Carpet Styles and Textures

Today’s carpet offers much more than a conventional loop pile. To add to a room’s sophistication and interest, consider choosing a textured pattern. New technology can produce multilevel loop and cut/loop patterns. Choose diamonds, bows, pin dots, or fleurs-de-lis designs that “pop out” in sculptured effects. The texture, colors, and pattern of the carpet can be made to complement or contrast with patterns of your furniture and window treatments. Using a solid color, textured carpet is a great way to provide interest and pizzazz, without going to a multicolor, overall pattern.

Textured styles also fit well with today’s active and casual lifestyles. Textured carpet can be created through the use of several construction techniques. Many of these styles are known for their soil-hiding ability.

Cut pile: Loops are cut, leaving individual yarn tufts. Still one of today’s most popular constructions, its durability is achieved with factors including the type of fiber, density of tufts, and the amount of twist in the yarn.

Plush / Velvet — Smooth, level surfaces; the formal atmosphere, “velvet.”

Saxony — Smooth, level finish, but pile yarns have more twist so that the yarn ends are visible and create a less formal look. Minimizes footprints.

Friezé — In this cut pile, the yarns are extremely twisted, forming a “curly” textured surface. This informal look also minimizes footprints and vacuum marks.

Level loop pile: Loops are the same height, creating an informal look. It generally lasts a long time in high-traffic areas. Many of today’s popular Berber styles are level loop styles with flecks of a darker color on a lighter background.

Multi-level loop pile: Usually has two to three different loop heights to create pattern effects, providing good durability and a more casual look.

Cut and loop pile: Combination of cut and looped yarns. Provides a variety of surface textures, including sculptured effects of squares, chevrons, swirls, etc.

Really Express Yourself!

Perhaps you are ready to boldly express yourself with a floral, fleur-de-lis, or multicolored carpet that will enhance plaids, stripes, or solids furnishings. European, English, French Country, and Colonial are some of the descriptive words used for the beautiful combinations of patterned carpet used with patterned furnishings.

Measurement: square yard/ square foot comparison

To determine the approximate quantity of carpet you will need, multiply the length (feet) of the room by its width (feet) for the square footage. To obtain the square yardage, divide that figure by 9. Your retailer may figure the amount in square feet or square yards. Add 10 percent to account for room irregularities and pattern match. It is best to have your retailer or installer make final measurements to ensure that you purchase the correct amount. As professionals, they know how to include hallways and closets, match patterns, plan seam placement, work with room irregularities, and account for rooms with widths greater than 12 feet. (Most carpet is produced in 12- and 15-foot widths.) Dealers may sell by the square foot or the square yard.

Quality Factors

The type of fiber used and the way the carpet is constructed determines the basic performance of the carpet. Quality can be enhanced by the way the fibers, or yarns, are twisted and heat set, and by the density of the tufts. Deep pile height that’s densely tufted, has a luxurious feel; however, pile height is really a matter of personal choice and does not, in itself, denote durability.

Performance Glossary
  • Density – refers to the amount of pile yarn in the carpet and the closeness of the tufts. The denser, the better.
  • Twist – the winding of the yarn around itself. A tighter twist provides enhanced durability.
  • Heat-setting – the process that sets the twist by heat or steam, enabling yarns to hold their twist over time. Important in cut pile carpet. Most nylon, olefin, and polyester cut pile carpets are heat-set.
  • Performance – Some manufacturers have a rating scale for choosing carpet for various traffic areas – high, moderate or low.

When it comes to durability, there is little difference between bulked continuous filament (BCF) or staple (spun) fibers. The difference lies in the length of the fibers in the yarn, with a staple having shorter lengths, giving the yarn more bulk (sometimes described as being more like wool).

When carpet is manufactured with staple fiber, there will be an initial shedding of shorter fibers. It will soon stop, depending on the amount of foot traffic and frequency of vacuuming. Wool is a natural staple fiber; nylon and polyester can be stapled or continuous filament and olefin (polypropylene) are usually BCF.