Carpet cleaners boston would like to point out that choosing a carpet can be a bewildering process, but once you know what terms like fibre, pile, density and texture mean, the choices become far simpler. Here’s a quick guide.
Carpet Cleaners Boston On Fibre
Carpets will generally be classed according to the fibre that was used to create the carpet. The fibres may be natural, like wool and hemp, or synthetic, like Acrylic, Nylon (Polyamide), Polyester or Olefin (Polypropylene). Most of the time, carpets will consist of multiple fibres twisted together to form yarns or threads. In the case of a 2-ply carpet, each yarn would consist of two fibres twisted together, whereas a 4-ply carpet would involve four fibres twisted. Tight twisting accompanied by heat setting will make the threads particularly durable.
Carpet Cleaners Boston On Natural Fibres
Wool is expensive, but worth every penny. It’s very soft to the touch and incredibly durable. The pile doesn’t flatten easily, so the carpet retains its shape. Wool is easy to keep clean, and the fibres have a waxed layer that keeps soil trapped near the top, so dirt is easy to clear. Wool also retains as much as 10% more heat as other fibres. Wool is costly to produce and obtain, but many carpets come with a blend of wool and other fibres. 80% wool will be enough to give you a luxurious carpet. Much of the best wool is produced in New Zealand. Feel free to ask carpet cleaners boston any questions !
A number of other natural fibres are available, with sisal being a highly durable alternative, albeit with a harder feel. Jute gives you a ligher and softer carpet, although it isn’t quite as hard-wearing as sisal. Hemp sits somewhere between the two. Sisal, jute and hemp have poor surface friction, and would be bad choices for stairs or areas with high moisture. Natural fibres tend to cause fewer allergies, and any of these are good choices for those who want to keep the air fresh and clean.
Of the manmade fibres, carpet cleaners boston believe acrylic is the best choice if you want to emulate wool’s soft and warm feel at a reduced price. It’s excellent at resisting stains, oils and chemicals, and the ease with which it can be dyed leads to its availability in a range of colours. Where it does suffer, though, is in durability, and the yarn will untwist if the carpet is used in areas of heavy footfall. Nylon is much tougher, and a better choice in such situations. It lacks the luxurious feel of acrylic, and is also quite expensive for a synthetic fibre, but is extremely flexible, and easily lends itself to a variety of styles and colours.
If money is tight, you might find polyester and olefin (polypropylene) to be better choices. Both types of carpet will wear out quickly, and are unsuited to heavy footfall areas. Polyester does look good at first, though, while olefin is superb at resisting water, making it a wise choice for damp rooms (such as basements). Both types are also highly stain resistant.
Pile, Density and Texture
The fibre itself isn’t the only factor that defines a carpet, though. The pile, density, and texture of the fibre will also be instrumental in creating the final product.
Density – This measures how closely packed together the yarns are. The greater the density, the stronger the carpet will be. Take a sample of the carpet and fold it over. The less of the backing
that you can see, the more tightly packed (and, therefore, better) the yarns are. Comparing different carpet samples in this way will quickly give you an indication of relative quality.
Pile – This refers specifically to the height of the fibre. Long fibres create a more lustrous feel – shag carpets, for instance, are comprised of numerous lengthy fibres – whereas shorter fibres make for a stiffer spikier result that can lead to greater durability.
Texture – This refers to the way fibres are looped, cut and twisted. Choices fall within the categories of loop pile (level loop, Berber), cut pile (Saxony, Plush, Shag, Frieze, Textured), and cut and loop pile.
Most carpets begin the manufacturing process in this form, with the yarns looped and fastened to the backing. Loop pile tends to be very strong and durable.
These will have loops of equal height, and will offer a smooth surface with excellent durability. They’re excellent choices for high footfall areas, even if their somewhat stiff texture makes them a little hard to the feel.
Berber – These have loops of unequal height, and are much denser than other carpets. Stain resistance is high. However, these are unsuitable for use in houses with pets, as claws regularly get caught on the fibres.
Cut Pile – Where the fibre ends are cut, the carpets are classed as ‘cut pile’.
Saxony – A very popular example, these have densely packed yarns that create a soft surface. Saxony carpets easily show footprints, though, making them unsuited to areas where there’ll be significant footfall.
Plush/Shag – These are both variations on Saxony carpets. Plush has a particularly smooth finish, while Shag uses long fibres to create a lustrous feel. Like the standard Saxony, they easily show footprints.
Frieze – In direct contrast to Shag, Frieze carpets have the fibres cut very short. The fibres naturally curl in different directions, and this makes it easy for them to repel footprints. Frieze carpets last extremely well, even where there’s heavy footfall.
Textured – The Textured carpet uses longer and more lustrous fibres, but doesn’t pack them as densely as a Saxony. The result is still relatively soft, and the tightly twisted threads are excellent at deflecting soil. This combines with their interesting uneven look to make them the ideal choice for homes.
Cut and Loop Pile – This sits somewhere between loop pile and cut pile, combining the techniques to create a surface that feels softer than loop pile, but that lasts better than cut pile. A range of possible patterns can make this an interesting choice.
Look for carpets that have had treatments and finishes to make them anti-soil, anti-stain or anti-microbial.
Don’t forget about padding. Adding this will increase the durability, as well as cushioning feet and reducing noise levels. Different carpets require different thickness levels, so be careful to get the right padding.
Fibre – Wool is soft but expensive. Sisal, hemp and jute are good natural replacements, with sisal being the most durable, and jute the softest. With synthetic fibres, acrylic feels very similar to wool, but lasts less well. Nylon is tough to the feel but lasts. Polyester and olefin (Polypropylene) are cheap but short-lived. Olefin is a good choice for damp areas.
Pile and Density – These refer to the length of the fibres, and how closely packed the yarns are, respectively.
Texture – Loop pile is strong and durable, with the ‘level loop’ the toughest. Cut pile has cut ends, with Saxony the most common – the Plush variation has a smooth finish, while Shag uses long fibres. Saxony carpets easily show footprints. Other types of cut pile include Frieze and Textured. Frieze have short fibres, and last very well, but Textured use longer and more lustrous fibres to give them a softer feel. Cut and loop pile is a third alternative, and this lasts better than cut pile, but feels softer than loop pile.
Be sure to use a professional to look after your new carpet !
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