Once you have chosen your carpet, it is important to know how to care for it to maintain the quality. We are one of the leading carpet shops here at Solomons Furniture Superstore.
With developments in manufacturing technology, 95% of all carpets produced today are tufted. It can take about an hour to make a roll of carpet that may take eight hours to weave. To make tufted carpet, hundreds of yarn-threaded needles are pushed through the primary backing fabric to form loops or tufts, which may be left as they are, or cut.
A heavy adhesive coating is applied to hold the tufts in place and a secondary backing is usually glued on for strength and stability. An extensive variety of styles and textures can then be created using various techniques.
Berber carpets look like and are named after a handmade, bulky wool carpet made by the Berber tribes of North Africa and Asia. The loops are made from thick or bulky yarns of wool, nylon, polypropylene or a blend of these fibres to give a cushioned effect underfoot. These carpets are available in an assortment of colours, may be flecked and can be either level loop or multilevel loop.
When all the loops are of the same height, a highly flexible and durable carpet is created which has a natural, casual appearance even when it is made from synthetic fibres. The tight loop texture tends to hide marks so it’s a good blend between luxury and practically.
The loops vary from two or sometimes three loop heights to create informal, random textures which are very forgiving for marks and stains and therefore very suitable for high traffic areas and busy family rooms.
Bonded Carpets (sometimes called ‘fibre-bonded’) are created by firing fibres into an adhesive material – the fibres are not stitched into the backing in any way. The technique is principally used for carpet tiles.
Frieze or frisèe (pronounced free-say) carpets are similar to Saxony, but the yarns are more tightly twisted and should always be heat set. They have a dense, low pile surface which creates a coarse, pebbly texture. Frieze carpets are very durable and hide footprints, dust and dirt, which makes them suitable for heavy traffic areas.
Saxony textures are made of twisted yarns, which should be heat set. The tips remain very distinct, rather than blending together to form a very elegant finish. Saxony textures show footprints and vacuum marks so are suitable for more occasional rooms in the home. More textured variations improve the practicality of saxony.
The popular twist carpet is the cut-pile standard. The yarn is tightly twisted and often heat set to retain this feature and the result is a versatile, textured finish that is ideal for plain colours.
Velvet textures (sometimes called ‘velour’ or ‘plush’) all have a level surface pile of approximately 5mm to 10mm height, which is then sheared to give a smooth finish. With very little twist in the yarn, the ends blend together which then further enhance the overall finish. These carpets tend to ‘shade’ with heavy use. Footprints show easily and the colour looks different from place to place because fibres lying in different directions reflect the light differently. A luxury carpet for occasional rooms.
When some of the pile is cut and the other left as a loop, a variety of surface textures and patterns can be treated (in a variety of colours). The multi-level surface is excellent for hiding footprints and stains, so cut and loop is good for high traffic areas and general purpose rooms within the house.
Shag Pile has varied in popularity. The pile is up to 50mm long and the texture is casual and loose but the surface can flatten easily and may lack durability.
Woven carpet may be in a tiny minority of today’s production but still produces some of the finest carpets which are used for prestigious installation.
The pile of the carpet is inserted into the backing as it is woven and cut to length, creating ‘U’ shaped tufts to give a velvety surface. The process locks in the fibre to create a carpet of high durability and performance retention as well as a luxury feel. This process allows for intricate designs and colours to be used
Wilton carpets are produced in a similar way to Axminsters, the principal difference being that a continuous fibre is woven all the way through. The carpet can be sheared to create a range of cut and loop textured effects. The result is a high quality carpet of unrivalled durability.
Manufactured in the same way as Wilton, flat weave is a loop pile which allows the yarn to be woven across a wider area to create a flatter, more textured effect.
Hints and tips on the care and maintenance of your new carpet. With just a little care, your carpet will last longer and look good throughout its life.
Carpet cleaning should be left to a professional cleaning company.
If incorrectly applied, can leave sticky soap residues in the fibres, which can result in the soiling reappearing quite rapidly.
Dust, which is carried on draughts, can soil carpets in various ways apart from the obvious soiled edges and at gaping skirting boards for instance. Dark lines appearing on the surface might suggest airborne dust is vacuum-drawn through poorly fitted floorboards. Sometimes the shape of floorboards can be seen quite clearly.
Air borne dust sometimes shows itself as spots on the carpet, this is due to the air carried on a draught under the carpet, escaping through minute holes both in the underlay and the carpet. This can leave dust depositing on the pile, much like a filter action. In such installations, the use of a lining paper is essential as a preventative measure.
The key to good carpet care maintenance is to avoid particles of loose dirt and dust from working their way into the carpet pile where they will act abrasively on the fibres and discolour the carpet.
A new carpet will shed a small amount of loose fibres and these should be removed by vacuuming as soon as possible; otherwise the fibres will be walked back into the carpet and can cause a matted appearance.
Loop pile carpets should be vacuumed with a cylinder cleaner using the suction head only. Avoid using beater heads and brushes – they will catch and lift the fibres, giving your carpet a bobbled or felted appearance.
Cut pile carpets should be vacuumed with an upright cleaner with a beater bar and brush.
Carpets made from wool can and will fade in use. The degree of fade can vary depending on the colour chosen and the local conditions to which the carpet is subjected. Fading can be caused by exposure to ultra violet light which is found in daylight, but is accelerated when sunlight shines directly onto the carpet. This has the effect of lightening or “bleaching” the colour just as exposure to sunlight will lighten human hair. Wool is after all animal hair. Protection should be given to carpets exposed to such conditions just as you would protect other furniture or fabrics.
Please note, over time, regular foot traffic will flatten the pile surface in the main walkways, causing areas of different wear. Flattening is caused by the compression of the pile by footwear and furniture. These areas will appear lighter or shaded in comparison to the less frequently used parts. This shading/tracking or flattening happens to all carpets with a pile surface and as such is not accepted as the basis for any complaint. It is not detrimental to the wear of the carpet, nor is it a defect. Heavy furniture may crush the carpet pile so wherever possible use castor cups. Furniture should not be dragged across a carpet.
Like shading, this occurs when the pile or nap of the carpet changes direction and thus reflects light at different angles showing the effects of shading which can become permanent. It is also described as ‘watermarking’. This can happen to every carpet construction be it Axminster, Wilton, Tufted, Hand Woven, Persian, Chinese, Indian or even Coir Matting. Like shading, it can be more apparent on plain carpet because heavy patterns can disguise the effects.
All carpets using a spun yarn will shed excess fibre when first installed. This is to be expected and does not mean there is a defect. The short fibres given off represent a very small fraction of the pile.
Pet paws, claws, rubber soled shoes and heels can be abrasive on carpets, particular where use is constantly concentrated to small areas (i.e. in front of armchairs). Move furniture occasionally to avoid any distortion to the carpet pile.
Pilling can sometimes occur on loop pile blend carpets. The expression is used to describe the little balls of fibres which collect on the pile surface. It is similar to the type of pilling which can occur on a sweater. Carefully remove these pills with scissors – the durability of the carpet will not be affected.