Commercial and Domestic Carpets
Carpet Supply and Fitting
We at Lakeside Flooring supply carpets from most of the major European and American manufacturers, first though, let me tell you a bit about carpets .......
There are four main types of carpet manufacturing processes:
Traditional woven carpets, such as Axminster or Wilton construction types, are made on looms that haven't fundamentally changed in how they operate for centuries. Jute fibres running horizontaly and vertically “lock” the pile yarn into place and are mostly used to create intricate patterned products of high quality, often seen in hotels and the hospitality industry as well as period homes. In times past woven products were the only source of wall to wall carpeting, but were overtaken in domestic popularity by the more cost-effective production methods introduced in more recent years.
Tufted carpets account for the majority of the production volume in the industry today. A pre-formed primary backing, like a large polypropylene cloth, is punched through with the pile yarn, either in “U” shaped tufts or as a continuous loop, then sealed on the back with a layer of latex and bonded to a synthetic or hessian woven secondary backing. Many styles of carpet are made using this process, the most common being cut pile (fluffy), loop pile (bobbly), and cut and loop pile (combination of both). Tufted carpets were perceived to be inferior in quality to woven products due to their mass production, though this is not necessarily true as some very high quality products are made using this manufacturing technique today.
This process is exactly as it sounds – the fibres forming the surface of the carpet are directly bonded to the backing using an adhesive. Fibre-bonded products are generally used in contract applications such as schools or offices, as the carpets are extremely durable but a bit hard underfoot and commercial in appearance.
An ancient method of making textile floorcoverings, used predominantly in the rug industry. A craftsman will individually “knot” tufts into a hessian primary backing to create very intricate, unique designs of the highest quality – obviously highly labour-intensive and therefore usually expensive.
Styles of Carpet
The majority of carpet sold in the UK is twist pile. This is a “cut pile” carpet where the yarn has been twisted during the spinning process for added durability and to help it retain its original shape.Twist pile carpets can be made from wool, synthetic fibres or a combination of both. Two or three strands of yarn twisted together (barber pole style) will generally out-perform a single twisted strand.
Velour / Velvet Pile
A low level, usually dense cut-pile carpet which offers a velvety surface finish using fine denier yarns. Velvet pile carpets are classical in appearance but prone to showing shading when walked upon or vacuumed.
Saxony / Shag-Pile
A high level cut pile carpet (very fluffy) that uses a longer length of tuft to create a luxurious, deep surface, very popular in North America and gaining poularity now in Europe. High quality saxony style carpets use a lot more yarn in construction due to the tuft length and are therefore generally more expensive that other styles made from the same fibre type.
A graphics carpet can be either cut or loop pile, but usually twist or velvet styles, and incorporates a small, regular geometric design like a herringbone or puppytooth. This small pattern helps to hide wear and soiling and makes this style popular in the leisure industry, such as in hotel bedrooms.
Constructed from a continuous run of yarn that exits the backing, loops over and back through to give a “bobbly” surface finish. Generally accepted to be hard wearing, loop piles are less luxurious than the others already mentioned, and feel harder underfoot. Loop is very much “en vogue” at the moment, offering a natural, rustic look that complements current home décor trends. Some refer to loop pile carpets as “berbers” but this is actually a specific yarn type which gives a speckled overall finish, originally created by Berber tribesmen using a blend of natural undyed wool yarns.
As above, but incorporating high and low levels of loop to create a design on the surface finish, such as basketweave or herringbone.
Cut and Loop
A combination of cut pile tufts and lower level looped tufts to create a textural design in the carpet pile. This style is usually screen-printed after construction to offer a further colour pattern to the textured finish.
Axminsters and Wiltons
These traditionaly woven carpets normally offer intricate designs that are made from solution dyed yarns which are an integral part of the carpet, rather than a surface print which will become less distinct with wear. Constucted usually from wool or polypropylene yarns these are the best patterned carpets, in terms of quality, that you can buy.
Woven carpets made from natural fibres such as coir, jute and seagrass and sealed on the reverse with a layer of latex which a distinctive, rustic finish.
Traditional, luxurious and soft, wool retains it's shape very well because it has a natural “memory” which reduces flattening. Wool also takes dyes well because of the tiny “holes” in the fibre called dye-sites, resulting in subtle shades not found in synthetic fibres. The down-side is that wool also takes stains quite easily unless it is stain protected by filling the dye sites in with a flurocarbon treatment, such as Scotchgard. This will need re-application over the life of the product.
Hard-wearing, well coloured and soft to the touch, polyamide carpets offer loads of user benefits but can be stained and will generate static electricity in certain conditions.
Less hard-wearing than polyamide, but totally chemically inert and non-conductive, this fibre type has the colour locked inside and can be cleaned with a bleach solution to remove stubborn marks. Polypropylene carpets are highly fade-resistant and will not generate static, making it an ideal fibre for computer rooms, but it will flatten in high-traffic areas.
Similar in many ways to polypropylene, but slightly less hard-wearing, polyester carpets are a “green”carpet option as many are constructed from recycled soft drinks bottles.
Coir, Sisal, Seagrass etc – natural fibres with different properties that all offer a natural, rustic look that is very contemporary. However, whilst attractive, they can be quite harsh underfoot and can stain easily and shrink if wetted.