Imagine, taking a piece of wire and after 2” bend it up, go another 2” bend it down, then in 2” bend it up, again. After you’ve bent the entire piece of wire “up and down”, it has “crimp”.

Wool has this, naturally. Sheep are considerate, that way. :) The crimping makes spaces between the fibers, giving it bulk and also, makes it springy or resilient.


Synthetic fibers are made from a by product of oil, called a polymer. After the semi liquid polymer is forced through a spinneret, (just like a shower head) to make the thread, this thread is absolutely straight.  If made into a carpet while straight, with no fiber crimp, the fiber would lay on the floor like lifeless pieces of string. Manufacturers and customers; want resilience and springiness.


Man made carpet fiber is given artificial fiber CRIMP to give it the bounce that it needs.


There are two types of fibers that have a problem with fiber crimp.

Newer olefin seems to be getting better but it is often a, relatively, hard, non resilient fiber that doesn’t accept it very well. When crushed, it usually does not pop back up. Furniture crushing in an olefin berber (loop) carpet, is, usually, permanent. In fact, part of the reason olefin is, often, a loop is the inability of the fiber to resist crushing. It does better as a loop.


Older polyester (PET) also has a problem, not exactly the way olefin does. It will hold crimp, for awhile, but after being walked on, the crushing and twisting of walking can, eventually, make it lose it. The ends of groups of 2 or 3 fibers will, sometimes stick together in a matted affect. This matting, can make the fibers look like they have gotten larger, when, in fact it is 2 or 3 stuck together that look like one fat fiber, giving the “enlarged” look. Since the fiber has lost its crimp it no longer springs back to its original height. It’s crushed. The walkway can be as much as 1/16 th of an inch lower than the “non walked on” areas. You will see a definite dark and light look. The dark walkway is usually the crushed and matted walkway.


There is new polyester, made by Dupont, that is partially made from ethanol, called Sorona. It seems to have all the qualities of nylon and the natural stain resist of the old polyester. It doesn’t seem to have the crushing problem of the old polyester.  Mohawk uses Dupont Sorona to make their polyester, type, product, they call SmartStrand. Seems to be good stuff! It’s been around long enough to have proven itself. 


So, when you see this crushed walkway, that's dark compared to the rest and has enlarged looking fiber, it may be the old PET polyester.......QUALIFY the outcome. You will not fix it


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           Dennis Klager                                                                                                                                                                  IICRC Instructor


Copyright 2012 by Dennis Klager