Bulk Continuous Filament (BCF) vs Staple Fiber Carpet
Learning about carpet manufacturing isn’t what most people would call exciting, but there are a few details that are important for the carpet shopper. This information is covered throughout the website, and most of it is end product information, meaning it pertains to the specifications of the carpet once it is finished. However, there is one important detail of how the carpet is made. More specifically, you want to know how the fibers are installed, and there are two options: staple fibers and bulk continuous filament.
Staple fibers can be produced more cost-effectively and provide manufacturers with greater flexibility for new designs, but all of this comes at a cost—staple carpets shed. This shedding process requires daily vacuuming for about 2 weeks. If it lasts much longer than 2 weeks, the retailer should be notified. Staple fibers can be composed of different length strands and the longer the strand the better. The range is 3-10 inches and over 7 inches is considered high quality. Greater resistance to shedding is seen with the longer fibers.
Bulk Continuous Filament
Other names: BCF, CNF, Continuous Filament
Bulk continuous filament is made of one long strand and doesn’t shed like its stapled counterpart. Olefin fibers are almost always BCF. Nylon and polyester are always available in BCF. You won’t find wool available as BCF.
Captain’s parting words!
The shedding of staple fibers is a deterrent to some people, but it doesn’t have to be. The shedding of staple fibers should be very temporary, lasting about 2 weeks. Choosing name brands and longer fibers will nearly guarantee the shedding of your carpet will be minimal and short-lasting. Being open-minded to staple fibers will give you more options and possibly a better deal on your carpet. If you are set on choosing bulk continuous filament carpet, keep in mind it can be designated by “BCF” or “CNF” on the tag.