Berber is NOT a type of carpet, but a type of weave of a carpet. Berber can be bought in many different carpet fiber types like nylon, wool, polyester, polypropylene (Olefin), PET and other blends.
The manufacturers of the current fad Berber are really duping the public on this product. Berber is a weave, not a type of fiber. The popular Berber today that has all the problems below is made of Olefin or PET (a petro-plastic) which is even worse than the last carpet they were pushing -Polyester!
Colors are very limited on this cheap Berber stuff. It just can't be made beyond drab off-whites. And, it eventually turns grayish, yellowish or brownish after cleaning. Manufacturers are trying to blame your cleaning habits or methods for this one, don't believe it.
"They" (whomever is trying to convince you to buy Berber) are trying to equate this cheap imitation of the wonderful wool Berbers of the past with this "look alike" but it is nothing like real 100% wool or 100% nylon Berber.And because:
First, it is a health hazard (lowest flash point of any floor covering, with a flash point of 170 degrees F, it burns at a very low point (paper has a flashpoint of more than 500 degrees F). It you drag a heavy piece of furniture across it, the Berber will have scorch marks left on it. Ever try to get a scorch mark out of fabric?
Berber is notorious for raveling at the edges or even in the main area of a room if just a little piece gets hooked on a high heel or if the dog or cat gets a paw or claw caught in it.
Contrary to the sales pitch, Berber is the hardest carpet to keep clean and the hardest to get clean. It draws dirt to the bottom of the fibers and traps it there and because of the loop weave and the twist of the loop being larger at the top than the bottom, it's very difficult to extract with a vacuum cleaner or a even a professional wet extractor including truck mounted equipment.
On Berber the same stains come back shortly after being cleaned. The high pH residue left in the carpet (used by almost all carpet cleaners) is a magnet to dirt. Now I grant you that this can happen with other carpets as well but not nearly as often as with Berber. And it's easily corrected on nylon or wool but not on the other Berber.
Bleach is great when properly used in the laundering of white clothes. But most people today opt for non-chlorine Bleach for laundry purposes. In laundry, huge amounts of water are needed to dilute the bleach and flush a high percentage out. That can't be done on carpet without over-wetting the carpet. Chlorine bleach causes skin irritations and rashes on humans and animals.
In carpet applications, especially Berber weave, it gets trapped down in the carpet and into the carpet backing. It creates a very high pH and will cause the treated area to become a magnet to dirt and soil. Thus, stains will reappear, and will cultivate new stains created by the weakened and vulnerable fiber after being subjected to bleach.
Since the bleach is somewhat dormant when dry, the least amount of humidity or moisture will "reactivate" the Bleach. Bleach is hygrophobic. It hates water and is never completely rinsed out by water. Do you want your children, pets or your bare feet walking on this health hazard or skin irritations develop? Do you want to track Bleach onto other areas of your home, furniture or clothing so that color loss is created? Every
All of this leads to the short life span of Berber, with tons of it being ripped up every year in a much shorter time than the "wear warranty" and winding up in our landfills.
The educated (and honest) retailer knows that that the cheap Berber is a bad buyand that within 2 or 3 years, sometimes sooner, you will be back to buy nylon or wool carpet or a better quality blend. And more important, he will tell you the disadvantages of this type of Berber.
Note: Thanks to all of you who have sent me your "Berber horror stories". I have posted some of them and more shocking facts about Berber and other carpet nightmares on this page:
Consumer Complaints About Berber Carpet
For now, here's one example from an Iowa home owner who bought the popular fad Berber (not the nylon or wool type!):
I agree with you wholeheartedly regarding Berber carpet. Three years ago we purchased Berber carpet for our living room and hallway. The color is "dirty" looking after being professionally cleaned and the carpet loops are flat. The worst lesson is a hot iron fell onto the carpet and "melted the area it landed after only seconds.
Buying Berber is one of the most expensive mistakes I have made and I will NEVER purchase Berber again!
So what do I recommend? I recommend 100% Nylon type 6 or 100% Nylon type 6.6 - don't let them tell you any different! Unless you can afford wool, these are the best choices. Don't get talked into any "premium" cost for Stainmaster or Scotchgard, etc. The weave sytle of the carpet can be cut plush or berber, but just be sure it's ALL nylon.
Don't fall for the "well this is 'solution-dye' Nylon either".
Demand written description and warranty BEFORE you buy! When examining for
quality, look for the fiber roots to be stitched very closely together. The
more backing you can see when you part fibers, the more inferior carpet it
is. Then, look for the "twist" to be very tight. Example - a fiber that has
3 twists (rungs) in a half inch height is far inferior carpet to a fiber
that has 6 twists in a quarter inch height.
Although top quality wool carpet costs between $45 and $95 per square yard if you really want the look of Berber you need to buy wool. For somewhat less you can purchase nylon Berber at between $30 to $45 per square yard, and in some really wonderful colors.
The cheap Berber (not made from nylon or wool) is being over priced at $20 to $35 per square yard, before it was hyped in ads and pushed to be popular the same stuff was half that cost! Anyone who has ever bought Berber NEVER buys it again!
Finally, ask any top level installer his experience with this type of Berber. I recently received an email from such a man. Hal, a 25 year carpet installing professional, had this to say:
"...I am a field supt. for a large carpet retailer in Florida. We run about 25 crews and I was an installer for 25 years before I took this job 3 years ago. I am trying to get our owner to steer people away from berber because of all the problems it presents, not only the one's you refer to but from an installation standpoint. ..."
There is so much not available in plain English about floor coverings, especially carpet. Yet it is often the single most expensive fixed home furnishing. If you want to learn about carpet, you really should invest the time to know what you're buying, do the homework. But not from ads, the manufacturers literature or media hype about carpet. Even many of the ASID professionals we deal with are shocked at the information we provide them about carpet.
I have made several statements here that are well documented and verifiable. But, there are also some generalizations I've made that need further explanations. So if you direct a specific question about Berber or Polyester or Olefin or PET to me, I will clarify any of my claims.
We have had many, many letters about how wonderful Berber carpet is - BUT- in every one of those letters the Berber praised was Nylon or Wool - every time!
Our company doesn't sell carpet or clean carpet. My profession is training Carpet and Textile Dye Masters, certifying carpet colorists and dye technicians. However, we must have complete knowledge of the carpet industry at all levels to perform our services.
Although we do dye new carpets, even for carpet retailers when there is a color flaw from the manufacturer (like side-matching) or a custom color is desired by the customer but is not available from "this years" colors offered, we can change the color or match a color.
For people who buy a carpet and once installed it's the wrong shade or it clashes with new decor or when a home is purchased and the carpet is in good condition but the color is wrong for the new owners or faded or just plain ugly, we can "Color Your Carpet®" to the exact color you want. We have 16,820,000 custom colors!
Our carpet dyeing and color restoration process is all done on-site and most of the time the carpet isn't new. Carpet can be as much as 30 years old and we've worked wonders!
We have saved property owners the needless and premature waste of discarding carpets and millions of dollars of expenses to replace carpets that were in what appeared to be "worn" condition but in fact was just "ugly", matted, stained, discolored or the wrong color. Why buy new carpet, when you can dye it and achieve marvelous results?
We also provide accurate, current and timely analysis of carpet related information critical to the property owner BEFORE making any decisions about carpet or floor covering needs and budgets.
A word of caution now that you know carpet dyeing and color restoration can be done. Don't call a carpet cleaner who professes to dye carpet and expect the results of a highly skilled Dye Master. Call us for detailed reports about the differences.
As an example: A carpet cleaner who professes to dye carpet will tell you that you can't change color families (i.e.- pink to blue, or gray to beige, or blue to mauve, or beige to hunter green, or medium brown to medium green). THEY CAN'T! But Color Your Carpet® can!
Another example is: A carpet cleaner who professes to dye carpet will tell you that you can't get a "yellow" bleach stain out of a white carpet. THEY CAN'T! But Color Your Carpet® can! We can restore that yellow stain back to the exact match of white color of your existing white carpet.
There are many more "can't" that THEY can't do but WE can!
Our company is Color Your Carpet® the only onsite, full-time, 100% carpet dyeing & color restoration service in the world. Expert carpet dyeing & color restoration services for upscale commercial & residential property owners exclusively through our franchise system.
We are only in 21 states so we can accommodate most of the 50 state response we are getting from the Internet. But, until we are nationwide I will be happy to answer any questions you may have about carpet, carpet care, carpet purchasing, and of course, carpet dyeing or color restoration. We also have teams of Dye Masters who travel. So let us know where you are via email. We might be able to come dye for you!
We are on-site carpet dyers and have no competition in the whole world and we don't anticipate any for at least 20 years. Well, I'll correct myself, our only competition is new carpet. But at 2, 3, 4 or even 5 times the cost of our unique dyeing services.
If I could develop a "do-it-yourself" dye system for home owners, I'd be a Ga-Zillionnaire overnight. Sorry folks it takes a really long time to master this science-art process or I'd have franchisees in every state by now. Perhaps I will contribute some of the most important facts we've uncovered or discovered about carpets in the carpet forums if I'm invited. Meanwhile, I will soon publish some articles about Berber and some of your emails to me about Berber.
Dyeing Berber Carpet?
One myth is that Berber can't be dyed. Well, it's not worth dyeing unless it's a nylon or wool Berber, in which case, "THEY'RE" right, "THEY" can't dye Berber. But, Color Your Carpet® can and does dye Berber made of nylon or wool. Here is a sample of nylon berber that we recently provided to a client.
The cream color between the green, gray and brown is the original carpet color. She chose to go with the "soft bunny brown" shade in most rooms and the "soft moss green" in her guest house.
To see some of our color samples on wool Berber visit our
I would like to hear your story about Berber, good or bad. Please include how long you've had the Berber installed, the fiber content (olefin, polyester, PET, unknown, blend, nylon or wool), the color, the cost (total & how many square yards), and your experience with durability, appearance, cleaning results, stains, pulls or any other important issue. Also, let me know if I may publish your letter. Let me know what you think here or email me at:
For immediate response: Contact us
Please visit our website for more carpet facts!
Connie B. D'Imperio
Color Your Carpet, Inc.
Color Your Carpet® Home Page for Consumers