Acrylic is artificial fiber and is more near to wool as compared to any other synthetic fiber. It is also known as art, art wool or manmade wool. The best thing about Acrylic fiber is that it has got the feel and look of wool, with a much reduced cost.
Acrylic fibers are formed from acrylonitrile, developed in 1940's and was used as substitute for wool initially. It has excellent color retention and doesn't get faded easily. It is a strong fiber and wears well. The fiber gives a springy feel, and is a good resistant to soil, stain and static. Acrylic is usually combined with other chemicals to make it absorb dyes, and hence is available in wide variety of color shades. It can be dyed in a range of dark shades and has excellent color fastness. Because of its low absorbency, it dries quickly and easily moves moisture from the body of carpet. The fiber is blended with other fibers to enhance its look and feel. It is resistant to moths and mildew, easily washable and retains its shape.
Acrylic fiber carpet is also resistant to chemicals to a good extent. Acrylic also has good resiliency and excellent abrasion and outstanding wick-ability
Although acrylic fibers are durable enough, in the areas of high traffic they tend to pill and fuzz with time. It also has poor resistance to matting and shrinking, and can get stained by oil & grease. It is very sensitive to fire and may burn rapidly. Though it is cheaper, but because of its wear out problem it is not widely used in carpets. Generally carpets are made by combining acrylic fiber with another fiber, making it cheaper than wool and still giving quality as of wool.
The modified new fiber from acrylic is Modacrylic, which is soft, resilient and doesn't shrink. It has high elasticity and a moderate resistance to abrasion. It is also heat resistant, and doesn't burn easily. It is self extinguishing and has high durability as compared to wool.