly on pattern designs in different color combinations to give a sophisticated, toned look,” he said. “We’re also focusing on broad-based looks that will have widespread appeal. We’ve just shipped two post-Surfaces introductions—Chesterfield and Chandler Heights—that have new and fresh color the market seems to embrace.”

Larry Heckman, president, Best Buy, noted the prevalence of polyester styles continues in the marketplace because they can be produced at very competitive price points. This has helped polyester become the mainstream residential carpet choice in many markets across the U.S.

Styling has come a long way in space dying and yarn blending, Heckman said, while polyester’s natural characteristics play a significant part in providing value by being virtually stain proof with very low static build up. “Today, polyester can be extruded in ultra-soft deniers for exceptional underfoot comfort, which is in high demand.”

Best Buy’s polyester improvements have come from advances in extrusion techniques that include fiber design, enhanced yarn drawing and crimping. “This improves features such as tensile strength of the yarn and bulking characteristics for a bigger value and hand,” Heckman explained. “It also improves brightness and luster levels of the yarn which are important characteristics for better performing and better selling styles.”

The next major advancement is space-dyed solution-dyed polyester, he noted. “This is one of the biggest technological breakthroughs in polyester styling—creating crisp and bold color clarity in both jewel tone colors and cut pile berber space dye styles. Best Buy has been one of the pioneers to perfect this new process. It’s done on our new computer controlled space dye line.”

According to Heckman, the technology is a combination of applied space dyes and heat levels. The new line heats the yarn to a maximum level just below the melt point to allow dye to penetrate the fiber core, which is then quick cooled through a cooling chamber. The process is completed with saturation steam heat by a heat set unit. “The result is a rich space dye with great color clarity and crisp color bursts.”

Performance counts

Screen Shot 2014-07-14 at 11.27.59 AMWhen you have a major shift like soft in the industry, it can take retailers two years to absorb the impact, executives noted. “We are really just completing the cycle of converting their floors,” Lesslie said. “All our PET PureColor and PureColor Cashmere fibers are solution-dyed. We get excellent quality/field performance with our products, and our customer claims ratio continues to be very low. From our viewpoint, polyesters offer the consumer excellent value and performance.”

The economy also continues to play a role in the value attributes end users shop for when they make their purchases. Recent economic conditions created a shift in consumer buying trends towards value-oriented products, which has driven the increase in polyester’s market share, Duncan noted.

He specifically cited that the trend toward soft continues to maintain its relevance. Over the past year, Mohawk expanded soft into polyester with its newest collections: EverStrand Soft Appeal and Wear Dated Allure. “We took our proprietary knowledge we acquired through the development of our SmartStrand Silk and Wear Dated Embrace soft collections and used it in PET to make EverStrand Soft Appeal and Wear Dated Allure.”

Mohawk’s Continuum technology, a proprietary, intensive purification process designed to remove industrial lubricants and oily residue, “ensures Mohawk’s soft polyester carpets—including EverStrand Soft Appeal and Wear Dated Allure—resist dirt, grime and contaminants that cause other PET carpets to become dingy over time,” Duncan explained.

“Mohawk is dedicated to consumers’ needs and we’ve made significant investments in manufacturing to improve our polyester product offerings,” he continued. “Mohawk knows that consumers do not want to forego style for value and this improved technology has significantly expanded our line of PET products. Now, we offer a variety of fashionable PET styles and textures.”

Polyester has seen tremendous growth over the past five years, Thames noted, “evolving from a ‘nice value alternative to nylon’ to a strategic component of every carpet manufacturer’s overall product offering.”

Improvements in heatset and twisting technology have helped improve PET’s overall performance and the economic downturn made the value proposition that polyester has always provided even more attractive, he explained. “Our strategy is based on providing the best polyester product lineup for value, performance and color/style versatility. This is no different than what we do in nylon. As the world’s largest producer in both fiber types, Shaw responds to changing trends by providing our customers with products that meet their needs.”

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Carpet America Recovery Effort: Upbeat mood despite PET challenge

May 12/19, 2014; Volume 27/Number 27

By Ken Ryan

Screen Shot 2014-06-17 at 9.44.26 AMEven as the carpet recycling industry grapples with the rise in polyesters (PET) in face fibers, the good news is the rate of recycling has reached unprecedented numbers in the history of the Carpet America Recovery Effort (CARE).

Bob Peoples, executive director of CARE, said he was “delightfully surprised” by the mood at the 12th annual conference, especially given the ongoing PET challenge facing the industry. “It was really upbeat.”

Other attendees talked about the “good energy” in Seattle at the gathering of carpet mills, processors, collectors, and government and non-government officials. Continue reading Carpet America Recovery Effort: Upbeat mood despite PET challenge

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Godfrey Hirst: Success with PET but committed to wool

by Jenna Lippin

With a 150-year history beginning in Australia and a reputation as one of the Top 10 wool carpet companies in the world, Godfrey Hirst took a significant leap in 2012 when it entered the world of polyester (PET) and introduced easyliving@home.

The new product line consists of spectral solution dyed fiber, which is manufactured from continuous filament PET. Continue reading Godfrey Hirst: Success with PET but committed to wool

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CARE annual conference: Poly want a solution

Diversion, recycling rates up, but PET problem looms

By Matthew Spieler

Volume 26/Number 26; May 13/20, 2013

Maya Sethuraman, left, of DuPont Sorona, explains why its polymer is green to Maya Henderson of Bentley Prince Street.

Tampa, Fla.—Depending on how one views things, the glass is either half full or empty when it comes to carpet recycling. Those with a pessimistic view feel there is a leak at the bottom of the cup and if it doesn’t get fixed soon, there may not be an industry as presently constituted.

These were the general feelings as representatives of the recycling world—from carpet mills to processors, collectors to government and non-government officials, along with other interested parties—gathered here last month for the 11th annual Carpet American Recovery Effort (CARE) conference. Continue reading CARE annual conference: Poly want a solution

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Invista expands Stainmaster into polyester market

Entry-level Essentials line includes PET, nylon styles

by Matthew Spieler

Kennesaw, Ga.—The times they are a changing. As the Bob Dylan song denotes, there is no stopping time and the changes it brings. And so it goes with 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 both nylon 6,6—the traditional fiber used by Invista to make Stainmaster-branded yarns—and polyester. Continue reading Invista expands Stainmaster into polyester market

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What happens in Vegas shouldn’t stay in Vegas

by Celia Payne

Las Vegas—Surfaces 2012 presented the opportunity to shine—even brighter than the Vegas strip. The successful protagonists at the show know you must set yourself apart among a sea of introductions. Continue reading What happens in Vegas shouldn’t stay in Vegas

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Specialty vendor, Stainmaster roll buy in spotlight

Las Vegas—When the National Floorcovering Alliance (NFA) meets here each year on the morning prior to Surfaces, one of the primary goals is to expose its members to vendors not present at the group’s two major gatherings in the spring and fall. Referred to as tier 2 suppliers, members have the opportunity to spend three hours with “specialty vendors” in a table-top trade show format, allowing them to fill in gaps and/or further differentiate their product lineup from their competition. Continue reading Specialty vendor, Stainmaster roll buy in spotlight