What’s in your carpet?
The feel, quality and look of a carpet largely depends on the type of yarn fibres used to make it. Carpet will get harsh treatment from shoes, furniture, grit, dirt and so on. All the while keeping its looks so it must be very hardwearing.
Recognised as the best fibre to use in carpet as it’s naturally flame-retardant, durable, easy to clean and retains its appearance well. It offers softness and ease of cleaning, doesn’t flatten easily and resists abrasion and dirt. It has natural insulation properties which is good for reducing both heat loss and noise.
It’s a sustainable fibre, and it’s recommended that wool should be used for carpet either in a pure 100% form or in a blend with other fibres with at least 50% wool. However, it’s more expensive than man-made fibres, so the most common carpet fibre blend is 80% wool and 20% synthetic fibre mix, as this combines the best properties of both.
Highly stain resistant, easy to clean, durable and with good colour fastness. It’s very good value for money, and so can be a good budget carpet option. However, it flattens easily and doesn’t retain its appearance so well.
Warm, wears well and is easily cleaned. It’s commonly used for Saxony carpet with its long pile, as it has a glossy appearance. It’s often used in small quantities in a wool/synthetic blend to help provide tuft definition and reduce fibre shedding.
Very strong, wears well and doesn’t flatten as easily as polypropylene or polyester. It’s highly stain-resistant and easy to clean. However, it doesn’t retain its appearance as well as wool, and can soil. The same applies to acrylic, though that’s the synthetic most like wool.
Carpets are produced in a variety of surface textures that affect the feel, appearance and performance of the carpet. The location of the carpet needs to be considered when choosing the type of pile, as all are designed for different degrees of wear.
Twist carpet is a cut pile made from twisted fibres, and is the most commonly-used style of tufted carpet. The twisted fibres have a coarse finish that creates a textured surface to the carpet. Twist carpet comes in two styles, either plain or heathered (slightly mottled). Heathered carpet is perfect for busier areas in your home as marks are less likely to show. It’s a hard wearing carpet, and suitable for most areas in your home, including halls, stairs, landings and main room.
Loop carpet is made from uncut loops of yarn. This type of carpet is great for busy rooms as the weave bounces back really easily. We don’t recommend loop pile carpet though if you have pets, as the loops can get pulled by their claws.
A velvet carpet is a softer and smoother cut pile. It’s magnificent throughout the home, or a luxury for the bedroom. A velvet carpet will look great in all rooms, but particularly in formal rooms and bedrooms as it creates an effect that looks rich and indulgent. Patterned carpet is hardwearing and traditionally woven, so is good at retaining its appearance. It will usually have a smooth velvet finish. A stripe design looks great in hallways and on stairs.
Two other popular carpet pile weaves are Saxony and Berber.
Berber twist carpet is made from a random blend of coloured yarns to give a multicoloured, flecked and slightly textured look. It can sometimes have a slightly striped appearance.
Saxony carpet has a deep pile which is popular for bedrooms as it has a sensuous feel and a look of luxury. The long pile is more difficult to clean though and can flatten easily, so it’s not recommended for hallways, stairs or main rooms where it’s likely to take the heaviest wear.
With such a huge range to choose from hopefully this guide will help you, and if you are still stuck then there is always the wooden floor options!