Types of Carpet
Today's carpet market is dominated by two main varieties:
- Loop Pile, in which individual strands of yarn are pulled through the carpet backing twice to create a small loop.
- Cut Pile, in which the loop is cut at the top, leaving tufts of yarn that stand straight up.
The look and feel of a carpet will depend on the type of fiber used, the density of the tufts, and the degree of twist in each strand.
Carpet manufacturers have developed many ingenious ways to combine those two methods to create new more attractive or more durable carpets. Here's a breakdown of the most common styles on the market today.
Cut Pile Carpets
Cut pile carpet is typically more durable than loop pile and can be sheared in different ways to create a variety of textures and looks.
Velvet, or Plush - Smooth, soft and elegant. Carpet pile is cut several times to create a luxurious, velvety sheen that shows every footprint. Ideal for formal areas such as living rooms.
Saxony - Similar to velvets but not quite as smooth. Soft texture created by twisting fibers tightly, then straightening yarn with heat. Retains foot and vacuum marks.
Textured - Textured cut pile is the top-selling type of carpet on the market. Carpet pile is twisted and crimped to create a multi-coloured look that hides footprints but retains its soft feel. Ideal for casual living spaces with moderate to heavy traffic.
Shag - The retro look from the 1960s is back in both practical and psychedelic styles. Shag uses a longer tuft and a thicker yarn. Creates a casual atmosphere in a family room or child's bedroom.
Frieze Carpet - Tightly twisted with short, curly fibers that hide footprints. Can be used to create geometric or scroll patterns. Perfect for heavy traffic areas.
Loop Pile Carpets
Long lasting and easy to clean, level loop pile is increasingly popular. Carpets with short, densely-packed pile block out dirt and are well suited to high traffic areas. Longer loops can give carpet a luxurious appearance.
Berber - Berbers have thick yarns and are often distinguished by their 'flecked' appearance, which is excellent for hiding traffic marks. Extremely popular these days and available in a wide range of tones and patterns, in both wool and less costly synthetics.
Cable - Soft, heavy yarns with lots of twist and a casual look. Good for medium traffic areas, cable is synonymous with comfortable, casual living.
Sisal - Twisted synthetic yarns that imitate the hardy, woven grass feel of aboriginal crafts. Tighter than berbers, with a stiff feel, sisals are good for high-traffic areas and come in solid and fleck tones.
Multi-Level Loop Pile Carpets
Two or three different loop heights are used throughout the carpet to create random patterns or geometric images. Attractive textures, and good for casual high traffic.
Cut and Loop Pile Carpets
Different types and cuts of pile are combined to allow for a variety of textures, sculptured effects and color combinations.