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Types of Carpet

Having a basic understanding of the various types of carpet construction will help you find the best carpet for your specific situation. As example, some types of carpeting do better in high traffic areas than others. Some carpets have a more casual appearance while others look more formal.

Carpeting is basically constructed in two types of piles: loop pile or cut pile. Patterned carpet is a combination of both loop and cut yarns or variations of loops set to different pile heights.

carpet samplesToday's carpet manufacturers and fiber producers are combining softer fibers and better built-in stain resistance with special backings that block odors, spills and more! These types of features are built-in to many of the better quality carpets offered by the leading carpet manufacturers. For example: see our page on Mohawk SmartStrand Carpet or Shaw Carpets with SoftBac Platinum for some major advancements in carpet construction technology.

Most carpeting today is tufted, rather than woven. The tufting process is similar to using a large sewing machine that is about 13 feet wide with 100 of needles that sew the yarn into a synthetic backing. The majority of carpet sold today are made from nylon fibers (such as Solutia's Wear-Dated ® carpet fibers) and twisted into yarns and then tufted into carpet.

How long a carpet will retain it's like new texture and appearance is based on the type of carpet fiber, how tight the yarns are twisted and heatset, and the pile density. Also, how tightly the tufts are packed together will also effect the long term durability of a carpet. Obviously, by not cleaning your carpets regularly, or by using improper cleaning methods will effect the appearance and life of your carpet as well.

See: Berber carpets for information about berber carpet styles.

Below are listed some of the common types of carpet constructions and their main features:

Cut Pile Saxony

Cut Pile Saxony Carpets

  • Generally made in solid colors
  • Surface has a smooth appearance
  • Generally made with nylon, wool or polyester fibers
  • Good performance and in appearance
  • Works well with traditional or formal room settings
Textured Saxony

Textured Cut Pile Saxony Carpet

  • Surface appearance is textured
  • Stylish, casual appearance
  • Won't show vacuum cleaner marks or footprints
  • Very popular carpet style today
  • Good choice for active areas of the home

Frieze Carpet

  • Very textured, knobby surface appearance
  • Extremely durable, and excellent wearing
  • Yarns very tightly twisted
  • Will cost more than textured cut pile carpets
  • Great for active areas of the home
Cut and Uncut

Cut & Uncut Patterned Carpet

  • Intermixed loops and cut pile, creates a patterned design
  • Loops are shorter than the cut pile creating a carved appearance
  • Usually constructed in multi-color designs
  • Helps hide footprints and traffic patterns
  • Great choice for a variety of room settings
Mutli-level loop

Multi-Level Loop Carpets

  • Has several different heights of loops
  • Generally multi-colored
  • Very durable, casual appearance
  • Offered in many unique looking designs and patterns
  • Helps hides traffic patterns
  • Great for family rooms, basements, etc.
Level loop

Level Loop Carpets

  • Loops are same height and generally multi-colored
  • Usually made from polypropylene (olefin) carpet fibers
  • Often called Indoor-Outdoor or Commercial Carpet
  • Casual appearance, but extremely durable
  • Great for family rooms or basements
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