Friday, August 12, 2011

Floorcoverings and More Slip your toes into "Oh so soft Carpet"

When choosing a carpet it is important to  consider the  pile, density, color, texture,  your carpet's application or how the carpet fits into your lifestyle.

Carpet is a textile broadloom floor covering consisting of  "pile" attached to a woven backing. The pile of your carpet can consist of wool, nylon, polyester or polypropylene fibers. The twisted tufts of fiber are are often heat-treated to maintain their  "memory". There are different types of pile for your carpet.  We carry plush, berber, cut berber, textured, commercial and outdoor carpets.

Pile can be plush or berber.  Plush carpet is a cut pile and berber carpet is a loop pile.  In addition, you can also have a combination of both cut and loop carpeting.  Multicolored yarns can  produce intricate patterns from set designs  and tend to be more expensive due to the relatively slow speed of the manufacturing process but the great quality that you receive is well worth it.

Tufted carpets have pile injected into a backing material, which is then bonded to a secondary backing made of a hessian weave or other synthetic fiber for greater endurance. This type of carpet is the standard for most carpets found in homes today.

Carpets are often made of natural or synthetic fibers that are made of nylons or polypropylene.   Choice of carpet materials are often based on cost, durability and appearance.

Nylon is the most common fiber used in the construction of carpeting. The Nylon fiber can be dyed topically or dyed in a molten state (solution dying). It can also be printed on easily and has excellent durability. Solution Dyed Nylon tends to stain less because it doesn't possess area for the dirt to stick to.  Topical dyed fibers need to be filled in (Scotchguard...Dupont)  to give Nylon any type of stain resistance. As Nylon is petroleum-based it varies in price with the price of oil.

Polypropylene is used to produce carpet yarns because it is less expensive.  It is difficult to dye and does not wear as well as wool or nylon.  Polypropylene is most commonly used to in Berber carpets.  In this case, polypropylene is commonly referred to as Olefin.  Large looped Olefin Berber carpets are usually only suited for light domestic use and tend to mat down quickly.  Berber carpets with smaller loops tend to be more resilient and retain their new appearance longer than large looped Berber styles.  Commercial grade level-loop carpets have very small loops, and commercial grade cut-pile styles are well constructed.  When made with polypropylene these styles wear very well, making them very suitable for areas with heavy foot traffic such as offices.   Polypropylene carpets are known to have good stain resistance but not against oil based spills.   If a stain does set, it can be difficult to clean. Commercial grade carpets can be glued directly to the floor or installed over a 1/4" thick, 8-pound density padding.   Outdoor grass (Turf) carpets are usually made from polypropylene.

Wool and wool-blends are very durable, can be dyed easily and is fairly abundant (sheep).  When mix with synthetic fibers like nylon the durability of wool becomes greater.  Blended wool yarns are extensively used in quality modern carpet, with the most common blend being 80% wool to 20% synthetic fiber.  Wool is relatively expensive and consequently a small portion of the market.

"PET" polyester  (polyethylene terephthalate) is used in both spun and filament carpeting construction.  After the price of raw materials rose in the early 2000s, polyester became more competitive.  Polyester has good physical properties and in its basic form, stain-resistant because it is hydrophobic, and, unlike nylon, does not have dye sites.  Color is infused in a molten state (solution dyeing).  Polyester's disadvantage is that it tends to crush or mat down easily.  It is typically used in mid-to-low priced carpeting.

The beauty of carpet is that are so many colors to chose from.  When considering color, you should also consider all interior design elements like: furniture, lighting, walls , accessories, art, plants and accents.  The texture of  your carpet can include a shaved look , berber, cut berber, frieze, plush and loop. 

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