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A short Glossary of Terms

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If reading through our information sheets you might have found some words you don’t understand, you will find helpful our short Glossary of Terms. Search to find out more about carpets and flooring and if you still need more informations, please, contact us.

 

A

Antistatic
A carpet’s ability to disperse or inhibit electrostatic charges before they reach a perceptible level.

Axminster Carpet
It is one of the basic weaves that originated in the 1700’s in the town of Axminster, England. The industrial production process enables a multitude of colours to be used. the surface is a cut file, with pile similar to velvet or chenille, available in long and shaggy, short and smooth, stubby or carved carpets. Yard for yard, it is comparatively more expensive than carpets made on high speed modern tufting machines. Axminster carpet rarely shows spots, spills and everyday wear and is specified for many public buildings for these reasons as well as for safety and comfort. Wool resists cigarette burns and does not readily support combustion plus, it is less prone to static and can tolerate a high moisture content without feeling wet.

B

Berber Carpet
Berber carpet was named after a handmade, bulky textured wool floorcovering made by a tribe of the same name located in a region of North Africa. The informal look is reached by the use of flecked yarns most often in loop styles. The size of the loops varies from large nubby ones to smaller and usually have a thicker yarns content than common level loops. Patterned Berbers are multi-level-loop as well as cut-and-loop styles. Berber carpeting made with wool is non-toxic, non-allergenic and will not support bacterial growth and also acts as insulators and helps regulate room temperature which will inevitably reduce your energy bills. This style is very easy to clean, durable, yet soft to the touch. Berber will traditionally show less footprints as well as hide vacuum tracks extremely well. The only real negative is taking care to avoid snagging the loops which could damage it. Because of its informal look, berber is very popular residentially, especially in family rooms, recreation rooms, and multimedia rooms.

Binding
A strip sewn over a carpet edge for protection against unravelling. Carpet is bound to form rugs.

Bonded Carpet
Also called fusion bonded carpet, this is made by inserting a bundle of yarn into adhesive on a backing and heat-fusing in place. The result is a cut-pile texture. It is most often die-cut as modules or “tiles” and is usually backed with a polymeric material to provide stability.

Brocade
A carpet or rug in which a raised pattern or engraved effect is formed using heavy twisted yarn tufts on a ground of straight fibres.

Backing
Fabrics or yarns forming the back of the carpet as opposed to the carpet pile or face. In tufted carpets, there are two backings: a primary backing into which the pile yarn is inserted, and a secondary fabric backing laminated to the back of the carpet for reinforcement and dimensional stability.

C

Cut Pile
A carpet pile, the face of which is composed of cut ends of pile yarn, as compared to loop pile. Clean with the pile direction if floor tool pops or “chatters”. Cut pile carpet, an underfoot favorite, is noted for its elegance and array of solid hues. It is a versatile tufted carpet features clipped yarn loops. This type of carpet has soft, dense cut pile with well-defined individual tuft tips. Many dealers call their smoother finished carpets “plushes.” New generation carpets resist stains and are less susceptible to traffic wear. It is the most widely used type of residential carpet. Cut pile carpet’s most popular style is textured cut pile. Textured cut pile carpet also may be called “trackless”, “foot-print free”, “stuffer-box”, and mistakenly, “frieze”. These names describe the tendency of this construction to show fewer footprints and sweeper marks than other cut pile carpet constructions. It should be noted that no cut pile can be classified as being completely free of shading. These constructions are obtained by stuffing yarn into a steam box (stuffer box) and providing a kinked or curled yarn. The fibre is exposed to live steam to set yarn memory in this curled position. This curling of the fibre reduces light reflectance, thus reducing the appearance of footprints. Generally, when viewing a texture from the top, kinked yarns may provide a two-tone effect as a result of shade variations from reflected light. The look is created by cutting looped carpet fibres at the top, leaving yarn bundles standing straight. Preshearing the pile several times creates a luxurious appearance. This type of carpet is less resistant to crushing than other types of carpet.

Cut-and-Loop Carpet
A multilevel loop carpet, where the taller loops are sheared. The resulting uncut loops and sheared loops create a sculptured pattern that combined with variegated colourings help hide soil and traffic wear. Cut and Loop carpet offers the visual appeal of both texture and pattern.

F

Fibre
The preeminent natural fibre, wool, is luxurious and much more expensive than synthetic fibres. Wool offers moderate soil and stain resistance. Although some carpets combine blends of different fibres, after wool and natural fibres -like sisal- carpets can be made of Nylon, Polypropylene and Polyester. Durable and versatile, nylon is the most widely used carpet fibre. Most nylon styles today receive a stain-resist treatment for protection against household spills and stains. Polypropylene (olefin) Carpet Fibre will not absorb water and is extremely resistant to stains, fading, and moisture. Polyester Carpet Fibre – Polyester offers softness and colour clarity, and it is also naturally stain and fade resistant.

Frieze Carpet
A true frieze is similar to a textured cut pile carpet in that footprints and vacuum sweeper marks are disguised. The textured appearance is acquired by placing a high twist level on the plied yarns . This high twist level causes the tuft to twist back upon itself providing a kinked appearance. In general terms, higher twist levels provide enhanced performance characteristics, when compared to lower twist products with the same construction attributes. True friezes tend to be more costly because of higher costs of production and they may not provide the same perceived value as lower twist, textured products. Highly resilient, it’s truly trackless, easy to clean, and crush resistant.

K

Kilim or Kelim
A flat, woven rug, usually reversible.

L

Laminate Flooring
Laminates have a dense fibreboard core with a paper pattern layer sealed both and bottom under high pressure with a plastic-like substance. Sold as planks and panels in wood, stone, tile, and other looks.

Level Loop Carpet
A carpet style – woven or tufted – with a same-height loop surface producing a smooth level surface. Larger loops would be the berber style. The larger the loops, the greater possibility for crushing, despite the luxurious appearance. Level loop carpet is very strong and track resistance because of its strong loops. Level loop carpets short and densely packed loops are easy to clean. They prevent dirt from filtering into carpet. Level loop carpet is ideal for high traffic areas.

Linoleum
One of the first resilient floors, it was introduced in the 1800s and is made of linseed oil, gums, cork, or wood dust and pigments. Often the term is used incorrectly to describe resilient floors made of vinyl.

Loop Pile Carpet
Carpet style having a surface made up of uncut loops. Can be level, textured, or patterned.

M

Modular carpet
Also called carpet tile. Generally 18″ x 18″ squares.

Multi-level loop
A loop pile construction in which some loops are smaller than others resulting in a sculptured appearance. The result is a rough surface.

N

Needle Punch Carpet
Needle punch carpet construction is an assembly of fibre webs compacted and interlocked, using barbed felting needles. The production process enables needle punch carpet to be printed, flocked and embossed. It can have different textural effects, such as corduroy, and can be attained by mixing fibre deniers and angling the needle in various ways. A coating of weather-resistant latex or similar material is applied to the back. Needle punch carpet therefore, using this process, can be purchased at a relatively low-cost, and is used mainly for indoor- outdoor carpet, artificial grass surfaces and some carpet tiles. Originally this process was used to construct hair carpet pads which, although still made, are seldom found in stores. A gorgeous well known needle punch carpet is “Wilton”.

O

Oriental Rug
Hand-woven or hand-knotted rugs native to the Middle or Far East, available in many patterns and known for their colorations. Many machine-made rugs, made using Oriental rug designs, are also referred to as Oriental rugs.

Outdoor Carpet
Carpet designed to be used outdoors on patios, walks and decks. Usually made of polypropylene to withstand the weather and ultra-violet rays of the sun, most outdoor carpet is designed for glue-down installation.

P

Parquet Floors
Flooring made up of wood that is laid or inlaid to create patterns, most often geometric ones.

Pile
Fibres that form the upper surface of carpet.

Plush Carpet
A smooth, dense, cut pile carpet in which individual tufts are only minimally visible, and the overall visual effect is a single level of fibre ends. Sometimes it is called velvet-plush or simply velvet. Plush is longer and more dense than a “Saxony”and has a luxurious look,that shows footprint and vacuum shading easily. Plush carpet, one the oldest carpet styles, is still unsurpassed for beauty and elegance. Modern stain resistance, and wearability, make this carpet a very good choice for your home.

Printed Carpet
Carpet with pattern applied by methods similar to printing flat textiles and paper.

R

Rag Rug
A sturdy, colourful rug hand-woven from cotton scraps.

Random-sheared Carpet (or Tip-sheared Carpet)
Textured pattern created by shearing some of the or higher loops and leaving others looped. Random-sheared: Textured pattern created by shearing some of the top or higher loops and leaving others looped. This gives a cut/uncut texture.

Rubber Flooring
Today rubber flooring tiles and sheet goods is made from synthetic rubber. It comes in ribbed, coin, or other raised patterns.

Rug
Carpet made or cut and bound into room dimensions and loose laid.

S

Saxony Carpet
Saxony carpet is a brand of Cut-pile carpet in a relatively dense construction, with well-defined individual tuft tips. Smoother finished Saxony carpets are called “plush pile carpets. Yarns, made by twisting two or more fibres together, are closely packed and even in order to create a less formal look which minimizes foot prints. Saxony carpet, an underfoot favorite, is noted for its elegance and array of solid hues; its colour styles have a rich appearance that is ideal for traditional or formal rooms. New generation Saxony carpet resist stains and are less susceptible to traffic wear although this type of carpet shows every footprint and vacuum-cleaner mark. Many dealers call their smoother finished Saxony carpet “plushes”.

Sculptured Carpet
A cut and loop patterned carpet where all of the high pile is cut and the low pile remains a loop.

Shag Carpet
A deep-pile texture with long-cut surface yarns. Pile height is greater than 3/4 inch. Shag carpet was popular in the 1970s, and a new type of contemporary shag in more up-to-date colours is gaining in popularity today. Shag is nearly impossible to clean satisfactorily.

Sisal Flooring
Sisal is a tough plant fibre from the West Indian Agave plant and is used sometimes to make rope. However, it is now applied more loosely to a particular woven carpet or rug style normally of natural fibres. Available woven and dyed in various colours, as well as machine- and hand-painted. Similar flooring can be made of jute, coconut or sea grass.

Soil Retardant
A chemical finish applied to carpet and fabric surfaces which inhibits attachment of soil to fibre. It is usually a topical treatment but may also be inherent in the fibre.

Stain Resistant
A chemical finish applied to or inherent in carpet fibres which inhibits specific stains from adhering to or dyeing (staining) carpet and fabrics.

Stretch
A carpet installation term for the give in carpet when it is pulled over the pad onto tackless strips.

Strip Flooring
The most popular wood flooring, strip flooring is made of narrow (approx. 3-inches wide) tongue-and-groove boards that are end-matched. Strip flooring wider than 3 inches is called plank flooring.

T

Tackless Installation
Also called wall-to-wall installation. The carpet is laid over a cushion and stretched to fit over tack strips of wood with implanted tacks to hold the carpet to the wall.

Textured Carpet
Carpet made of curled or twisted tufts, frequently called trackless because the uneven fibre composition will make it reflect the light in different ways. The textured carpet pattern is created out of a single colour by giving some of the tufts added twist, causing them to curl back on themselves in random directions. When the additional twist is given to all tufts, the style is called textured Saxony. Frieze is another well known kind of highly textured cut pile construction. Textured carpet comes in both patterned and solid styles. These are ideal if you are looking to minimize the appearance of footprints and vacuum cleaner marks.

Tip Sheared Carpets
Tip sheared carpet offers the visual appeal of both texture and pattern. It is created by tufting some loops higher than others. When the carpet is sheared, the higher loop tufts are cut, but the lowers ones are not. The resulting cut pile tufts look darker than the loops, creating a pattern. Tip sheared carpet has a somewhat limited niche in the world of flooring. The different levels in this type of carpet can hide dirt and footprints. Cut and loop pile carpets are available in solid or multiple colours.

Tufted Carpet
Any carpet pattern manufactured by tufting machines, which insert pile tufts with needles that penetrate a primary backing fabric, thus forming tufts. In tufted carpet the pile material is stitched into an existing backing material, usually a synthetic product, and held in place with a latex adhesive, before a second layer of backing material is fixed to the latex for greater structural strength. The backing will require a felt or rubber underlay in order to be fitted directly over the floor. Although tufted carpet is not as strong as traditional types of carpet, the construction of tufted carpet is effective and inexpensive to produce.

U

Underlay
A variety of materials placed under carpet to provide softness and longer wear when it is walked on. In some cases, the carpet cushion is attached to the carpet when it is manufactured. Terms also used: lining or padding.

V

Velvet Carpet
Commercial velvet carpets are elegant constructions with fine, densely packed, tightly twisted tufts. The tufts in commercial velvet carpet appear to blend together, creating a rich sweep of colour that lends itself to formal settings. When selecting commercial velvet carpeting, look for one with a low to medium pile height for the best performance and wear. You will get the most out of your investment in the long run. Commercial velvet carpet styles will show shading, just as fine velvet fabric will do and will tend to show vacuum cleaner marks and footprints. Commercial velvet is the simplest of all the woven carpets.

W

Wilton Carpet
Woven carpet made in a variety of patterns and textures but with a limited number of colours per pattern. In a Wilton carpet the pile is in the form of a continuous yarn, which produces a series of loops; these may then be cut for a cut-pile finish. Although the continuous yarn theoretically makes Wilton the strongest of carpets, it limits the design potential, as only a maximum of five colors can be used together. Wilton can be woven as a textured design with two yarns, usually of slightly different shades of the same color; one shade is a higher-cut pile and the other is shorter and left looped to create a three-dimensional pattern.

Wood Flooring
A wooden floor comes from nature. Along with the good natural feeling, the colour tones and characteristics of a wooden floor are very important details in interior design in a room. Most wood flooring is made of hardwoods, such as oak, maple, pecan, beech, and birch. There is solid wood flooring and laminated flooring, which combines wood layered in different directions for strength and to inhibit warping. Most wood flooring today is prefinished at the factory for ease of installation and uniformity of finish.

Woven Carpet
Woven carpet is the traditional method of making carpets in the West. It is an expensive method, but the product is more durable than carpet produced by other methods. Coloured pile yarns and backing yarns are woven simultaneously into finished product. The final result produced is an intricate and colourful pattern. Types of woven carpet include Axminster and Wilton.