What is Carpet – what do all the fancy words mean?

What is broadloom (rolled) carpet?

The pile on a broadloom carpet may be either a  loop pile or a cut pile – all the other names i.e twist, berber, shadow pile, frieze etc  are sub-categories of these two fundamental carpet styles.Loop and cut-pile are available in both rolled and carpet tiles


When manufactured, the pile is woven in and out of the backing of the carpet. This manufacturing process creates a bunch of loops of fibre attached to the hard carpet backing.

If you leave the carpet in its woven form, it is a loop carpet. All that this means is that the carpet consists of a bunch of loops of fibres. <br><br>


Loop Pile

There can be many variations of loop carpet.  Subclasses of loop carpet are level loop carpet, textured loop, multilevel loop, and special loop styles such as Berber. Berber Carpet is a popular enough name to deserve its own name, but the rest of the loop carpets can be described here:  

  1. Level Loop Carpet
    All of the loops are the same height in this carpet. It’s nothing fancy, but if you like a clean orderly look, you may enjoy a level loop carpet. The loops can be big or small, but smaller loops tend to be more durable. Typically, standard level loop carpets are found more in commercial settings. 
  1. Textured Loop Carpet
    Textured loops have subtle height variations giving the carpet a patterned appearance. The different sized loops reflect light differently. This makes noticeable patterns in the carpet, which can be a nice touch to make any room look a little more interesting.<br>

     3. Multi-level Loop Carpet 

For practical purposes, this is the same as textured loop. Multi-level loop carpets have more noticeable patterns due to greater difference in loop sizes. Expect the same patterned loop carpet appearance, just a little more noticeable with multi-level.<br><br>


Berber Carpet

Berber is simply another type of loop carpet whose name is derived from a traditional african  ‘knot’ style weave . It can be available in either man-made or wool and/ or a mix of both and is a popular style of loop style carpet based on aesthetic choice rather than anything else. Berbers are particularly fashionable at the moment – however those with a high wool content are susceptible to a condition known as piling. Whereas loose wool fibres will eventually work their way out of a cut pile carpet and become trapped in a berber like an old wool sweater! This is more likely to occur in high traffic areas.<br>
Berber style carpets are available in man- made fibres and will be considerably cheaper, but can be prone to premature soiling and staining and feel a little bit rough underfoot.  A  wool/man-made fibre mix is a good option.


Cut-Pile Carpet

Cut pile makes up the majority of residential carpets. As described earlier, all carpets begin as a loop carpet, but these loops can be cut—hence the name ‘cut pile’ carpet. In other words, if a carpet doesn’t consist of loops, it’s a cut pile. Popular cut piles are plush, Saxony and frieze.

Cut piles are better for those who have kids or animal because they don’t snag like loops do. However, cut piles can ‘blossom’ giving them a frayed look as they age. <br> <br>

Nearly all cut pile and cut and loop pile carpets may suffer in time from a condition known as shading. This won’t happen overnight and will not affect the wear of the carpet but some people regard it as unsightly. Shading is caused by uneven pile crushing in high traffic areas. The pile is crushed in different directions and light is reflected accordingly. Carpet retailers should explain this possibility to you and details of this condition will be displayed on the back of most carpet samples. Carpets with a velvet pile finish are particularly susceptible to this problem. Twist pile carpets are more resilient. It will not happen on loop pile<br>.

Cut pile patterned carpets may still shade but the pattern disguises the effect.
Shading doesn’t happen overnight and will not affect the durability of the carpet but please be aware that the condition may occur.

The pile on a cut pile carpet “leans” in one direction. This will make the carpet appear slightly lighter when viewed from one end or a room to the other dependant on the light. Imagine a large room fitted with carpet. When viewed from one end it will appear light as a result of light reflecting off. Go to the other end of the room and the carpet will appear slightly darker and the colour more saturated as light is absorbed. Bear this in mind when looking at samples.
Carpet tiles are a good economical option for use in odd shaped rooms resulting in less waste, but once again the cheapest versions are not always the best option as they may not be manufactured exactly square.