What is Man-Made Carpet?
Man-made carpets pretty much as the name suggests - they are carpets that have been made using synthetic, man-made fibres. While not necessarily traditional, synthetic carpeting has gained a lot of popularity over the years as the quality of fibres has improved. There are generally three varieties of synthetic fibre used;
- Polyamide (Nylon).
Each have slightly different properties – for example, nylon is the most popular option, while polypropylene is more stain resistant.
Why Choose Man-Made Carpet?
Stain-resistance: Synthetic fibres are perhaps best known for their stain resistance, which makes them the best choice for busy households with kids, pets and husbands who don’t take off their shoes when they come in the door! In fact, polypropylene is almost impossible to stain with water-based materials.
No fading: If you have to clean your carpet, a man-made carpet can be cleaned with a mix of warm water and bleach without any risk of fading or damaging the colour at all. This is because the fibres have been heat set during production, and so won’t be damaged by the bleach.
Comfort: You might think that wool carpets would be softer – but you would be wrong. If you’ve ever stroked a sheep, goat or alpaca, then you know just how soft man-made carpeting can be. It feels very comfortable underfoot, even with no shoes or socks. They also look as comfy as they feel!
Cheaper: Man-made carpeting is cheaper to produce, and so it’s much cheaper to buy as well. Man-made carpets can start from as little as £7.99 per square metre – though these tend to be cheaper options, with high-quality carpets coming in around £15-£25 per square metre.
Just like with woollen carpets, there are some downsides to choosing a man-made carpet as well, including:
Oil sensitivity: We mentioned earlier that synthetic fibres are almost impossible to stain with water-based substances. But they are a bit weaker when it comes to oils, Oily and greasy stains can pose a problem, and often need thorough cleaning to remove.
Flatten easier: As a general rule, man-made carpets will flatten much faster than those made from natural fibres. While this has been improved by modern heat setting techniques, you will still see them wear and flatten much faster.
And if you can’t choose between the two? You could always opt for a blended carpet instead. These are a mix of wool and synthetic fibres, and usually come in an 80%-20% mix. This gives you all the luxurious feel of wool underfoot (and that insulation), but with the stain-resistant properties of man-made fibres.
Why Choose Wool Carpet?
There are lots of reasons people prefer wool carpets over synthetics, including:
Insulation: Since wool is designed to keep animals warm, it’s no surprise that wool is a great insulator. Wool carpets keep your home warmer, and could actually reduce your heating bill in the winter (as well as stopping you from getting cold toes first thing in the morning). It’s also fire-resistant. Which means sparks from an open fire won’t post much of a rise.
Easy to clean: Wool has a great response to cleaning. They have an inbuilt resistance to soiling and dirt thanks to their natural oils. They can also be stain guarded, which means they can be resistant to more stubborn stains as well.
Resilient: Wool carpets are very resilient to a high volume footprint, and will take a lot longer to sink, flatten and wear down, making them perfect for high traffic areas of the home. They are the hardest-wearing type of carpet you can find.
There are some negatives to wool carpets as well, like:
- More expensive: Wool carpeting is a more expensive option than man-made ones, so covering multiple rooms could rack up a slightly larger bill. For a good wool carpet you can generally expect to pay anywhere between £15 and £50 per square metre – though check with your retailer for exact prices.
- Prone to stains: While normal, everyday dirt and debris isn’t an issue for wool, they can be prone to staining if things are left to soak in. So if you don’t get the carpet stain guarded, you could end up with some stubborn stains to work out.