Polyolefin fibers are those fibers produced from polymers formed by chain-growth polymerization of olefins (alkenes) and which contain greater than 85% polymerized ethylene, propylene, or other olefin units.
The fibers are unaffected by solvents at room temperature and are swollen by aromatic and chlorinated hydrocarbons only at elevated temperatures.
Common trade names for polyolefin fibers include Herculon, Marvess, and Vectra. Polyolefins are lustrous white translucent fibers with good draping qualities and a characteristic slightly waxy hand. They have excellent abrasion resistance and exhibit fair wrinkle resistance.
The polyolefins–particularly polypropylene–have found a number of applications particularly in home furnishings and industrial fabrics. Uses include indoor-outdoor carpeting, carpet backing, upholstery fabrics, seat covers, webbing for chairs, nonwovens, laundry bags, hosiery and knitwear (particularly as a blended fiber), fishnet, rope, filters, and industrial fabrics.