18 Nov What are the Different Styles of Carpet?
Buying a new carpet can be rather overwhelming with the vast array of options now available on the market. With so much choice, consumers now require access to further knowledge in order to make the best decision and purchase the right carpet for their individual situation.
What is Pile?
The pile is essentially the soft, underfoot layer of the carpet. It is characterised by even loops that cover the surface area of the fabric. Typically made from either wool, nylon or polyester, the choice of fibre will affect the texture and appearance of the finished carpet.
Loop Pile Carpet
Loop pile carpets feature a pile weave structure with the loops kept intact. The loops can either be completely level or they can also be alternating in the case of a sculptured loop. The height difference between the different loop levels creates a pattern that appears to be carved from the carpet.
Cut Pile Carpet
A cut pile carpet is made by trimming the loops of a pile weave carpet. They are typically cut to a uniform length and often have a more luxurious handle than other styles of carpet. Cut pile carpets can vary from soft, sensuous shag piles to stiffer hard twists. It is a good idea to keep in mind that cut pile carpets have a tendency to show footprints, however, they can easily be vacuumed out. Cut pile carpets, plush in particular, will develop patches of lightness or darkness over time. This is known as ‘watermarking’ or ‘shading’ and is caused by the permanent bending of the carpet pile fibres. Shading is comparable to other fabrics such as suede and velvet. It does not negatively affect the wear or durability of the carpet and is not recognised as a manufacturing flaw or defect.
Cut and Loop
As the name suggests, cut and loop fabric are made up of a combination between cut and loop pile weaves. This creates a unique textured appearance and feel, providing added interest. Cut and loop carpets can also add a stylish and elegant touch to any interior space.
Tufting refers to the process in which loop pile carpets are made. It is the basis for all loop and cut pile carpets and is stabilised with a primary and secondary backing fabric in order to maintain its form and prevent distortion.
Weaving is the traditional method of carpet construction, dating back to over 200 years. It is significantly slower and more expensive than the process of tufting, however, it remains popular in period homes and prestige installations.
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