The newest thing on the market is the introduction of the so called “soft nylons” This type of fiber has been around for a long time, but has always been more expensive because of how much of the fiber must go into the carpet in order to give the carpet a good feel (or hand). The fiber feels soft due to its super small diameter. Think of it like baby hair vs. coarse hair; or better yet like gauges of wire. The small gauge wire is has a smaller diameter than the larger gauge wire. This is similar to nylon fiber; only instead of gauge we use the term “denier”. The new soft feeling nylons are made from a very fine “denier” fiber. Thus, it takes a lot more of this fiber to feel and look like other carpets that may be full of air. Imagine fifteen very fat people in an elevator. The space is full, but there on only fifteen people inside. However, that same space can take 25 very thin people, and the combined strength of the 25 people will be stronger than the fifteen people. These new nylons will go under various brand names i.e. “Tactesse” and “Luxerell” (Invista) or “DuraSoft” (Mohawk), or “Anso Caress” (Shaw Industries). If you are willing to pay a little more for this fiber, I think you will love it,but just be sure to purchase one well constructed.
Recently, due to competition from other fibers, the fiber producers have introduced even softer nylons under such brand names as “TruSoft” by Stainmaster, Caress by Anso (Shaw), and “Embrace Wear Dated Nylon” (Mohawk). These fibers are so soft you will be tempted to purchase then just on feel alone. Be careful, as some carpets made from these fibers are difficult to vacuum, and some even have restrictions as to the type of vacuum you can use. Also, be aware that the softer the fiber, the more footprints and vacuum marks will be visible on the carpet’s surface.