Nylon Carpet History 


1st  It was manufactured as plain round fiber that, actually, acted like a magnifying glass, making soil particles look larger.

2nd The cross section of the fiber was changed so it was no longer round, having various shapes. It reflected light in many different directions, reducing the magnifying glass affect.

3rd People were getting shocked from static electric buildup in the fiber. Touching another person or a metal doorknob, after walking across the carpet, could give an electrical tingle. I remember, as a young boy, annoying people by dragging my feet and touching them…….zzzzap! This was corrected by putting carbon cores or wedges in some of the fibers, to dissipate the static charge. A small percentage is treated with a liquid ant-static chemical that may need re application.

4th To help carpeting stay cleaner longer, Flourochemical coatings were invented (Scotchgard from 3M and Teflon from Dupont) that kept dry soil from sticking to the fiber, as well as repelling grease and “some” liquids.

5th This is where we are now, a soil repellent and stain resistant product.

Each of these levels, in the history of nylon, was called a “generation”. Fifth Generation Stain Resist was invented when colored fruit drinks became popular. These drinks were dyed with an “acid” dye; the same type of dye used at the mill.

Since nylon and wool likes acid dye and is manufactured, using these dyes, acid fruit juice dye, spilled on the nylon  fiber, also “dyes” it, but……we don’t want this!

Dupont invented a clear, colorless, dye blocking chemical that was applied to the fiber, after the original dye was applied, to prevent additional dye, from food and fruit juices penetrating the fiber. You now had nylon that was “Stain Resistant”.  


Now, we have two things going on. Scotchgard and Teflon that repel good old fashioned dirt (also grease and some juice stains) and the “Stain Resist” chemical that keeps acid dye type liquid from getting into the dye sites, of the fiber. People food, dog and cat food, drinks and some other items contain the “acid dyes” that  “Fifth Generation” can repel.

The Stain Guarantee for 5th generation, nylon, is mainly for food and drink dyes. Scotchgard and Teflon, mainly repel dry soil. These fluorochemicals make vacuuming much more effective. Dry soil releases from the fiber better. This helps prevent scratching and cutting of the sides of the fibers (abrasion). Carpet can last years longer, with proper application of Scotchard and Teflon to prevent “abrasion”. 


Scotchgard and Teflon (soil repellent) can be removed by foot traffic and, often needs to be re applied. This is best done after carpets are cleaned. History has shown the dye resistor to be pretty tough and holds up well. There is a product called Maxim, manufactured by Bridgepoint Products, that has the stain resist chemical in it, to help replenish.



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                     Dennis Klager                

                IICRC Instructor








Copyright 2012 by Dennis Klager