Glossary

80/20

The 80% is usually wool and the 20% usually a synthetic yarn added to either improve the characteristics of the wool or to bulk it out.

Action Back

All tufted carpets have a secondary backing which is adhered to the back of the pile fibres to give additional stability and a firm backing to fit the carpet with. Action bac is a synthetic/man made material used as secondary backing for carpets.

Antimicrobial

Destroys or suppresses the growth of micro-organisms.

Antistatic

Reduces or eliminates the build up of static electricity.

Axminster

A type of woven carpet and also a brand name, Axminster carpets are generally, although not exclusively made from wool rich blends and are usually patterned rather than plain. Their popularity has diminished as cheaper tufted carpet quality has improved.

Berber

Berbers are a distinctive, attractive and versatile variety of carpet that adapts well to any room decor. They can be loop or cut pile carpets and typically have a rugged, heathered colour appearance. Generally made from a wool blend, although cheaper manmade fibre versions can be found.

Binding

A strip sewn onto the edge of a carpet, that is used to protect or add strength. Can be used to create runners and rugs.

Blends

Refers to the blend of the yarns used in the face pile of the carpet; eg 50% wool / 50% polypropylene. Different blends have different characteristics and different uses.

Borders

Borders of contrasting colour or design can be seamed into a carpet to create an interesting visual effect. Most often used in long corridors and on staircases this style can add a great deal to interior decoration.

Door Bars

Door bars provide a neat finish and attractive edging to doorways and other unprotected                         edges. They also ensure that areas of high traffic are kept seam free for safety, and protect them from wear and tear. Usually made from wood, aluminium or brass, they are sometimes called cover strips.

Edging

See Binding

Fitting

There are different ways to install a carpet depending on the location and type of carpet. We employ professional fitters who have undergone full training and will fit your carpets and flooring to the highest standards. Poorly fitted carpet not only doesn’t look good, but can lead to premature wear.

Flattening

The process during which after a period of use the pile fibre becomes flattened. Usually caused in two ways – static pressure caused by heavy furniture over a long period of time, or in heavy traffic areas. This is unavoidable but can be minimised by choosing a dense carpet where the fibres are packed in and so support each other. Using a high quality underlay will pay dividends as this will itself absorb some of the pressure and help the carpet fibres recover more quickly.

Feltback

Where the carpet has a “built-in” layer of felt which acts as an underlay. Usually found on cheaper qualities. Generally the carpet appearance will deteriorate more quickly as the built-in underlay is not as effective as a good quality normal underlay.

Gripper

A wooden strip with upstanding sharp nails used to fit most tufted carpets in the home. The gripper is pinned or stuck to the perimeter of the room and the carpet stretched from wall to wall.

Heather

An effect created by blending two or different coloured yarns together to create a patterned effect. Can be useful in hiding dirt or camouflaging wear and tear.

Hessian backing

See Action bac

Loop pile

Where the pile of a tufted carpet is left uncut to form a loop. Loop pile carpets are popular because they offer textural appearance. They tend to feel harder under foot and in some cases are not recommended for use on stairs.

Natural fibres

Carpet fibres produced from natural sources. Wool is the main carpet fibre used in the UK. Coir, Sisal and Seagrass are other examples of natural fibres.

Nylon

The generic term is Polyamide. Nylon can be used on its own or blended with wool fibres adding to the carpets durability.

Pattern Repeat

The distance measured before a design starts again.

Pile

The term used to describe the face yarn which is visible when the carpet is laid on the floor.

Pile height

The term used to describe the length of the pile standing above the backing.

Pile weight

The weight of yarn per square metre of carpet.

Polyamide

See Nylon.

Polyester

Polyester is a man-made fibre typically used for deep pile Saxonys  where luxury is looked for at a modest price. Not as durable as wool or nylon.

Polypropylene

This man-made fibre represents good value for money and is inherently stain resistant. Not as durable as other fibres.

Ply

Single ends of carpet yarn that are twisted together to form plied carpet.  It is the measurement of the yarn’s thickness e.g. 3 ply

Primary Backing

In a tufted carpet it is the backing into which the tufts are inserted.

Quality

The word can sometimes refer to different versions of a particular carpet e.g. a light wear or a heavy wear quality often linked to the pile weight of that carpet.

Saxony

A style of carpet usually of longer pile height than twist pile. Ideal for any area where softness and luxury underfoot is required.

Secondary Backing

A second backing that is laminated onto the primary backing of carpet to increase shape retention.

Shag Pile

A style of carpet usually of longer pile height than the saxony. Popular in the 1960’s this style has recently come back into fashion. The longer pile shags need to be combed and specific guidance should be obtained for their care and maintenance.

Shedding

This term describes how some carpets will naturally shed some fibres in the early stages of life. This is quite normal and you should not be unduly concerned.

Stain protection

A carpet treatment applied during manufacturing which helps protect the surface fibres from soiling and spillages.

Static

The positive electrical charge that builds up on the shoe soles after walking over a carpet.

Subfloor

A term used to describe the floor directly beneath any carpet or final floor covering.

Synthetic

Made of chemical, man–made products instead of natural materials.

Textures

A term used to describe any floor covering with a textured finish creating an interesting visual effect on the floor.

Tufting

The method of manufacture developed in the 1960s. More efficient and cheaper than woven carpets most modern carpets are made this way.

Twist Pile

The most popular style of carpet in the UK today usually denoted by its relatively short pile length – can be very durable in the right construction.

Underlay

The pad made from a variety of materials but usually rubber or felt, which helps cushion the carpet against wear. A good underlay will help prolong the life of your carpet, give you sound absorption and provide heat insulating properties.

Weight

Often used to compare the merits of different qualities, the pile weight of a carpet is usually measured in grams per square metre. Ensure you are comparing figures of the same type if using this as a comparison.

Whipping

See Binding

Woven

Axminster or wilton carpets are woven types. Typically patterned and multi-coloured they are usually hard wearing but more expensive than tufted carpets.