What carpet is right for you? Do you want something soft under foot? Carpet has many different types of structure to give it a different look or design but also to perform differently. These choices are meant to fit different preferences and/or budgets that you may have. Too many choices can be confusing. In this article I’d like to talk about just one area of choosing your carpet type, Cut Pile Carpet . There are four carpet types which include cut pile carpet, level loop pile carpet (some call this Berber), cut and loop pile carpet, multilevel loop pile carpet.
For reference only let’s just point out some key factors when buying this carpet type .
• Style & Construction (Pile, Pile Design Style & Backing)
• Fiber (Wool, Nylon, Polyester, Density, Properties)
• Cushion (pad)
• Installation (Stretch-in or Glue down)
The Cut Pile Carpet Type fits under the category of Style & Construction. Pile is the surface or nap of the carpet. Cut pile carpet is the softest carpet you will find on the market. We refer to it as “cut” because when the yarn is made into carpet it is tufted into place and is a loop, kind of like when you are sewing but a second later it is sheered or cut. When the yarn is cut we get a fuzzy soft cut edge instead of feeling the solid twisted side of the yarn. Imagine a rope, when you hold a rope it is twisted and a more solid feel. This twisted part is also strongest when it’s not cut. When you look at the end of your rope it can bloom out or even fray but it is a softer touch or texture. A cut pile carpet is much of the same way except it is manufactured to hold up better under the stress of feet. There is more included when it comes to construction like density, fiber selection and more but let’s just talk about style for today.
Texture, or touch, is a big part of why we select the carpet we do. There are many names of carpet styles out there that are the cut pile carpet type. The cut pile carpet type is a generic name for all of these styles. So if you are looking for a very soft carpet under your feet ask for cut pile or plush. Plush is another name for cut pile. Below are some basic style names and easy descriptions to help you.
- Texture – made in a way to mask or hide foot traffic as much as possible; may have a dappled light effect or texture.
- Plush – made to be soft under foot in a multitude of beautiful colors colors.
- Saxony – made to be very plush or soft. Usually has the most yarn or density and looks like suede does as it shows every dragging foot step. It is commonly used in custom carved rugs to may highly detail designs. (This photo shows a rug design by Fabrica)
- Twisted or Frieze – the fibers or yarn are twisted in enough turns per inch that they start to bend or “kink” over. Foot prints can show. This is the strongest cut pile.
Focus on Frieze
Frieze (pronounced “friz-ā”) or Twisted has been all the rage in carpet in the last several years. Some of its benefits are that it is stronger to walk on. Other carpets are packed in tight to keep the cut yarns next to them in good condition. When a yarn gets constantly walked on the tip of that cut edge can start to untwist or bloom out. We call this tip bloom. If you have this condition in your existing carpet chances are that the carpet will start to matte and crush if it hasn’t already. Frieze gives a new style and lets you walk on the stronger part of the carpet because it’s twisted so much that it just starts to bend like a bendable drinking straw. Now when you walk on this part it is stronger and therefore it will last you longer. Some think this style is more informal or “wormy”. But many find it to be extremely comfortable. There are even taller and thicker versions of frieze that combine bulky yarn or cable yarn for a shag look. These are perfect for making a rug to put on a wood or tile floor!
Cleaning your Cut Pile Carpet
Most manufacturers still recommend using the Hot Water Extraction method for deep cleaning of carpets. This is a truck mounted unit that does not put more chemicals into your carpet. The high temperature is important for cut pile carpets since it helps the cut area retain its heat set therefore extending the life of your carpets. The heat set is the high temperature the tip of the carpet gets locked into to keep it together from blooming out. Using Hot Water Extraction also slows the re-soiling effect on your carpet. When using alternate cleaning methods involving chemicals, it is impossible to extrude all the chemicals back out of the carpet and their residue can lead to the carpet getting dirty faster. When in doubt check this link for a list of carpet manufacturers and their recommended method. This list is from The Carpet and Rug Institute. Manufacturer-Recommended Deep Cleaning Methods for Residential Customers We recommend locally United carpet Cleaning Systems. If you inquire they can keep your home on a maintenance schedule. We use them for commercial and residential clients. Also on their site is a handy Spot Cleaning PDF for any number of household stains.
We hope this article has helped you. Keep watching for discussions on the other carpet styles and also articles on wood, tile and stone. Photos of carpets and display are by Kristen Mangus and can be found in Floor Partner’s showroom.