How is Carpet Made?
We all know how comfortable carpet can be on our toes, but do we have the foggiest idea how carpet is made? There are four main types of carpet construction, but this is no indicator as to how long the carpet is going to last or to how much it should cost. Before we get to the heart of constructions, a quick bit of background for you:
Traditionally, carpet used to be an investment that any homeowner would expect to last 20 or 30 years. However, these Axminster and Wilton constructions as they are known in the trade, have been overtaken in the sales stakes by tufted carpets that provide a high quality of carpet in plain and graphic styles for a wide range of tastes and budgets.
This is not to say that woven Axminster and Wilton are carpet dinosaurs on the path to extinction. Far from it, these types of carpet are still extremely popular in areas where longevity and design flexibility are a big part of the purchasing decision. The hotel and leisure sectors are to name but two in the contract sector, but many homes use woven axminsters as design statements within the home.
Including well-known constructions such as Axminster and Wilton, machine woven carpets are made by massive looms that weave together ‘bobbins’ of carpet yarn and backing. The finished result, often intricately patterned, creates a floor that provides supreme underfoot luxury with high performance.
Tufted carpets are madly popular within the domestic sector, tufted carpet technology is fairly new in terms of the history of carpet manufacturing methods, but its speed compared to the traditional methods, means that for many it is a more suitable carpet for the home. A pre-woven backing gets yarns tufted into it. Needles push the yarn through the backing and which is then held in place with underlying “loopers”.
Tufted carpet take on a number of forms, but the most popular are either twist pile, velvet, or loop pile: Twist pile carpets are produced when one or more fibres are twisted in the tufting process, so that in the finished carpet they appear to be bound together.
Velvet pile carpets tend to have a shorter pile heing and a tighter construction, giving the finished article a smooth, velvety appearance and hence their name.
Loop pile carpets are renowned for being hard wearing and lend carpets great texture.
Again making the most of a pre-made backing in a choice of materials, fibre bonded carpets are made by literally sticking fibres to the backing. These fibres can be individual or pushed and pulled into a web. These carpets, particularly with bitumen backings, are used primarily for contract carpeting and are generally in carpet tile format.
The traditional domain of rugs from far away continents, hand knotted squares (nearly wall to wall carpets with a spare bit at the edge of the room) and rugs use the expertise of weavers to produce work of the finest quality. Traditional rugs often feature a deliberate ‘mistake’ on behalf of the weaver to guarantee their authenticity.