Carpet fibers are usually made of nylon, polyester, polypropylene, or wool. But what does this mean to you? Well, you should know that synthetic carpets (made from the first three fibers listed) are more stain-resistant than wool carpets.
However, wool carpets last longer and are considered to be of higher, and more authentic, quality. Several specifications refer to a carpet’s durability, and these include face weight, yarn ply, and stitch count. Higher numbers mean that more yarns were used per square inch in order to create a stronger carpet.
There are three main varieties of commercial (not man-made) carpets:
Cut pile refers to a carpet with yarn loops sheared off at the top. More durable cut pile carpets will have a higher number of twists in the carpet yarn.
Loop pile (sometimes called level loop pile) is a compact weave of uncut yarn loops. You should push the loops aside to see how densely the tufts are attached to the backing as a check for durability. Higher density means higher quality.