As specialist carpet cleaners, we know a lot about carpet construction
Woven carpets, like Oriental rugs were originally made of wool and derive their names from the location in which they were made. Now woven carpets are also constructed of nylon, acrylic, or blends, but still feature extremely dense pile on closely woven backing. Woven carpet has pile, weft and warp yam interlaced on a loom.
This general method allows for extremely versatile design and a variety of textures. Axminster carpets were originally made in Axminster, England and are characterized by heavy backings made from jute, cotton or man-made that form lengthwise ribs. These carpets have a smooth cut-pile surface. Many hotel chains, theatres, pubs and clubs use Axminster carpet, in the UK and around the world. Wilton rugs are woven rugs that feature a variety of surface textures from level cut pile to multilevel loop pile. Velvet is a woven rug that is not patterned, and Chenille is thick, woven carpet that can be made in widths of up to 30 feet.
Over 90% of the carpet made in the UK today is tufted carpets. It is this type of carpet that we will be asked to clean most often, and so it is this type of carpet that will be discussed most thoroughly. Tufted carpet is made up of four layers. The top layer is called the carpet fibre or face fibre. Face fibres are made from nylon, wool, polypropylene, polyester, acrylic or cotton. These fibres are stitched with high-speed machines through the primary backing. The primary backing is usually made from synthetic fibres called polypropylene or olefin. In order to give these layers a firm foundation, the primary backing is glued to the secondary backing. The glue is made from a rubbery latex material that has a solid filler material added to act as a heat sink in case of fire and to reduce the cost of the latex layer. The main purpose of the latex is to hold the primary backing to the secondary backing. The secondary backing is made from polypropylene, jute, cotton, or felt. Polypropylene is now the most widely used backing with jute, in second place. Polypropylene is strong, durable and well suited for humid climates because it resists mildew. Jute is a natural cellulose fibre that is strong, durable, and holds the adhesive well, but is not resistant to mildew and can cause other problems. Felt backing is sometimes substituted for the secondary backing. Although felt is not as strong as the other secondary backings, no additional under pad (other than paper) is needed.
Foam backed carpet is no longer manufactured and the only time you may come across it is when you have to scrape the foam off the floor when you are replacing it.
Needle punched Carpet
Needle punched carpet construction consists of placing layers of carpet fibres on a mesh or web synthetic fibre core, and punching these fibres through with thousands of barbed needles. This produces a firm mass of entangled fibres that gives a thick, felt-like, water-resistant carpet.
An electrostatic process, which causes chopped pieces of fibres to adhere in an upright position to an adhesive treated backing, produces flocked carpets. These carpets are usually dyed or printed after production.
Knitted carpets are made on a machine with a flexible warp. The flexibility of these machines allows plush carpets to be made with a variety of patterns, textures and densities in a wide range of yams. The speed of production and the economy in use of yam may some day allow knitted carpets to challenge the market position of tufted carpets.
Oriental rugs have come to be associated with luxury in contemporary interiors. They often serve as a focal point in formal residential living areas, corporate boardrooms, or luxury hotel lobbies. By knotting wool or silk yams to the back’s warp yams, very distinctive designs with vibrant colours can be produced. Traditionally, straight-line designs indicated tribal or village sources. The more difficult curved, floral; medallions and animals indicate town weavers. The name of the rug indicates the weaving centre, city, or area of origin.
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