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Oregon City Carpet—How Carpet is Made

Knowing how carpet is made can be very advantageous. Knowing the different materials that make up various carpets also helps you understand and evaluate their performance aspects: why certain carpets are easier to install, why some wear better, longer, and why others are easier to care for and clean. It can also make you a smarter shopper.

Selections:

  • thicker is not always better
  • tight twist in each yarn is better than loose and frayed
  • firm and dense pile means quality
  • the more backing seen, the less dense and durable
  • high traffic areas need lower profiles to avoid matting and crushing

Step 1: Fiber

  • basic material of makeup
  • 90% is synthetic fiber
  • rest is natural fiber, mostly wool

Synthetic Fibers

  • made up of one of three materials: nylon, polypropylene or polyester
  • created by chemical processes from oil and natural gas

Nylon

  • 75% is made of nylon
  • performs the best overall leader in: appearance retention, fade and heat resistance, soil and stain resistance, color and styling
  • highest performance nylon is Type 6.6 for more resistant to stain penetration

Polypropylene

  • next most common material is polypropylene
  • introduced in the late 1950’s in Italy
  • BCF represents more than 35% of all fibers
  • not as resilient or resistant to abrasion as nylon
  • naturally stain and fade resistant
  • naturally resistance to moisture
  • more limited range of color options
  • most often used in loop pile constructions

Polyester

  • third type of material is polyester
  • introduced to the carpet industry in the mid 1960’s
  • well accepted for bulkiness, color clarity, and good stain and fade resistance
  • not as resilient as nylon
  • can be a good performer

PET

  • Mohawk makes from plastic bottles
  • plastic is collected, separated by color, and then ground and melted
  • used to manufacture the PET carpet fiber
  • carpets made by Mohawk of PET staple fiber made from 100% recycled material
  • great color clarity, stain resistance, durability
  • keeps over 3 billion bottles out of landfills

SmartStrand

  • made with DuPont Sonora polymer
  • DuPont and Mohawk make this fiber into carpet
  • SmartStrand with DuPont Sorona is continuous filament fiber
  • eliminates shedding
  • highly stain resistant and durable
  • 40% of the fiber made from corn by products

Wool

  • The above three materials make up the majority of synthetic fibers.
  • The other type of fiber used in carpet construction is staple fiber.
  • While some synthetics are used in the creation of staple fibers, the original staple fiber used in the making of carpet is wool.
  • The wool used in today’s carpet comes primarily from New Zealand, Argentina, and the United Kingdom.
  • Since wool is a natural fiber, it ranges in color from off-white to black, with many earthen tones between.
  • Wool doesn’t stand up to abrasion and moisture as well as synthetics, it cleans well and is known to age gracefully.
  • Wool is the most expensive carpet fiber, and represents less than one percent of the U.S. carpet market.

Berber

  • considered a type of carpet construction
  • actually comes from the name of a group of North African sheepherders called the Berbers
  • Berbers produced coarse wool, with color flecks in their yarns

 

Carpet is made in a 3-part process.

#1 Tufting

begins with weaving the synthetic or staple fiber into a primary backing material

usually made of woven polypropylene

main value is to provide a base cloth to hold the yarn while tufting happens

tufting machine has 800 to 2000 needles like a sewing machine to pull the yarn through the primary backing material

tufting machine is 12 feet wide, its needles penetrate the backing and a small hook (looper) grabs the yarn and holds it in place

Loop pile construction

holds appearance well

no exposed yarn tips

only sides of the yarn are exposed to wear and stress

known to hold up the best

Alternative step

sometimes the looper cuts small loops creating a cut pile

length of these pieces called pile height, or distance between the looper and primary backing

cuts are controlled by a computer, and can be programmed to cut only some of the loops

this cutting is called cut and loop construction and creates pattern on the surface

#2 Application of dye

Two dyeing processes

yarn dyeing/ pre-dyeing -color is applied to the yarn prior to tufting

advantages are good side-by-side color consistency, large lot sizes, uniformity

carpet dying – applying color to the yarn after tufting

benefits -greater color flexibility, lower co

Carpet dyeing methods

  • Beck/ batch dyeing- stitching the ends together, then running the tufted carpet loop through large vats of dye and water for several hours.
  • Beck process ideal for small runs, heavier face weight products
  • continuous dyeing -similar to Beck dyeing – carpet is also run through processes other than dying
  • continuous dyeing – applies color to the face by spraying or printing, also to create multicolor or patterned effects
  • screen printing – color is applied through anywhere from 1-8 silk-screens.

#3 Manufacturing the carpet

  • finishing process- single production line that completes the final construction stages
    • coating of latex applied to dyed carpet’s primary and secondary backing
    • secondary backing – made of woven synthetic polypropylene
    • two parts are squeezed together in a large heated press and held firmly to preserve shape

 

  • shearing- removing loose ends and projecting fibers created during the tufting process
  • also helps the yarn’s tip definition
  • inspection – for color uniformity and defects before it rolled, wrapped, and shipped

Terms and construction variables

Pile height, or nap

  • length of the tuft measured from the primary backing to the yarn tips
  • shown as a fraction, or decimal equivalent
  • shorter pile is more durable than longer pile
  • stitch rate – measure of how close the yarns are together
  • stitch rate is measured in penetrations, or tufts, in a given length of carpet, usually an inch.
  • stitch rate is controlled by the speed the carpet is moved through the tufting machine
  • good number is seven to eight tufts per inch
  • face weight-actual amount of fiber per square yard, measured in ounces
  • typical carpet may have a face weight of 35 to 45 oz
  • density- how tightly the yarn is stitched into the primary backing
  • higher density will wear better than low density

 

Oregon City Carpet Glossary and Vocabulary of Oregon City Carpeting Terms

Backing/Primary Backing
The primary backing material of carpeting is usually made of woven polypropylene and its main value is to provide a base cloth to hold the yarn in place while the tufting happens.

Beck Dyeing
A second dyeing method used in the manufacturing of carpet involves applying color to the yarn after the carpet has been tufted.

Berber
A loop style carpet is often referred to as a berber and can be either produced in a level loop or multi-level loop construction. Often times loop carpets are accented with color fleck to provide a contrast from the primary carpet color.

Bulked Continuous Filament
Continuous long strands of synthetic fiber that have been formed into bundles of yarn. Products made from a continuous filament yarn rarely display any shedding or pilling.

Cable
A style of carpet constructed of thicker (sometimes a combination of thicker and thinner), yarn characterized by a longer pile height.

Carpet Cushion
Commonly called padding, this is the layer of material that lies between the carpet and floor. Carpet cushion helps provide comfort and support along with excellent noise reduction. Quality cushion is critical to the performance of carpet and is required by manufacturers warranties.

Carpet Dyeing (Continuous Dyeing)
Also called Continuous Dyeing, color is applied directly to the carpet face by spraying or printing. This process is also used to create multicolor or patterned effects in the carpet.

Cut Pile
The loops of yarn are cut, creating a more level finish on the face of the carpet. Textures, saxonies and friezes are all considered cut pile carpets.

Density
A measure of how tightly the yarn is stitched into the primary backing. Higher density carpet will typically wear better than lower density carpet.

Face Weight
Is determined by the actual amount of fiber per square yard, and is measured in ounces.

Fiber
Fiber is the basic material that a carpet is made of. Over ninety percent of all of the carpet made today is made up of synthetic fiber. The rest is natural fiber, most commonly wool.

Frieze
This is a cut pile style that has a very high twist level, meaning each strand of yarn is twisted so tightly that they actually curl over at the end. This creates a textured surface with a casual appearance, and a carpet of high durability and very good wear-ability.

Loop Pile
Created by uncut yarns, loop pile carpet can be level loop or multi level. Loop pile products hold their appearance very well. Since there are no exposed yarn tips, only the sides of the yarn are exposed to wear and stress.

Matte/Crush
The application of weight (like a high traffic area) on an installed carpet produces the visual effect of carpet “laying down”.

Nap
(See Pile Height)

Nylon
A synthetic fiber. Most quality residential carpets today are made of nylon. Nylon is the leader in: appearance retention, fade and heat resistance, soil and stain resistance, and color and styling.

Olefin
See Polypropylene.

Pile
Cut or uncut loops of yarn that create the surface of carpeting.

Pile Height
Also called the nap, pile height is the length of the tuft measured from the primary backing to the yarn tips.

Plush
See Saxony.

Polyester
A common synthetic material well accepted for its bulkiness, color clarity, and good stain and fade resistance. While not as resilient as nylon, Polyester fiber carpet constructed with today’s new technologies can be a good performer.

Polypropylene
Another common synthetic material used in carpet manufacturing, sometimes referred to as olefin. Most commonly used in commercial carpeting polypropylene is not as resilient or resistant to abrasion as nylon, it is naturally stain and fade resistant.

Saxony
Saxony has a smooth, soft, velvet plush look and a luxurious feel with a uniform twist and finish. Be aware that this style will show footprints and vacuum marks.

Screen Printing
Another common method of carpet coloring, screen printing is where color is applied through anywhere from one to as many as eight silk-screens.

Shading
A change in carpet appearance caused by a combination of wear and carpet tuft distortion. Shading is not an actual change in color, but is a difference in the way the light source refracts off the face of the carpet.

Shearing
One of the last stages in the manufacturing of carpet, shearing is the process of removing all of the little loose ends and projecting fibers that might have been created during the tufting process. It also helps achieve the yarn’s tip definition of the finished carpet.

Shedding
Shedding is a natural part of a new carpet. Frequent vacuuming for the first few days should remove any loose fibers from the carpet’s surface.

Sprouting
Refers to small tufts or loops of carpet that become visible after the installation. Use a small pair of scissors to carefully trim the loose fibers flush with the surface of the carpet.

Staple Fiber 
Staple fiber is made up of short strands of fiber (approximately 7 inches long) that are spun together to create strands of yarn. Staple fiber has more of a tendency to “shed” than continuous filament fiber.

Stitch Rate
The measure of how close the yarns are together. Stitch rate is measured in penetrations, or tufts, in a given length of carpet, usually an inch. The stitch rate is controlled by how fast the carpet is moved through the tufting machine.

Synthetic
Man-made, using chemical compounds versus natural materials. Over ninety percent of all of the carpet is made up of synthetic fiber – usually one of three materials: nylon, polypropylene or polyester. All three are created by similar chemical processes using oil and natural gas.

Texture
A very popular cut pile carpet that has alternating twists of yarn creating a tonal appearance. This carpet creates a more casual atmosphere in the room and is available in a broad range of colors and densities.

Transition
When two different flooring products meet – say, carpeting and a hardwood floor – it’s called a transition. Professional installers try to match the surface heights of various flooring products to minimize transitions.

Tuft/Tufting
The first step in the manufacturing of carpet. Tufting begins with the process of weaving the synthetic or staple fiber into a primary backing material.

Twist
Carpet yarns are twisted around each other to produce both textural and performance characteristics. Typically the higher the twist the better the performance.

Yarn Dyeing
Yarn dyeing, also called pre-dyeing, is where the color is applied to the yarn prior to tufting. The advantages of all yarn dyeing methods include good side-by-side color consistency, large lot sizes, and uniformity.

Buy Carpet Flooring Oregon City from Buyright Carpet of Oregon City. (503)451-5353 Complimentary in Home Design Consultation & Guaranteed Installations.