Carpet fiber has traditionally been treated with chemical coatings, usually based on fluorinated chemicals, to ensure optimal stain and soil resistance. But topical stain treatments wear and wash away over time, leaving the fibers vulnerable to permanent staining, potentially exposing building occupants to these chemicals and polluting our waterways downstream.
In recent years, NGOs and scientists all over the world have expressed concern with the use of these “highly fluorinated” chemicals (known as PFCs or PFASs) and many chemicals in this class are already regulated or will soon be regulated by government agencies. Even before the current public outcry, Interface was already phasing out yarn coatings, receiving an award from BuildingGreen in 2011 for introducing PFC-free carpet tile to the Americas marketplace. But we didn’t just eliminate a questionable chemical, we found a better way.
Because Interface’s proprietary stain resist technology - Protekt2™ - is built into our carpet fiber, a topical stain resist treatment is not necessary. Instead of coating the surface of the yarn, we changed the formulation of the nylon we use to permanently increase its stain resistance properties.
We conducted stain tests on our products and compared them to products with a topical treatment. The results?
Our uncoated fibers performed just as well as the treated ones, allowing us to completely remove PFCs and PFASs from our products. By doing this, we have also eliminated any risk of fluorinated chemicals wearing off of our carpet yarn, getting into dust in buildings and then persisting in the environment for hundreds of thousands of years. With Protekt2, you get permanent stain resistance, not permanent pollution.