Carpet buying guide
When choosing your carpet you need to think about the amount of wear and tear it will receive and choose a carpet that best suits your needs. Consider the amount of traffic there will be on the carpet; do you have pets and is the carpet in areas you will be eating and drinking? All of these could be a factor on deciding the type of carpet you choose and even the colour.
Here is a brief overview of what you need to know about carpets – the fibres and the different styles that are available.
Wool has been used for centuries in carpet manufacturing and is still recognised as the best fibre for use in carpet. Wool is resistant to cold water based stains and has a low lustre appearance, which means the colours are always deep and rich. Wool is used on its own in 100% wool yarns which are renowned for their softness and luxury and as a blend with 20% manmade fibres which greatly improves its wear properties.
The benefits of wool are:
- Warm and soft with a very high luxury feel
- Good resistance to soiling
- Excellent appearance retention which enables it to spring back into shape from furniture impressions and foot traffic
- Very good wear properties
- Easy to clean and maintain
- It is naturally flame retardant
- Environmentally friendly, highly sustainable fibre
Polypropylene is the most popular of the manmade carpet fibres and is highly resistant to stains making it an extremely practical choice for today’s modern families. It has very good abrasive resistance and is used in plain colour twist pile, loop pile and Saxony pile carpets offering superb value for money.
The benefits of polypropylene are:
- Hard wearing
- Good resistance to soil
- Easy to clean using a part bleach cleaning solution
- Very good colour fastness
- Inexpensive fibre ideally suited to blending with wool
Polyamide is an extremely hard wearing manmade carpet fibre and can be dyed or printed after tufting and therefore have vibrant colours, exciting patterns and bold designs. Polyamide retains both its looks and style much longer than any other manmade carpet fibre.
The benefits of Polyamide:
- Very high abrasive resistance
- Available in a variety of fibre and yarn types and textures
- Easy to clean
- Flexibility for different carpet types
Polyester carpet fibre is the most like wool in appearance of the manmade fibres it is ideal for longer pile Saxony styles. Often blended in with wool/manmade blends to stabilise the yarn and reduce fibre shedding.
The benefits of polyester are:
- Light and bulky with good wear properties
- Lustrous appearance
- Good stain resistance
- Ideal for long pile Saxony yarns
TWIST PILE Carpet
Twist pile carpets are currently the most popular of all the carpet types; they are made from high twist yarns producing a hard wearing crisp feel. Twist pile comes in plain colours, and also a “Heather Look” which is made by combining yarns of complimentary shades together. Twists are ideal for any room in the home and come in the widest variety of fibres, colours, shades and prices.
VELVET PILE Carpet
Velvet pile carpets have dense cut piles with a smooth finish and little or no tuft definition. This carpet type is low maintenance because the pile is quite short, but very dense. Velvet pile offers a solid colour to the carpet and a plush feel to any location.
SHAG PILE Carpet
Shag pile carpets are once again becoming popular; this extremely luxurious carpet has a long pile, creating a deep textured effect for a superb shaggy look.
SAXONY PILE Carpet
Saxony is a dense and luxurious straight cut pile carpet with pronounced tuft definition and often high pile for a very soft feel that’s smooth to the touch. The soft and dense nature of this carpet can show footprints so it is not recommended for high traffic areas although it’s perfect for bedrooms.
LOOP PILE Carpet
This carpet has a plain loop pile giving a “Brussels “effect flat surface.
CUT & LOOP PILE Carpet
This carpet has a level textured effect from both loop pile and cut pile tufts.
Berber carpets are a style of carpet containing big and small tufts and they usually contain small flecks of dark colour on lighter shades of background colours. They are made from loop pile and can be either a uniform height, or differing heights to form a textured pile.
AXMINSTER WOVEN Carpet
Weaving is the traditional way of making carpet using various methods to weave the pile yarn into the wrap and weft yarns simultaneously producing the finished fabric in one process. The pile yarns and the backing fabric are woven together producing a stable product without the need for a secondary backing.
The pattern capacity of Axminster carpet with its eight or 12 different colours in the design and electronic patterning technology make it the most flexible of woven carpet methods producing outstanding pattern definition in a wide range of specifications. Most popular is the velvet pile however more recently manufacturers are using twisted yarn to reduce the effect of shading.
WILTON WOVEN Carpet
The difference between a Wilton and Axminster carpet is that Wilton carpet yarn is a continuous strand woven all the way.
Most Wilton weaving is used to produce high quality carpet noted for having up to five colours per pattern. These carpets are available in plain and patterned velvet pile and twist pile types.