We at New York Carpets & Flooring don’t want you to feel intimidated when buying carpet because you may be unfamiliar with common carpet terms. To help you understand the components of carpet performance, and the options available to you, here’s a list of the most common carpeting terms.
A carpet that can disperse a static charge before a person can feel it.
The base surface layers of carpet often separated into primary and secondary backing. Primary backing provides the structure for the tufts of carpet. Secondary backing is the layer that touches the carpet padding or the floor. Anti-mold backings are also available for carpet that may experience moisture or spills.
Bulked Continuous Filament or BCF refers to the length of carpet fibers in manufacturing the carpet. BCF fibers are woven continuously through the carpet backing.
Refers to a style of carpet that is made of looped fibers or to carpet that has a fleck of another color running through it. Berber carpets tend to have great durability, a cushiony texture and a more casual appearance.
Typically, a band or strip sewn over the carpeting’s edge to prevent fraying or to give it a decorative appearance.
A carpet that is cut and finished by stitching or serging around all of its sides to prevent fraying and unraveling while not being attached to the floor.
Blooming or Blossoming
Refers to the gradual untwisting of carpet fibers giving the carpet a more worn and matted look.
Refers to carpets woven on a wide or broad loom most typically in large rolls of carpet in 12- or 15-foot widths for the most common large, wall-to-wall room installations.
A type of cut pile carpet with long thick cut fibers that are soft and cushiony underfoot.
The literal crushing or flattening of carpet fibers typically as the result of years of heavy foot traffic or heavy furniture or furniture legs on the carpet. Bringing crushed carpet back to its original state is often impossible and crushed areas can actually make the carpet look dirty.
A Material like padding or underlay that is placed under a carpet to prolong its life, create a softer, cushiony feel or to help reduce noise. Cushioning also can increase insulation making a room warmer in colder months.
Cut and Loop
Cut and loop is a style of carpet that features both looped and cut carpet fibers.
A very common type of carpet in which the yarn loops are cut to create a textured look and feel.
Refers to the thickness of each carpet filament or carpet fiber strand. For the most part, thicker filaments or strands are better, but a thinner denier can result in a softer carpet.
Refers to how closely stitched together the carpet fibers are in the carpet backing. As a general rule, the denser the pile, the better the carpet’s durability and performance. Density is typically measured in ounces per square yard.
Refers to the weight of the carpet pile per square yard (not including the carpet backing). Face weight doesn’t equate to higher quality carpet because many other factors are involved.
The basic strand material from which carpets are made. Carpet fiber can be made from a myriad of different source materials – animals (wool) and plants, silk, synthetic or man-made fibers, and even recycled plastic bottles.
Refers to a single, continuous strand of carpet fiber whether natural or synthetic.
Refers to the loose fragments of carpet fiber left on the surface of the carpet after manufacture and installation which can easily be removed by vacuuming. This condition is remedied by vacuuming and carpet use. May also be referred to as shedding or fuzzing.
Pronounced “free-zay”. A popular style of carpet sometimes referred to as a twist or shag carpet. Friezes typically have long carpet fibers tightly twisted together, which curl giving the carpet surface a textured look that can hide footprints. Friezes tend to be very durable.
When carpet fibers come out of the yarn with use or after wet cleaning.
How a carpet feels.
When carpet fiber is stitched in uncut loops of the same size creating a level, smooth surface.
Looped carpet fiber (either level loop or multi-level loop) that is not cut. Berber carpets tend to have loop pile.
See also crush (above). Refers to the literal crushing or flattening of carpet fibers typically as the result of years of heavy foot traffic or heavy furniture or furniture legs on the carpet. Bringing crushed carpet back to its original state is often impossible and crushed areas can actually make the carpet look dirty.
Refers to the visible part of the carpet and the yarn tufts on a carpet’s surface that is walked upon. Also referred to as pile.
Any type of carpet fiber not man-made (synthetic). While the most widely used natural carpet fiber is wool, other natural fibers can be made from plant materials.
See also Cushion above. Refers to the material placed under a carpet to prolong its life, create a softer, cushiony feel or to help reduce noise. Padding also can increase insulation making a room warmer in colder months.
Refers to the visible part of the carpet and the yarn tufts on a carpet’s surface that is walked upon. Also referred to as Nap (see above).
Refers to the height of the carpet from its backing to the top surface of the carpet.
When carpet fibers from different tufts become entangled with one another forming hard fiber areas or “pills” which can easily be trimmed off with scissors.
A cut pile carpet with fibers cut at the same length displaying a smooth, elegant surface.
A tool often used by carpet installers to prevent ripples or wrinkles in the surface of carpets.
The woven or nonwoven fabric through which the carpet yarn is inserted by tufting needles. Automated tufting machines typically use anywhere from 800 to 1,200 needles when manufacturing carpeting.
Typically, a smaller piece of carpet, most often the excess end of a carpet roll not installed or a large section of carpet cut off and not used perhaps because of the unique size or dimensions of a room. As a result, carpet remnants can be virtually any size. Remnants can be combined with other carpet remnant types and cut and bound to make area rugs for areas in the home – beneath dining room tables, long hallways, entryways, etc.
Refers to the ability of a carpet to preserve its original look by resisting crushing or matting from continued use.
Every type of carpet has fibers that run or are angled in a particular direction. Reverse pile is visually apparent when a change in the direction of the fibers is evident in sections of the carpet either during manufacturing or because of improper orientation of the carpet by installers.
Refers to a style of carpet with cut fibers of uniform length that are then twisted to create a relatively dense, consistent look. Saxony carpets present a smooth, elegant surface most often used in more formal rooms.
Refers to the line where two pieces of carpet join each other. Any room wider than the standard width of the carpet will have a seam. For most rooms, avoiding seams is rarely possible. Many professional installers can minimize or virtually eliminate visible seams making them less noticeable.
Typically, an additional layer of fabric laminated to the back of the carpet to better reinforce it.
Seconds (Off Goods)
Refers to carpeting with either minor or large defects (bleach spotting or small snags in the pile of the carpeting), discontinued styles, experimental colors, or special runs. Seconds are often discounted.
Protrusion of individual tuft or yarn ends above the pile surface. May be clipped with scissors.
Refers to any man-made carpet fiber material such as nylon, polyester, olefin, and triexta.
A strip of wood with fine tacks used in carpet installation. Tack strips are installed at the edges of the room with tacks facing up which anchors the carpet in place.
Refers to any style of Saxony carpet with twisted or kinked fibers that minimize the appearance of footprints or vacuum tracks or swaths.
Refers to either a style of carpet with highly twisted carpet fibers. It may also refer to the number of times carpet strands have been twisted in a one-inch length of fiber. Carpets with twisted fibers tend to be more durable because twisting enhances the carpet pile’s resilience to wear.
One of the most used natural fibers in carpet making. Wool is a naturally resilient fiber and most often comes from the hair of sheep but can also come from goats, llamas or alpacas.
Refers to carpet made on a weaving loom where lengthwise yarns and width-wise yarns are interlocked forming the carpet fabric.
Visit Our Showroom in Anaheim
If you still have questions about carpeting or need help choosing the most appropriate carpet for your home or renovation project, let us help you. Stop by our beautiful showroom in Anaheim and a flooring specialist will be happy to answer any questions you have. We hope to see you soon.
1225 South State College Blvd.
Anaheim, CA 92806