May 19 2010
The intro of Stainmaster carpeting in 1986 was easily the biggest event in history to impact the carpet business. Stainmaster lifted the carpet industry into big economy. Stainmaster carpet was a breakthrough in carpet stain protection. Before 1986, Scotchgard soil treatment was the best guess for repelling carpet stains. The Scotchgard theory worked in the same manner in which a Teflon frying pot worked.
Both Teflon and Scotchgard create surface tension, and like wax on an auto, it left stains to bead on the surface. For most stains if you attempted quick removal, most of the spill could be lifted. Sometimes, these attempts were principally soil treatments. Kool-aid, Gatorade and other food items, which utilized acid-based dyes, would easily ruin most carpet fibers. In fact, most food products utilize acid-based dyes and carpeting, itself, is dyed using acid-based dyes.
Stainmaster carpet was a breakthrough in that it resisted these acid-based dyes. In oversimplified terms, the chemists at DuPont established that when carpeting is dyed, negatively charged dye elements attach to positively charged dye sites and this enables the fiber to “hold” the dye. Once these dye sites were neutralized, they could not accept duplicate dye.
However, chemists learned that during the dye process, not all dye sites are neutralized and these negatively charged dye sites could accept additional dye from food products. The solution was uncomplicated. acquaint a clear, colorless dye after carpet dyeing to neutralize the remaining dye sites and no more stains. While the technology is somewhat different from this verbal description, the theory and explanation is the simplest for a consumer to actualize.
While no carpet is stain-proof, the chemicals made carpet almost stain proof. Accidents that are allowed to set for extended periods will surely begin to break down the dye sites, but the solution and results was nothing short of spectacular.
1986 was also a time of rapid change for the carpet business. Initially, only a few carpet distributors could buy this new chemical and DuPont allotted precise quantities of the chemical based on pounds of Dupont fiber purchased. There were limited construction minimums and the chemical science only could be used on certain yarn systems.
Buyers became worked up about this technology and soon had their old green, gold, brown, and dirt colored carpets thrown out. Now, white carpet became in style. Pastels were the rage and it seemed as if everyone went out and got new carpet.
But now come the complaints from consumers. In 1988, carpet dealers began receiving phone calls from consumers upset that their 2 year old carpeting was dirty and they wished it replaced. For the next two years, the carpeting world continually explained to buyers that Stainmaster carpeting did not excuse carpeting from getting dirty, it simply resisted dirt better than other carpets. This event coincided with the “invention” of carpet cleaning, or so it seems. Even today, if you want “white” carpet, know this – It will show dirt. Without the invention of Stainmaster carpet, the carpet business would not have matured so quickly. While it is an excellent breakthrough product, it is not bullet-proof.
In May 2004, DuPont spun off their carpet division to Coke Industries. Therefore, this divestiture went the Stainmaster carpeting brand name. Invista, a Coke Industries subsidiary, now owns the Stainmaster brand name. Otherwise, not much has changed to the Stainmaster carpet brand name, except the old phrase of “DuPont Stainmaster” is no longer valid. DuPont Stainmaster is one of the most known consumer brand names in the world. During the late 1980’s the name Dupont Stainmaster was recognized as Stain resistant carpet. Consumers would enter carpet showrooms asking for “DuPont Stainmaster” even if they were buying a “wear-dated” or “stain release” carpet. The name Stainmaster carpet will now be good enough.
Each Stainmaster carpet product still receives the same stain resistant treatment and a Teflon application program. Although the Teflon name is licensed to Invista, the technology is still owned by DuPont.