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Why Do Some Carpets Shed and Fuzz?

By Alan Fletcher - Carpet Expert & Consumer Advocate



Got Loose Carpet Fibers? Is your new Carpet Shedding?


Some carpets shed and fuzz like crazy and unless you like vacuuming carpet fuzz, you need to know exactly why this happens and how to avoid the Carpet Shedding Nightmare! If you recently bought new carpet and are experiencing a ton of carpet fuzz and shedding, then for you it is already too late. The shedding will eventually stop, but it could take weeks or even months before it does. 



Help! My New Carpet is Going Bald!


I get lots of emails from unhappy carpet buyers. If you have already bought new carpet and your carpet is now shedding and fuzzing like mad, then you probably have no recourse with the carpet dealers or manufacturer. Your salesperson probably didn't mention that your new carpet would shed like crazy after it was installed so I understand why you are not a happy camper at this point.


Lots of Full Vacuum Bags!


While you will not enjoy vacuuming up all the loose carpet fibers, it will eventually come to an end. It could take a few weeks or a few months depending on the carpet you purchased and how often you vacuum. The good news is, a little shedding will not hurt your carpet and it won't go completely bald. Your carpet was designed to shed, or should I say, the manufacturer knows this will happen and figure it into their design. You, on the other hand, had no idea this would happen and now you are in a panic to find out why it is happening, what you should do next and who's to blame!



Carpet Shedding Explained - Continuous Filament Fiber vs. Staple Fiber Construction


What is a Continuous Filament Fiber? (This is what you want to buy!)


Some Carpets are made with a Continuous Filament Fiber which is basically one long, never-ending strand. 

Some Carpets are made from a Staple Fiber.


Carpets made from a Continuous Filament will have either "CF", "BCF", (Bulked Continuous Filament) or "CFN" (Continuous Filament Nylon) shown on the manufacturers label pasted to the back of the carpet sample. 


Having a Carpet made from a Continuous Filament fiber is very desirable mainly because it virtually eliminates the shedding and fuzzing you typically get with carpets made from a Staple Fiber. 



The Dreaded "Staple Fiber"


Carpets made with Staple Fibers use short strands of fiber from 3-10 inches long. These short strands of fiber are twisted together and then spun into longer threads of yarn. Consumers who buy a carpet made from Staple Fibers are often plagued with a continual need for vacuuming to try to keep up with the seemingly unending amount of shedding and fuzzing that can last up to a year after installation. This is a nightmare for many homeowners!


Homeowners often report filling up a vacuum bag or canister almost every time they vacuum. This can be very frustrating, not to mention time consuming. Who wants to vacuum twice a day? Some folks fear their new carpet will end up going completely bald after a few months because of the huge amount of loose fibers they experience! 


Pets and small children who are near the carpet surface can inhale or consume loose carpet fuzz and fibers which surely cannot be a healthy thing to do. All this loose fuzz and can also damage your vacuum and clog the wheels, beater bar, motor and belt. 



Any Remedies? It's the nature of the fiber....


Carpet retailers and carpet salespeople seldom take the time to educate consumers about the differences between a Continuous Filament carpet and a carpet made from Staple Fibers. They rarely mention the possibility that Staple Fiber carpets will shed and fuzz for months on end, up to a year after installation. 


It's only after the carpet is installed that homeowners discover the shedding and fuzzing nightmare and by then there is no remedy offered by the retailer or the manufacturer. They will just say that it is the nature of the product and the shedding will eventually come to an end. When the customer complains again after several months, the retailer typically tells the consumer that the shedding / fuzzing will eventually stop and to just be patient. There is rarely any remedy. Sadly, once you bought it, you own it! 



Why do they still make carpets that shed and fuzz like this?


Why do they still use Staple Fibers today? Because it allows carpet manufacturers more flexibility when creating new carpet styles. At least that's what they say. I think it saves them money to use these short lengths of fibers instead of recycling them or throwing them away. As with any product line, there are many different carpet styles, grades and qualities. Your job is to know exactly what you are buying BEFORE you agree to buy it. That's why I created my websites and offer my free unbiased expert carpet information and advice to all homeowners.


Not all carpet styles made from Staple Fibers continue to shed for months. It depends on the carpet style, how well the carpet is constructed and the length of Staple Fibers used. The shorter the staple fiber lengths used, the more prone it will be to shedding and fuzzing. Unfortunately there is no way for you to determine in advance how much a particular carpet will shed. 



"The only way for you to avoid the nightmare of Carpet Shedding & Fuzzing is to choose a Carpet made from a Continuous Filament."



Beware of Sneaky Carpet Labeling Tricks!


Be very careful what you read on the manufacturers carpet sample label: Carpet samples will NOT be marked as a "Staple Fiber" they will ONLY be marked as a Continuous Filament fiber (CF, BCF, or CFN) to prove it is made from a Continuous Filament fiber. 


So, if the manufacturers label only says "100% Nylon" Then you MUST assume it is NOT a Continuous Filament Fiber. The label MUST say 100% Nylon BCF (or CF, CFN). 



Insider Trick: 


Want to make sure the carpet sample in question is not made from a Staple Fiber? Run your hand vigorously back and forth across the surface pile of the carpet sample in question for about 10 seconds. Do you see any fuzz or loose fibers? If so, then it is likely not made from a Continuous Filament Fiber. Learn more about Carpet Fibers


CF = continuous filament

BCF = bulked continuous filament

CFN = continuous filament nylon



How To Care For Your Carpet


It's a well-known fact! How well you care for your carpet will help determine how long your new carpet will last. You'll be amazed at what Carpet Manufacturers say you must do to keep your new Carpet Warranty in force. Check out these important pages to learn more about how to properly care for your new carpet, and what you need to do to be wise and informed about proper Carpet Care and Maintenance.




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