Carpet’s main selling point as a flooring material, is its ability provide a soft and comfortable underfoot surface. When choosing carpet, two characteristics are important to consider: the type and composition of the natural or synthetic fiber used in its construction and the pile – how the fiber loops are attached to the backing. These characteristics affect the carpet’s comfort, its feel underfoot and its wear characteristics.
Carpets can be made from many different types of fibers, including nylon, wool, polypropylene and acrylic. Carpets are created by weaving the yarns through the backing material, much like a button is sewn onto a shirt. The fiber loops can be left intact or cut at different angles and lengths. Carpet pile is the way the fiber loops of fiber are treated.
These are some common carpet fibers and pile choices to be aware of.
Nylon is extremely soft and durable and resists stains as well as abrasion. Nylon is the most widely used carpet fiber. 1 It is very soft and durable and resists stains and abrasion. It is generally more affordable than wool, but it is still more expensive than other synthetics. If cared for properly, these carpets can last between 12 and 15 years.
Olefin, the generic name of polypropylene is used to describe a synthetic fiber that is used in many different products including carpet. The terms are often used interchangeably in the carpet industry. Olefin is distinguished from other synthetic carpet fibres. Although it is cheaper, it does not last as long and is less resistant to soiling than other fibers. It is a great choice for outdoor use and damp basements.
Durable carpet pile
Another popular carpet fiber is polypropylene. It is used in both commercial and residential applications. Although it is stain-resistant, this fiber can be prone to oil accumulation and soiling. 3 Bleach is also possible in certain cases. Polypropylene is less resilient than nylon and is used for loop-style carpets such as Berbers. Polypropylene costs slightly more than nylon carpets but is still much cheaper than acrylic and polyester.
The durability of polyester is what makes it so popular. Polyester is prized for its ability to hold vibrant, fade-resistant colors. The main problem with polyester/PET is its tendency to flatten under weight. This makes it an unsuitable choice for high traffic areas. Polyester fiber can also be susceptible to oil stains that are extremely difficult to remove.
Acrylic is sometimes called “synthetic wool” as it has the same look and feel of wool but at a fraction the cost. It also resists moisture, staining, static electricity, mildew and moisture. Acrylic isn’t a durable material and doesn’t stand up well in high traffic areas. Sometimes, it is blended with wool. Acrylics can turn brown when stained with alkaline chemicals such as those in cleaning products.
Most popular natural carpet fiber
What make wool so popular
Wool is a luxurious, natural and long-lasting carpet fiber. Low-grade wool can be more easily stained than high-grade wool, but it is very expensive. Manufacturers combine wool with synthetic fibers to make carpets that offer the best of both. Combinations of wool and acrylic are very common.
Higher grade carpet fiber
It is free from any chemicals or additives. This makes pure wool carpet a great choice for people with allergies or sensitivities. However, wool is a natural material and can be damaged by mold and mildew.
The most common natural fiber used in carpeting is wool. Synthetic fibers make up the majority of carpet fiber market. However, wool is still a popular choice and is highly sought-after.Synthetic fibers have many key differences to natural fibers like wool.
Loop pile is also known as “uncut pil” or “Berber pil” (named after a type of knotted pile found in North Africa), and leaves the yarn loop intact on the piece’s surface. These carpets are durable and easy to clean. They also resist stains making them ideal for high-traffic areas such as family rooms or commercial areas. Also, loop pile carpets don’t have indentations from footprints or vacuum marks.
There are many types of loop pile carpet, including level loop in which the fiber loops are the same length and pattern loops where the loops have different heights. A carpet can also have cut and loop construction. This means that some fibers are cut while others are looped.
One type of loop-pile carpeting that is particularly popular is the sisal carpet. In this case, loops of various colors and sometimes of different heights are placed in rows to create a textured, patterned surface.
- Be aware: Experts warn that uncut pile loops are less soft and padded compared to cut-pile fibers. However, they can pose a danger for small children or pets.
Cut piles carpet that has the exposed fibers removed. This creates soft, inviting carpets that are easy to clean. You can create different styles by altering the angle of the shearing, which cuts the loop, and by applying different treatment to the thread before and afterwards it is inserted into its backing. These carpets can be cut in various lengths and thicknesses. They blend well into any room and are great for covering entire houses.
Cut pile can make it more difficult to spot footmarks and vacuum trails. The twist can reduce this tendency. Each fiber contains a twist which helps carpet resist crushing and matting. Carpet will resist matting and crushing more if it has a heavier twist. A heavy twist can also create texture that conceals dirt and wear. Choosing your carpet type can be quite challenging. Healthy Carpets created a carpet style 2022 guide to help you.
Cut-pile carpets, although more popular than loop-pile, are less durable and need to be replaced more frequently. There are many types of them, including shag, which is a deep-pile carpet with long-haired fibers and soft to the touch. Although shag carpet is rare these days, specialty cut-pile varieties (described below), are very popular and can be used for specific effects.
The term Saxony pile is a cut-pile carpet made with very dense fibers. These short fibers create a dense, fuzzy surface by extending straight up and down. This style has a drawback: the strands can be easily crushed by vacuum cleaners and feet, leaving marks on the surface. It’s also susceptible to wear and tear, as well staining. Saxony carpets are best suited for low-traffic areas such as formal living rooms, dens, or formal dining rooms. These carpets are more expensive than traditional cut pile carpets.
This style is sometimes called velvet cut pile. It’s a variant of cut pile where the fibers are shorter than Saxony cuts and more densely packed. This creates a luxurious and rich carpet surface. This carpet style can be temperamental. Velvet carpet pile is susceptible to scuffing, wearing down, and leaving footprints. It should be used only in high-traffic, luxurious settings.
Textured-cut pile is a type of cut-pile carpet whose fibers are not uniform in length. The fibers are then twisted into spiral strands by using special steam treatment. This curls individual strands to keep them kinked. This style is sometimes called “trackless” as it does not leave footprints or other marks like other cut piles such as Saxony. Because spiral strands reflect light less than straight strands, it is not as obvious when they are crushed down. This pile can be used in high-traffic areas.
Frieze-cut pile is a carpet made with relatively long fibers that are twisted and kinked. This causes them to curl up across the carpet’s surface. This style is also known as California shag.. It is highly durable and can hide dirt and wear.
A sculptured carpet is made with both cut-pile and looped fibers. This creates texture and height variations on the carpet’s surface. These carpets are also known as cut and-loop or patterned carpets. Sometimes, the different fiber cuts are arranged in geometric patterns to give the carpet a three-dimensional texture. You can have the different fiber cuts cut at the same length ( level cutter-and-loop), or they can be cut at different heights ( texture cut-and loop).
How Is Carpet Manufactured
There are two most popular carpet manufacturing methods. These two types of carpet construction can be distinguished by how the carpet fibers are attached. Healthy Carpets is dedicated to clean all these carpet types and unique fibers
Loop pile is when the fibers are bent into small loops. This carpeting is stain-resistant and durable. However, it has low profile and minimal cushioning. The following are members of the loop pile family:
- Berber is another name for level loop. This carpet is made up of short loops which can withstand high traffic areas.
- Multi-level loops are carpets whose tops can vary in height so that a carpet has a patterned texture.
Cut pile carpets are made by cutting the yarn tips so that there are no loops. Cut pile carpets are denser than loop pile and tend to be softer. There are many types of cut pile.
- Plush has a smooth texture and formal appearance.
- Saxony is a fine-textured fiber with a smooth finish. However, the fibers are longer and more twisted to give each fiber more body. Although it’s very popular, the longer fibers can leave footprints and cause furniture to create dents.
- Textured cut pile uses fibers with different lengths to give it a rougher texture.
- Frieze carpet is made of long fibers, so it’s not recommended for areas with high traffic. It’s also known as shag carpet in its extreme form.
- Cable is made of long, thick fibers that are very comfortable underfoot.
Cut and loop carpet is another type that combines both loop pile and cut pile fibers. It is great for hiding dirt and stains.