There are some tricks for determining carpet quality. Fibers should be tightly twisted. If a lot of backing shows when the corner is bent the less dense you weave. High traffic areas should have a lower profile cut that won’t have near as much tendency to matte and crush.
Fiber is the basic material that a carpet is made of. Over 90% of the modern carpets manufactured is synthetic fibers. The other 10% is mostly wool. The primary fibers in order of popularity is nylon, polypropylene or polyester. All three are synthetics made from oil or natural gas.
Nylon Carpet – About 75% of today’s carpets are nylon. It performs the best overall and leads in appearance retention, fade and heat resistance, soil and stain resistance, color and styling. A Type 6.6 which has a tighter molecular construction, making the carpet more resistant to stain penetration.
Polypropylene Carpet – It was introduced in the late 1950’s in Italy. Polypropylene BCF in carpets has grown over the last 20 years or so. It represents about 35% of the total fibers used in carpets. More often used in loop pile carpet constructions. Highly stain resistant the color is incorporated before extrusion. Not as resilient or resistant to abrasion as nylon.
Polyester – Polyester was introduced to the carpet industry in the mid 1960’s and has be accepted for its bulkiness, color clarity and good stain and fad resistance. Not a resilient as nylon.
Wool – This is the only natural fiber used to any extent in carpets. Wool is a staple in carpets from New Zealand, Argentina and Great Britain. Wool doesn’t stand up to abrasion like the synthetics, it does age gracefully. Wool is the most expensive carpet fiber and is only about 1% of the US carpet market.
Carpet Manufacturing Process
Tufting is weaving the synthetic fiber into the backing. Nearly of carpet backing is polypropylene. The tufting machine is 12 feet wide. The carpet material forms loops.
Cut pile carpets a loop piles but with the loop cut out leaving tufts of carpet fiber. Let’s go over a few terms:
• Pile height or the nap, is the length of the tuft. It measured from the primary backing to the end of the tuft tips. Usually shown as a fraction, or sometimes the decimal equivalent. Computer controlled knives can cut patterns into the carpet. Shorter piles heights are the most durable than longer piles.
• Stitch rate is a measure of how close the yarns are. Stitch rate is measured in penetrations, or tufts in each length of the carpet, usually per inch. Seven or eight tufts per inch is a good quality carpet, three or four is poor quality.
• Face weight is determined by the actual amount of fiber per squared yard and is measured in ounces. A typical carpet will have a face weight of 35 to 45 ounces.
• Density is a measure of how tightly the yarn is stitched into the primary backing. Higher density carpet will typically wear better than a low-density carpet.
Color is added through dyeing. The advantages of all yarn dyeing methods include good side by side color consistency, large lot sizes and uniformity. The color is applied to the yarn prior to tufting. Other dye methods occur after tufting. It is called carpet dyeing. The Beck technique is batch dyeing process. The ends of the carpet are stitched together that ran through the dye vat repeatedly as a continuous loop. Another continuous methods uses sprayed on dyes. Screen printing is another method where color is applied through a series of silk screens.
All these post-tufting methods allow for greater color flexibility and lower cost.
Carpet Backing & Shearing
The third step, in the finishing process a coating of latex is applied to both the tufted, dyed carpets primary backing. Secondary backing is another layer of polypropylene fabric bonded to the first. These are squeezed together and bonded under heat. Shearing is the last stage. This the process that removes all the little loose ends and projecting fibers that might have been created during the tufting process. It helps to achieve the yarn’s tip definition of the finished carpet.
Carpet Cleaning & More in Fort Pierce, Vero Beach, Stuart, Sebastian & Palm City, FL | Martin, Indian River and St Lucie County, Florida
A knowledge of how carpets are made provides needed information on how to care for and clean a carpet. No matter how diligent and well you vacuum, you will need professional carpet cleaning. Call Custom Carpet Cleaning to schedule your next appointment today!