Rotovac Corporation cleaning carpet

Carpet Fiber Identification

The only proper method of carpet fiber identification is the tried and true approach, often overlooked, but never forgotten. The following chart will guide you through and help you sort out a few areas of confusion.

The Burn Chart
FiberActionColorSpecial NoteOdor
Wool Burns Orange Self extinguishes Hair
Silk Burns Orange Self extinguishes Feathers
Nylon Melts Blue/Orange   Celery
Olefin Melts Blue/Orange   Asphalt/Tar
Polyester Melts Orange Dense Black Smoke Sweet/Fruity
Acrylic Melts Orange   Harsh/Acrid

Fiber Characteristics Chart
FiberTypeAd/AbpH **Dissolves in
Wool Natural Absorbent 5.0 - 5.8 Chlorine Bleach
Silk Natural Absorbent 5.0 - 5.8 Chlorine Bleach
Nylon Synthetic Absorbent 1.5 - 13 Hydrochloric Acid
Stain Resistant Nylon Synthetic Absorbent* Under 10 Hydrochloric Acid
Olefin Synthetic Absorbent 1.5 - 13  
Polyester Synthetic Absorbent Under 10  
Acrylic Synthetic Absorbent Under 10  
* May act like an adsorbent fiber    ** Always pre-test all products prior to using

Carpet Fiber Statistics
FiberEase Of Removal% Of Today's Manufactured
Wool Good 1%
Nylon (Regular) Fair 73%
Nylon (Stain Resistant) Very Good 73%
Polypropylene Excellent 17%
Polyester Very Good 9%