When buying carpet, you may hear the phrase ‘solution-dyed.’ It relates to a technique used to dye the carpet fibres, but what specifically does it mean?
There is a key distinction in the final products between fibres that have been solution-dyed and fibres dyed by other processes. Let’s examine solution dyeing and why you probably should consider it if you purchase a new carpet.
What Is Solution Dyeing?
Solution dyeing is a method used to add colour to synthetic fibre. There are many various methods used to dye carpet fibres. However, basically, they can be collapsed down into two levels: solution dyeing and all other methods. This is because solution dyeing is so distinct from all other methods that it truly is in a league of its own.
How Is This Carpet Dying Different
The conventional method of dyeing fibres includes first producing the fibre and then adding the colour. In conventional dyeing methods, the fibre is produced in a colourless form (called a ‘greige good’ because it displays a colour somewhere between grey and beige). After production, the fibre is then immersed in the dye to add the colour. (This is a very simple view of the process, but it presents the general idea.)
In the solution dyeing method, the colour is actually added to the fibre elements’ liquid state before the fibre is actually created. Synthetic fibres are made of chemical composites, or polymers, depending on the variety of fibre. To bring the process down to its most fundamental explanation, the liquid chemicals are filled into the top of the machine and are pushed through tiny holes named spinnerettes (picture a showerhead) where the liquid is drawn out, giving the newly created yarn.
Solution-dyed fibres have colour pigments added straight into the polymers (chemicals) at the initial production stage. This indicates that when the fibre is expelled from the spinnerettes, it is already the desired colour.
What About Natural Fibers?
Solution dyeing does not apply to natural fibres (such as wool) because they are already in existence. As explained above, solution dyeing includes adding colour to the chemical composite that makes up the fibre before the fibre is made. Natural fibres are collected from their source, so they must be dyed employing traditional dyeing techniques.
Why Does It Matter When Buying Carpets?
There are numerous advantages to solution dyeing fibres because the colour is part of the fibre and goes through the whole solution-dyed fibre.
When a fibre is dyed, post-production (as in conventional dye techniques), the dye absorbs into the fibre and fills the fibre’s cells. After being dyed, the fibre looks uniformly coloured, at least to the bare eye. Still, there are always cells in the fibre that did not absorb the dye—those are identified as empty dye sites. These are not evident except, perhaps, under a microscope, but they do exist nevertheless.
To appreciate the difference this offers, picture an apple and a carrot. The apple depicts the traditional-dyed fibre, where the colour is on the exterior but does not go within. (The apple is red on the exterior but white on the interior.) By contrast, the carrot is orange all the way through, in the same way that a solution-dyed fibre has colour throughout.
Solution-dyed fibres are much more colourfast (repellent to fading or colour bleeding) than other fibres. This is because the colour is secured into the fibres. So, solution-dyed fibre is a great option for areas that will be subjected to strong light. Also, because the fibres are preserved during production employing ultraviolet inhibitors, they are the best choice for outdoor carpet demands.
Another huge advantage of solution-dyed fibres is enhanced stain resistance. Because traditional-dyed fibres carry empty dye sites, as explained above, they can be more easily stained. Spills are absorbed by those empty dye sites, which make them very tough to remove.
Because solution-dyed fibre has no empty dye sites (since the colour goes all the way through), spills cannot be absorbed by the fibres. So the result is a carpet that is as near to stain-proof as is possible. Hence, solution-dyed fibres are great for use in commercial carpets.
The primary drawback of solution-dyed fibres is the decreased colour selection compared to other fibres. In the past, the colours of solution-dyed fibres were not as lively as other colours due to manufacturing differences. Yet, today, there is a wide selection of solution-dyed carpet in many colours. With technological improvements, the colours obtainable today are much brighter than previously.
Overall, solution-dyed fibre is an excellent option for residential and commercial carpets for its stain resistance. Nevertheless, solution-dyed fibres can be made into practically any carpet, so just because fibre is solution-dyed doesn’t imply that it is always the best option. Like anything, it is obtainable in a wide range of styles and qualities, so it is just one more part of a carpet’s story that must be recognised.
People Also Ask
Is solution-dyed nylon carpet any good?
One of the highest-selling nylon carpet types is solution-dyed nylon (SDN). This product is produced to be colourfast and highly repellent to fading. It is also remarkably wear-resistant, and so it will exceed many carpet types concerning durability.
What is the difference between solution-dyed nylon and solution-dyed polyester?
Polyester is a hydrophobic thread, which signifies that the fibre itself repels fluids. Some nylon is solution-dyed, which signifies that the colour goes entirely through the fibre rather than on the surface. Solution dyeing dramatically enhances the stain resistance—and fade resistance—of nylon.
Does solution-dyed nylon carpet fade?
Solution Dyed Nylon (SDN) is a resilient carpet with excellent fade resistance, making it a good option for sunny Melbourne homes. With great elasticity and resilience, it holds up to heavy traffic. It will maintain its shape under the pressure of furniture, fittings or foot traffic.