Choosing the right carpet for your home can be a bit of a daunting task. A wealth of styles, designs and materials doesn’t necessarily make it any easier either. That’s why it’s a real bonus to not only have the widest choice available to you, but also people that will help you every step of the way, and that help starts right here with Carpetright.
Here’s a brief overview of what you need to know about carpets – the fibres we use, the different styles and the best way to care for your carpet once it’s in your home.
Quality is part of our fibre
Our carpets are usually made from one of four main types of fibre – Wool, Polypropylene, Polyamide (also known as Nylon) or Polyester, and often when trying to achieve a particular feel, carpets may be made from a blend of any of these materials.
What you choose is entirely up to you – what kind of feel you want, what kind of practical aspects you’re looking for such as stain protection and durability. To help you make that choice, here are the main benefits of each material:
The traditional carpet fibre. Wool has been used in the making of carpets worldwide for hundreds of years, and there’s a good reason why. Properties include excellent appearance retention so wool carpets spring back into shape, good resistance to soiling, low flammability and wool is easy to clean too.
Wool is resistant to cold water based stains and has a low lustre appearance, which means the colours are always deep and rich. For added strength and durability and to reduce shedding, wool is often blended with a synthetic fibre like polyamide or polyester, you may often find a blend of 80% wool and 20% man made fibres, resulting in a luxury carpet fit for any home.
The most popular manmade carpet fibre. Polypropylene is resistant to stains because the colour is locked in during the manufacturing process. In fact it can be cleaned using a part bleach cleaning solution making it an extremely practical choice for today’s modern families. Polypropylene is not only hard wearing but it’s also fade resistant and much lower in price making it fantastic value for money.
Polyamide (also known as Nylon)
Durable and resilient, Polyamide carpets can be dyed or printed after tufting and therefore have vibrant colours, exciting patterns and bold designs. Polyamide retains both its looks and style much longer than other synthetic fibres and is also the hardest wearing synthetic fibre.
Most like wool in appearance and feel, modern polyester can produce a more natural softness. With an attractive, lustrous look, it’s more commonly used as a blend rather than on its own and is a well performing fibre that’s easily cleaned.
Always in Style - Types of Pile
Twist pile carpets are created from yarn which has been twisted tightly together and right now, it’s the most popular kind of carpet being produced. Twists come in plain colours, and also a ‘heather' look, which is made by combining yarns of complimentary shades together. Ideal for any room in the home, twists come in the widest variety of fibres, colours, shades and prices.
Carpets with a velvet pile have a very smooth, elegant cut pile finish. Another added benefit is that this type of carpet is extremely low maintenance as the pile is usually quite short, but very dense. Adding a little luxury to any location, velvet offers a solid colour to the carpet and a great feel.
Becoming increasingly popular again since its heyday in the 1970's, this extremely luxurious carpet is made the same way as a cut pile but with extra long tufts for that super shaggy look.
Loop Pile (Berbers)
Looped pile or Berber carpet is extremely durable and practical and excellent at maintaining its appearance. Not only does it hide footprints well, but it also offers texture to a plain carpet. The yarn used in making looped pile is quite heavy and wide, and the loops can be made at either a uniform height, or even different heights, to form a textured pile.
Dense and luxurious, Saxony is a cut pile carpet made with longer tufts for a very soft feel that’s smooth to the touch. Saxony is comprised of twisted, cut pile tufts that have a uniform appearance. The soft and dense nature of this carpet can show footprints so we don’t recommended it for high traffic areas although it’s perfect for bedrooms.
Cut and Loop
Just as the name suggests, this type of carpet is made with both cut pile and loop pile areas to give a textured pattern effect.
Created by interlocking warp (vertical) and weft (horizontal) threads. The pile is actually looped but with no height, giving the impression that the pile is flat. This means, whilst feeling quite firm underfoot, it doesn’t show signs of flattening or shading.
Needle felts are produced by a process called electrostatic flocking. Fibres of nylon are charged so that they stand upright. This creates such a dense and durable carpet which cannot be achieved by traditional manufacturing techniques.
An Axminster carpet is machine woven, with individual pieces of yarn being woven with the weft. Axminster carpets are known for their quality, longevity and durability. Most popular is a velvet look, however more recently manufacturers are using twisted yarn to reduce the effect of shading.
A Wilton carpet is a high quality, woven carpet noted for having up to five colours per pattern. Wilton carpets are available in many patterns and they can have a looped (uncut) or cut pile. The difference between a Wilton and Axminster is that a Wilton carpet yarn is a continuous strand woven all the way
Caring for your carpet
So when should you start caring for your new carpet? At Carpetright, we believe it starts before you even buy it! You can make sure your carpet doesn't receive undue wear and tear by choosing the best one for your needs. Think about how much traffic there’ll be in the area. Will you be eating or drinking there? We say this because it could well be a factor in deciding on which fibres you choose and even the colour. See Carpet Care and Maintenance for more tips on how to keep your carpet looking like new for years to come.
How else can I protect my carpet?
Once you’ve settled on the perfect carpet, it’s a really good idea to think about underlay. Underlay helps protect your carpet against point loading depressions made by heavy furniture and household fittings, whilst also helping the carpet to recover more quickly.
New carpet underlay also provides excellent insulation. It’ll help keep your home warmer and reduce fuel bills, whilst intrusive noise levels can also be reduced greatly from adjoining rooms.