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Why Do Some Carpets Shed and Fuzz?

By Alan Fletcher - Carpet Expert & Consumer Advocate


Got Loose Carpet Fibers? New Carpet Shedding?

Some carpets will 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?


Some Carpets are made with a Continuous Filament fiber which is basically one long never-ending strand of fiber. Carpets made with a Continuous Filament will have either "CF", "BCF", (Bulked Continuous Filament) or "CFN" (Continuous Filament Nylon) shown on the label pasted to the backside 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 for up to a year after installation. 


Consumers often report filling up a vacuum bag every time they vacuum. This can be very frustrating, not to mention time consuming. Pets and small children often inhale or consume loose carpet fibers which cannot be a healthy thing to do. It can also damage your vacuum if you allow the loose fibers to clog the wheels, beater bar, motor and belt. 


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


Carpet retailers seldom take the time to educate consumers about the differences between Continuous Filament and Staple Fibers and rarely address the possibility of Staple Fiber carpets shedding for months on end. It's only after the carpet is installed that consumers discover the shedding nightmare and by then there is usually no remedy offered by the retailer or the manufacturer. When the customer complains, The retailer typically tells the consumer that the shedding will eventually stop and to be patient. 


Why do they still make carpets that shed?


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. As with any product line, there are many different grades and qualities. Your job is to know exactly what you are buying BEFORE you agree to buy it. That's why I created this website and offer my free expert carpet information..


Not all staple fibers continue to shed for months. It depends on the carpet style, how well the carpet is constructed and the length of fibers used. The shorter the fiber lengths used, the more prone to shedding the carpet will be. Unfortunately there is no way to determine in advance how much a carpet will shed. You can avoid the nightmare of excessive carpet shedding by selecting a carpet made with a Continuous Filament fiber.


Beware of Sneaky Labeling Tricks!


Be very careful what you read on the carpet label: Carpet samples will NOT usually 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. If the label only says "100% Nylon" Then you MUST assume it is NOT a Continuous Filament Fiber. 


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 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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