Select the Right Fiber for You
To pick the right fiber, consider how you live in each room. There are basically four types of fiber:
Nylon is the most durable and stain resistant carpet fiber available. It is the fiber of choice for homes with pets and children and for those who entertain a lot. Perfect for heavy traffic in hallways and stairs. At North Oxford Mills, we believe that Nylon is by far, the most resilient fiber providing the greatest value of all carpet fibers.
Polyester is known for its luxurious look, feel and wonderful selection of colors and styles. It’s a good value for homes with a normal amount of traffic, although less durable and stain resistant than nylon.
Olefin offers good stain and moisture resistance, but scores below nylon and polyester for wearability. It can be a good choice in loop pile construction although its colors and styles are limited.
Favored for its natural beauty. It has natural soil resistance quality, but is not inherently stain resistant. Wool looks good for a long time and is well constructed.
Over 90% of residential carpet is manufactured as tufted carpet. A tufting machine works like an oversized sewing machine with hundreds of needles that insert loops of fiber (tufts or stitches) into the carpet’s backing to form the face pile of the carpet.
How long your carpet will last depends on how well it is made. Quality construction will affect the durability, appearance and price of the carpet and is most influenced by the twist of the fibers and the density of the tufts.
Twist refers to how tightly the fiber (carpet yarn) has been twisted. This is especially important in cut pile carpet because the tips are exposed and can become untwisted, giving the carpet a matted and worn appearance. The tighter the yarn is twisted, the better the carpet will stand up to crushing and matting.
Frieze carpet has the highest twist level at about 7-9 twists per inch (TPI), whereas most cut pile carpet styles have between 3-6 twists per inch.
Density refers to both the amount, and how tightly packed together the fibers are within the carpet. The closer together the fibers are placed, the denser the carpet will be, and the better it will wear and perform. Ways to check for carpet density include trying to reach the carpet backing by pressing your fingers on the carpet fibers. The more difficult it is to reach the backing, the denser the carpet. Or with outward facing tufts, bend the carpet into a U-shape and look at how much of the carpet backing is visible. The less backing that shows, the denser the carpet.
Cut pile consists of yarns that are cut at the ends. The soft feel of cut pile carpet makes it a perfect choice for the most comfortable areas of your home – bedrooms, living rooms and family rooms. There are five basic styles of cut pile carpet: Velvet, Saxony, Frieze, Shag, and Cable, each provides a different look and texture. The primary difference among these styles is the amount of twist in the yarns that will ultimately influence the carpet’s durability.
Loop pile has yarns that are looped and uncut on the carpet surface. The pile height can vary from low, tightly constructed to a more luxurious high-level pile.
Loop pile carpet has excellent durability, strength and soil hiding capabilities. This style is ideal for heavy traffic areas. Berber is a popular style of loop pile carpet that can be constructed as a level-loop or multi-loop carpet.
Cut and loop pile
As the name suggests, this carpet has some cut piles and some that are not in order to create a different surface look and texture. This style is used to create many of the patterned carpets you will see.