So you’ve decided to go with carpet. Terrific. But which style should you choose? Do you like that really plush feeling underfoot — like the suspension on a 70’s Cadillac? Or do you prefer to feel the road beneath your feet — like in a BMW? |
Unlike automobile choices, of which there are dozens, carpet thankfully comes in only three basic styles: cut pile, loop pile and cut & loop pile.
Cut pile is created when the loops that result from weaving are trimmed to the same height and allowed to slightly tuft, giving the carpet a dense, soft appearance. Cut pile carpet represents the largest share of the residential market and comes in four primary subcategories:
Saxony - Saxony is what probably comes to mind when you think of carpet — all those thousands of perfectly even, solid colored strands of fiber standing at attention like a freshly cut lawn. This is the stuff that’s thick and soft and shows footprints and vacuum lines. You probably had it “wall to wall” when you were growing up. Today we know that Saxony tends to wear much quicker than other styles. It’s probably best kept for those low foot traffic rooms — like the formal living room that Mom saved for “company.” Textured - If you don’t require that “freshly mown” look to your carpet, then Textured is the way to go. Because it’s twisted differently than Saxony and steamed to create a permanent curl, this product is “trackless” and reduces light reflectivity so it won’t show footprints. Textured carpet is casual, it’s cool and it will show far less wear and tear than other styles. Frieze - There’s nothing frosty about Frieze. Knobby, yes. Chilly, no. This cut pile offers a tighter “twist” than the Textured style. The yarn actually curls over, creating a very durable and elegant product that hides footprints and vacuum lines. Cable - This is the one cable in your home that won’t go on the fritz. Constructed of longer yarn than its cut pile companions, Cable is beautiful, comfortable and very luxurious. It can crush and matte with heavy foot traffic, however, so we don’t recommend Cable for parade routes, military yards or busy areas of your home. LOOP PILE
Loop pile is how all carpet actually begins — uncut. Commonly known as Berber, loop pile carpets have a smooth, consistent surface with a lightly textured appearance that results from coloration and the way light reflects on the pile. Made from yarns that are looped into the backing, this popular style is perfect for high traffic areas of the home and can be found in many commercial settings.
CUT & LOOP
The combination of cut pile and loop pile provides for some interesting patterns that result from the variation in surface textures. Also known as “sculptured carpets,” this popular style is great at disguising foot traffic and wear and offers a variety of surface finishes.
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