10 Tips for Understanding Carpet Labels

Carpet Construction: Backing and Cut Pile
It helps to know how a carpet is held together.
It helps to know how a carpet is held together.

To understand the jargon included on many carpet labels, it helps to know some general points on how carpet is made in the first place. The process most commonly used for inserting the fiber yarn into a backing is called tufting. After the yarn is inserted into a primary backing, manufacturers put down a layer of adhesive, usually synthetic latex, to attach it to a secondary backing. A carpet also could be woven on looms with continuous fibers without a secondary backing.

Another aspect to consider is the cut pile type. This is often listed on the label, and once you inspect the different kinds, you'll be able to identify them by appearance. Frieze is tightly twisted, very textured and durable. A little more formal, saxony can can vary from smooth to textured appearances. The most formal is plush style, which is level cut and dense.

Another kind is loop style, which is uncut loops of yarn rather than cut tufts. Loop-pile carpet can be level, multilevel or even a combination of cut and loop. Loop styles are very durable.

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