Twist Pile Carpets
Market Best Sellers
The market is flooded with twist pile carpets: understandably, because they account for about 75% of all carpet sales. The would-be buyer is faced with a bewildering array of ranges and makers who, at first glance, appear to be offering exactly the same product. The very style of twist pile carpet produces a finish which is particularly anonymous. It is very difficult indeed to identify from amongst the multitude, those of real quality and value. Twist pile carpets are, in fact, a particularly disparate class of materials, so time spent in discovering those that have been well specified will be repaid by years of superior performance. The best not only last longer, they are also better at retaining their original appearance. Poorly specified carpets look similar initially, but they wear down quickly. Worse still, within a few months of installation they often flatten, and therefore shade, producing the ugly 'rabbit run' effect. Flattened pile is being abraded not on the ends of the yarn, but on the sides: this reduces the life-span of the carpet dramatically.
Wastage and seams
The wastage penalty varies from one range to another, and can amount to hundreds of pounds: selecting the right carpet width also reduces seaming to the minimum. Bear in mind that a higher quality carpet may prove to be less expensive, because it is made in a width that produces less wastage than a cheaper carpet. We are very happy to measure before selection in order to be able to advise on the most appropriate carpet width. For particularly difficult areas, we are able to supply some carpets in any shape and often without seams.
Most twist carpets are offered in ranges of about 20 colours. Unless you are completely tied to a particular nuance of shade it might be expedient to be a little flexible in order to take the quality advantage offered by a better specified carpet. Carpets that crush appear to lighten in wear areas. Berber Twists are slightly less elegant than solid colours, but they are more forgiving of colour miss-matches and the lighter colours are rather more serviceable in use.
Some ranges are available in two or three different qualities in each colour. Although the yarn is dyed to match as closely as possible, quality to quality, there is an inevitable disparity between the pile textures, the better qualities having closer packed tufts. Nevertheless, it is often useful to have the chance to reduce the over-all cost by fitting a lesser quality in light wear areas, and the colour match will be closer than would be achievable between different makes of carpet.
If true colour matching is required, it is better to order all areas from one quality and width, and, if possible, to order all from one dye batch. When adding to existing installations, we suggest that clients provide us with a small cutting that can be compared to current stocks at the warehouse.
We will provide you some information that will help you to choose the best Twist Pile.
The best twist pile carpets have these characteristics:
This is extremely important. 'Doubles' is made by spinning a fine yarn in a clockwise direction, then spinning two of these together in an anti-clockwise direction, to lock the fibres together. The result is a surface appearance which is twice as fine, and very much more resistant to crush than the common 'singles' yarn. Having said that; high quality singles yarn woven in tenth gauge carpet, (very closely woven) looks excellent, and is nearly as crush resistant as an eighth gauge carpet made with doubles. Such close-woven carpets are comparatively rare. Tenth gauge, high wool grade, doubles yarn carpet, is the best you can buy.
Short and Tight pile
The longer the pile, the more easily it can be bent over. The shorter piles have a far greater resistance to crushing.
Appropriate pile Weight
30 oz. sq. meter should be considered the MINIMUM for heavy wear, however, the writer would prefer a short and tight 30 oz. to a long and loose 40 oz. The tightly woven 50 oz. carpets offer enormous wearing potential.
Good quality Yarn
In the case of wool carpets, this is the most difficult area to assess. Sheep cannot be contractually bound to produce yarn of a known quality, and many breeds produce yarn which is beautifully fine, but hopeless for use under-foot. Poor quality pile is often betrayed by the appearance of little white fibres (shoddy). If you see an excess of these, pass on to the next sample. Cheap wool carpets are usually a bad buy. A good 50/50 or a synthetic pile carpet would usually be better value. Cheap carpets sometimes have a percentage of reclaimed wool in their pile. In this case 'reclaimed' is a euphemism for second-hand wool. It doesn't wear well in carpets. There is often a huge disparity in the prices of twist pile carpets that ostensibly are the same. The difference can almost invariably be attributed to the 'blend' of yarn. Poor quality wool blends are the carpet-world's worst buy - and there are hundreds of such carpets. The reason pre-war carpets lasted a 'life-time' was the excellent quality of the wool used in those days. These carpets looked marvellous when laid, then aged very slowly, and with an air of dignified quality. Sixty years on, we are still occasionally asked re re-fit such carpets. They have been very 'cheap' carpets indeed.
Minimum Nap (pile direction)
The best have NO discernible pile direction. The least desirable are those with a long loose pile with a pronounced pile direction; they flatten desperately quickly. If you would like to understand why, it's easily demonstrated. Place a pencil vertically on a firm surface and press the top. You will find that it doesn't move. Now angle the pencil over at 45 degrees and repeat the test, it is now easily pressed down flat. Once flattened, it is impossible to raise such carpet pile and as we tend to tread on only a small part of our carpets, these flattened areas appear as very obvious 'rabbit runs'.