There are three types of Berber carpet sold. There is a type that is made with nylon fibers and a type made with a synthetic olefin fiber. There is also a olefin fiber and nylon blend Berber carpet that is available as well. Each of these types of Berber carpets are explained in further detail below.
The name Berber comes from a Northwest African tribe. The tribe used wool or camel hair to make floor coverings and cloaks that were worn during the cold desert nights. The material, which is dense and warm dates back as far as the stone ages and can be found today among the surviving tribe members of the Berber tribe.
Type #1: Olefin Berber Carpets
Olefin is a synthetic fiber that was created in the 1950s. It is a polymer that is taken from the polymerization of ethylene and propylene gases. The polymers are heated through a machine that produces the synthetic fibers needed to be weaved into the carpeting. Olefin fibers, since they are an extract of polymer gases, must be died during the manufacturing stage. Otherwise olefin fibers are dye resistant. This property is a plus for olefin Berber carpets in that they are also stain resistant.
Type #2: Nylon Berber Carpets
Nylon is another synthetic material that is created from petroleum products. Nylon came about in the 1930s as a silk alternative since the threads and fibers closely resembled and felt like silk. Nylon was first developed by DuPont Chemical Company and was widely used in many applications during World War II. Nylon is easy to dye, unlike olefin threads and can be used in many different ways, including clothing, commercial products and other uses. Nylon can be used in as diverse products as nylon stockings for women and toothbrushes.
Type #3: Olefin-Nylon Blend Berber Carpets
The blend of olefin and nylon fibers creates a Berber carpet that is durable, stain-resistant and easy to dye, should the need arise to change the color of your Berber carpet. The blend results in the milling of synthetically made olefin fibers and synthetically made olefin fibers on order to come up with an olefin-nylon carpet.
The Cost of Berber Carpets
Olefin is the easiest and most readily available form of Berber carpet made. This is due in part to the fact that olefin Berber carpets are a non-petroleum product and does not relay on the purchase or production of fossil fuels. The gas polymer is naturally occurring and easy to manufacturer. You will find Berber carpets made from olefin fibers going for between $5 and $7 a square foot.
Nylon fibers are more expensive. This is because although the technology to make nylon Berber carpets has been around for 20 years more than the olefin fiber, it is a petroleum based product. As oil production decreases or supplies become subject to geo-political whims, the price of manufacturing also increases. Nylon Berber carpets can be found for around $13 a square foot, nearly twice that of an olefin Berber carpet.