What is Carpet?

  • Carpet is a textile flooring generally made up of a top layer of pile (materials like nylon, and acrylic) attached to a backing.
  • Used to be made almost exclusively from wool. Thanks to new synthetic materials like polypropylene, nylon, and acrylic; carpet is easier to manufacture, more accessible to consumers, and more durable with greater wear.
  • Is often used interchangeably with the word “rug”.

What is Carpet for?

  • Insulation for your feet on a cold tile or concrete floor.
  • Making your room more comfortable, and more inviting to sit on the floor (e.g. your child’s playroom).
  • Noise from walking is reduced. Especially helpful on upper floors, and in apartment buildings.
  • Adding colour or decoration to your room.

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What makes Carpet unique?

  • Carpet can be produced in any colour, thanks to the dyeing of fibres.
  • It can come in many different patterns and motifs; which decorate the surface.
  • Wall-to-wall carpet is distinguished from rugs or mats; which are loose-laid floor coverings. Wall-to-wall carpet is fixed to the floor and covers a much larger area.
  • Formulated from many single or blended natural and synthetic fibres.
  • Produced on a loom similar to woven fabric, made using needle felts, knotted by hand (oriental rugs), made with the pile injected into a backing material (called tufting).

What are some technical details?

  • Carpet is commonly made in widths of 12 feet (3.7 m) and 15 feet (4.6 m) in North America.
  • Fixed to the floor over a cushioned underlay (pad) using nails, tack strips, adhesives, or occasionally decorative metal stair rods.
  • Fibres are chosen for durability, appearance, ease of manufacture, and cost.
  • In production, the dominant materials are polyamides (nylons) and polypropylene with an estimated 90% of the commercial market.
  • Is one of the most common materials in the construction of carpets.
  • Can be printed easily and has excellent wear characteristics.
  • Due to it’s excellent wear-resistance, nylon is widely used in industrial and commercial carpeting.
  • Commonly used to construct berber carpets.
  • Commercial grade styles wear very well, making them suitable for areas with heavy foot traffic like offices.
  • Polypropylene carpets are known to have good stain resistance, though not against oil-based agents.
  • The polyester known as “PET” is used in carpet manufacturing for both spun and filament constructions.
  • When the price of raw materials for many types of carpet rose in the early 2000s, polyester became more competitive.
  • It has good physical properties, and is inherently stain-resistant because it is hydrophobic.
  • A disadvantage is it tends to crush or mat down easily. It is typically used in mid- to low-priced carpeting.
  • Another polyester, “PTT”, also called Sorona or 3GT (Dupont) or Corterra (Shell), is a variant of PET. These carpet fibers have resiliency comparable to nylon.
  • A synthetic material first created by the Dupont Corporation in 1941 but has gone through various changes since it was first introduced.
  • In the past, acrylic carpet used to fuzz or “pill” easily. This happened when the fibres degraded over time and short strands broke away with contact or friction.
  • New types of acrylics have been developed to alleviate some of these problems.
  • Acrylic is colourfast, washable, and has the feel and appearance of wool, making it a good rug fabric.

Information adapted from Wikipedia

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