Tufted carpet generally falls into one of three different constructions:
Types:Cut Pile Loop Pile Cut & Loop Pile Cut Pile Here the carpet loops have been cut to create individual, upstanding tips, creating a luxurious look and feel. Cut pile carpets are available in a wide range of qualities and finishes, from dense, rich velvets to textured saxonies that minimize footprints. The variety of cut pile styles makes these carpets suitable for virtually any area in the home. Loop Pile In this construction the loops are not cut or sheared, but the loops themselves form the surface of the carpet. Multi-level loops and the increasingly popular berbers offer exciting design alternatives to cut piles. As a rule, loop pile carpets are very durable and well suited to high traffic areas.
Cut & Loop Piles These carpets combine cut pile and loop pile constructions to create various design effects. Available in solid and multi-colorations, these styles can offer very striking patterns or subtle tracery designs. Cut and loop multi-colorations with prominent random patterns have excellent soil-hiding properties. More subtle and less defined cut and loop versions called traceries or carved saxonies are often used in formal settings. Traceries can closely resemble solid color saxony styles with only a suggestion of pattern.
CHOOSING A FIBER Most residential carpet today is made from one of the following five fibers or a blend of them.
Nylon is the most commonly used carpet fiber due to its durability and resiliency. Nylon is the most inherently soil resistant. All residential quality nylons are further treated for added stain and soil resistance.
Smartstrand with Dupont Sorona fiber. these carpets are manufactured with ingredients made from corn sugar, a renewable resource, instead of petroleum. This results in environmental benefits with no compromise on performance.
Engineered in stain protection, excellent colorfastness, natural softness, & exceptional wearability, make this fiber a new and exciting alternative to nylon.Polyester is an exceptionally soft fiber that provides great color clarity. The fiber is inherently stain and fade resistant and is less expensive than nylon.
Polypropylene (Olefin) is the fastest growing carpet fiber because it is extremely resistant to stains, fading, and moisture. Polypropylene's lower price offers excellent value in a carpet.Wool is the original carpet fiber and is still used because of its luxury and natural beauty. Expensive compared to synthetic fibers, wool provides only moderate resistance to soil and staining.Carpet Characteristics
Three carpet construction characteristics are as equally essential to product performance as the carpet's style and the fiber used. They are: face weight, fiber density and yarn twist.
By understanding and relating these three components, you can very quickly determine carpet selections that will meet your particular requirements.
Face Weights of Fibers Face weight is the number of ounces of fiber in a square yard of carpet. All other things being equal, the higher the face weight of a carpet, the better. * Face weight is measured as tufted pile yarn weight according to the ASTM (American Society for Testing Materials) method D-418. Due to several processes involved in manufacturing, such as shearing, the actual finished weight may reflect a variance of up to 7%. The weight is determined, compensating for the factor of commercial moisture regain, as defined in ASTM D-1909. The ASTM measurements are accepted industry norms and the most accurate means of determining face weight.
Fiber Density Density is how tightly carpet fiber or yarn is packed together and bound into the carpet backing. Higher density affects the appearance of the carpet and provides greater comfort and luxury underfoot.* Density is evaluated in accordance with the federal government standard Use of Materials Bulletin UM 44D (U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development).
Twist/Tuft Bind * (Yarn Twist) Twist is the number of times fiber strands are twisted together in a one-inch length of carpet yarn. Twist affects the texture and look of cut pile carpet. In general, the tighter the twist the more durable the carpet. Loop pile styles have closed loops, so twist is not a major factor. Rather, tuft bind is a consideration. Tuft bind is the relative strength of the attachment of the yarn loops to the backing of the carpet. The higher the number the better. *Twist is measured in accordance with test method D-1423 set by the American Society for Testing Materials, while tuft bind is tested by the ASTM method D-1335.
Final Note on Padding and Installation Make sure you include a good carpet pad with your carpet. It will add to the carpet's life and greatly improve the comfort of walking on your flooring. Thin, firm pads generally perform better than thick, soft cushion. Recommended pads include rebond cushion with a minimum of 8 lb. density, and a maximum thickness of 1/2". Rebond is adequate for most carpet styles, but should not be used under berbers. Commercial carpets work well utilizing "felt" type pads. An upgrade cushion, made from "Memory Foam" carries a "Life of the House" warranty and "Spillguard Protection" will improve carpet resilience and comfort.