An essential part of the specification process is understanding the components of carpet construction, and how they influence appearance and performance. Some elements contribute primarily to aesthetics, while others impact on performance.
Colour and pattern
Colour is an important aesthetic consideration, but it also determines the degree of soil hiding in the carpet. For more heavily trafficked areas, multi-coloured carpets with medium-value colours and random patterns should be considered for optimum performance.
This is the second major aesthetic factor to consider in creating the overall look of a carpet. Loop, cut and loop with mostly loop or tip shear will give the best performance in high traffic areas.
The choice of fibre plays an essential role in determining carpet appearance and performance. Fibre impacts everything from soil and stain resistance to matting and crushing.
Generic terms used in specification
Type 6, 6 Nylon
Provides unsurpassed resistance to crushing, matting and abrasive wear.
(Bulked Continuous Filament) fibre in a continuous form.
Short lengths of fibre that have been cut from a continuous filament tow – must be spun into yarn before tufting cut pile.
Solution dyed nylon
ECF yarn with pigment added to the polymer. Colour is built in and resists fading and the effects of harsh cleaners.
Mainly blended with nylon to produce an 80/20 mix for commercial broadloom carpets, giving a luxurious appearance and performance.
Cheaper man-made fibre that takes on colour well, but doesn’t retain appearance as well as branded type 6,6 nylon.
This determines how the fibre hides soil and how much it can trap and hold soil. It also determines the extent of crushing and matting.
Smooth, uniform outer surface with rounded corners which eliminates crevices where soil can be trapped. Voids scatter light to make soil less visible most effectively.
Reduces soil-trapping crevices and scatters light well, but not as effectively as hollow filament.
Density / Pile weight
In loop pile carpets, crushing can occur if the density is too low. It is important to specify minimum average pile density consistent with expected traffic conditions. In cut pile carpets, yarn twist level and pile height determine texture retention.
Carpet backing/ Conventional backing/ Secondary backing
This offers stability and other advantages to the carpet, depending on the material used.
Made of a primary fabric attached to a secondary with latex.
The same yarns make up the face and the backing.
Resin that creates a foam-like texture when applied to the primary backing (can be hardback or cushion).
Compound applied to primary backing – used for tile or 6′ products (can be hardback or closed cell).
Molten resin or vinyl applied to the back of the carpet.
When specifying carpet – whether it is broadloom or modular preference, budget considerations, backing performance needs and facility requirements (installation, floor access).
Carpet manufactured on a tufting machine – a row of needles inserts fibres into a primary backing, then backed with chosen backing.
Carpet manufactured on a loom in a single process.
Carpet, tufted or woven in 2m widths available in attached cushion or hardback.
Available in various sizes as standard and precision cut to match access floor sizes.
Fusion bonded tile
Yarns sandwiched between two backings, then split to form two carpets simultaneously (cut pile only).