Carpet: A guide to stain resistance, Technology sets tone for increased performance
Article Number: 2712
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By Louis Iannaco
What’s new in the world of carpet stain resistance? What makes today’s protective products so much better than in the past? It all goes to technology. Below are some state-of-the-art protectants used for broadloom stain resistance and the companies that brought them to you.
Stainguard is offered mostly on the mill’s entry-level products. The majority of Mohawk’s polyesters and nylons, including Wear-Dated carpet fiber, have Scotchgard Protector Advanced Repel Technology from 3M. Introduced in late 2005, the protectant is exclusive to Mohawk, said Jenny Cross, brand manager, Mohawk residential. “This new, enhanced Scotchgard system offers protection from the tip of the carpet tuft all the way to the backing, enhanced liquid repellency and excellent durability after traffic or steam cleanings,” she explained. “The other brand we carry from a stain protection standpoint—DuPont Teflon—is only associated with Stainmaster.”
Stepping away from protectors, Cross noted, the company’s SmartStrand fibers require no stain protection because it is inherent to the polymer itself. An advantage of SmartStrand is no chemicals are removed through the cleaning process. “No treatments are ever needed,” she added. “Carpet can be cleaned, in most cases, with just water.”
New developments: Smart-Strand carpet with DuPont Sorona renewably sourced polymer. In a partnership with DuPont, this carpet exclusively offers fiber made with Bio-PDO (the key Sorona ingredient), which is produced from corn sugar. By utilizing this new ingredient, 37% of Sorona is being made from renewable resources.
All Shaw’s Anso nylon products feature the patented R2X stain resist chemistry and carry a stain and soil resistance warranty, said LaShon McGinnis, Anso nylon marketing manager. “Anso nylon products have seven-year limited stain and soil warranties. Anso Caress and Anso CrushResister nylon warranties are 10-year. All are non-prorated and transferable and cover all food and beverages.”
Shaw’s patented R2X Stain and Soil Resistance System is a one-step application that produces a superior soil resistant and stain repellent system by protecting the entire tuft of the yarn to prohibit nearly all-liquid stain penetration into carpet fibers and backing. R2X, which denotes “twice the resistance,” is a unique application of both stain resistance chemistry and soil repellent, McGinnis said. Originally used exclusively with nylon carpets, R2X is now used with both polypropylene and polyester products.
Anso’s Smart Lines is also still going strong today in its 24th year. Maintained in North America by carpet care professionals, 97% of problems are resolved on the first call. LiveChat is also available at www.ansonylon.com.
PermaShield advanced stain protection was developed by Beaulieu of America for use on their products exclusively, noted Jeff Meadows, executive vice president, residential division. “This new and improved stain protection is the end user’s assurance that her floor covering has been protected with the newest, most advanced stain protection available today. PermaShield-treated fabrics carry five-, seven-, 10- and 15-year stain removal warranties.”
Beaulieu’s Styled for Living carpets are inherently resistant to the abrasion that comes from accumulated soils, he noted. Styled for Living carpets have an added resistance to fading and feature an advanced built-in static control for increased comfort.
Solutia makes nylon 6,6 carpet fiber, which is sold to the mills, noted Christine Whittemore, director of In-Store Innovation, Wear-Dated carpet fiber. “After the manufacturers turn our fiber into carpet, they apply stain resistance products during the carpet creation process.”
Solutia re-enters the loop to label and warranty a Wear-Dated carpet. “That’s when we test the finished carpet to ensure it has resistance to stains caused by foods and beverages with artificial dyes,” she said. “If it fails, it’s not labeled Wear-Dated.”
She went on to note carpet starts with fiber. “We are constantly looking at ways to improve our fiber performance. Look at our Wear-Dated Natural Nylon carpet fiber: It offers better resistance to matting and widely expands the range of styling options possible for carpet.”
Jim Stevens, marketing and sales manager, 3M Protective Materials and Consumer Health Care Division, said, “Our brand Scotchgard Protector is the name consumers associate with stain protection, as proven by our 94% consumer awareness. Though we supply various protective materials to various carpet manufacturers, only when the correct products are applied at the correct levels and tested to 3M specifications is the Scotchgard Protector brand able to be used. We offer stain and soil protection to carpet made from nylon 6,6, nylon 6, solution dyed nylon, polypropylene and polyester, as well as blends of these fibers.
“In 2005, we developed Scotchgard Protector Advance Repel Technology,” he concluded. “Our efforts to enhance our protective materials is ongoing.”
Invista’s brands include Stainmaster, Lycra, Cordura, Tactel and Antron. Stainmaster is the registered trademark for the Invista brand carpet and area rugs that are manufactured using a proprietary system of ingredients and specifications. Stainmaster carpet and rugs are manufactured using premium type 6,6 nylon, which has a unique structure that differs from ordinary nylon. It resists the penetration of stains and soil while also resisting matting and crushing.
Gary Johnston, global brand manager for Stainmaster carpet, said, “We’re expanding much of the technology in our offerings. Stainmaster is primarily recognized as being a carpet, but this year you can also look for the brand to be found in many other hard surface products, such as LVT, hardwood and stone. With the new technology that has been developed, it lends itself to protecting these other surfaces.”