Flooring and Carpeting/Carpet Material

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QUESTION: Hi John,

    When I purchased my home, the carpet was already installed.  I wanted to find out what kinds of materials my carpet is made from because my cat is allergic to wool among other things.  I managed to locate a tag from some of the spare carpet.  It doesn't state the manufacturer though.  Heere is the info that I have.  Grieg #5569986, Date 01/27/05 03:24 (time?), FAAAADX (that grouping of letters has a symbol on either side similar to a backwards D), made in the USA.  Any help or direction would be greatly appreciated.  Personally I don't think it is wool, but I want to be 100% certain, plus I need to know the other materials used.  Thank you.

ANSWER: Hi Greg;The Griege # is the batch of manufactured product before it was dyed.  If you knew the name of the manufacturer, you could simply contact that manufacturer and see if they have a list of the yarn content from that greige batch.  I have 2 suggestions for you.  First, greige goods tags are usually left on manufactured carpet by Mohawk Industries.  I spoke with Mohawk and they indicated that the greige number you list is one of their numbers, HOWEVER, it could also be another mill's greige number.  That greige number was made into carpet that shipped in 2/05, however you list 01-27-05.  The greige number and date should coincide with published records, so even though the 2/05 is close to the 1/27/05, it still may be from a different mill and contain a different fiber.

My second suggestion would be for you to cut a small piece of that waste carpet, about 3 inches square and do a burn test.  That burn test entails lighting a match and letting the flame burn a small portion of the yarn.  If the yarn melts, it is not wool.  It could be polyester, nylon, a blend, or some other synthetic fiber.  When flame is applied to wool, the wool singes and has a distinct burnt odor.  NOTE THAT A BURN TEST IS USUALLY DONE BY A KNOWLEDGEABLE, PROFESSIONAL, FLOOR COVERING CARPET EXPERT. SO I SUGGEST THAT YOU FIND SOMEONE IN YOUR AREA, SUCH AS A KNOWLEDGEABLE, PROFESSIONAL CARPET CLEANER, WHO DOES SUCH A TEST TO DETERMINE THE YARN CONTENT OF A CARPET SO PROPER CLEANING AGENTS WILL BE EMPLOYED TO DO A PROPER CLEANING.  Different cleaning chemicals are used for different yarns, so the cleaner needs to know what type of yarn is in the carpet before he or she cleans it.  I'm not advocating you clean the carpet, since I can't see your installed carpet.  I'm just indicating a test that can be done to identify the yarn content.  If you can't find a knowledgeable, professional carpet cleaner in your area, let me know, and I would then give you a testing company whom you could call, and send them a piece of the unused waste carpet, for them to identify.  Such a test would probably cost $25.00.  It would require your sending the testing lab a piece of the carpet about 6 inches square, and you would get a written, formal report, indicating the yarn content of that piece of carpet.  If you wish to have such a test made, please feel free to get back to me for the needed information.

If you have any other questions, please feel free to get back to me.

Cordially,

John Michaels

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Hi John,

    Thanks for responding so quickly.  I will try the burn test.  I would also like to send it in.  $25.00 is nominal compared to what I am spending in vet bills.  Will that test tell me what other materials are in the carpet?

Answer
Hi, again, Greg;First, remember what I said in my original answer to you, that the burn test should be done by a knowledgeable professional.  If you choose to do that test, even though it is relatively simple, you could get burnt, the odor given off during the burning may negatively affect you, you could start a fire if the flame reaches something that would burn where you choose to do such a test, etc.  So my explanation of that test was not meant for you to do that test.

For the formal test, I suggest that you call Professional Testing Laboratory at 1-706-226-3283.  They are in Dalton, GA, and do much of the testing for many of the carpet mills, since Dalton, GA is the 'home of the carpet manufacturing industry'.  Tell them you want a fiber ID test done, and explain your current problems.  I believe their mailing address is, 714 Glenwood Place, Dalton, GA 30721, but let them verifiy that address and also let you know how large a piece of that carpet is needed for the test.

Cordially,

John Michaels

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John Michaels

Expertise

All questions pertaining to all indoor floor coverings regarding best products to choose, proper installation techniques, and proper maintenance techniques.

Experience

We are a nationwide floor covering inspection service. We inspect all types of indoor floor coverings in every city and town in all 50 States and in all the Provinces of Canada. We see where errors in choice of product, improper installation, and improper maintenance lead to complaints being registered and we are then called upon to inspect those products and issue certified reports indicating from where those complaint issues eminate. We have done this type of work for over 40 years.

Publications
Floor Covering Weekly & Floor Covering News

Education/Credentials
Carpet, vinyl, and hardwood manufacturing, installation, and maintenance, prior to just inspecting, and a division of our Company specifies proper floor covering choices for residential and commercial uses.

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