Express Carpets

Suppliers and expert fitters of all domestic and contract floor coverings


Information is the key to selecting the proper carpet for your home or business. In order to help you become a more informed shopper, we have provided this glossary of carpet industry insider information. The more you know, the more we can help you to make the correct choice for your situation.
Antistatic - The ability of a carpet system to dissipate an electrostatic charge before it reaches the threshold of human sensitivity.

Axminster - A traditional method of manufacturing cut pile carpet. The yarn and backing are woven at the same time to produce highly patterned designs of many colours

Average Pile Yarn Weight - Mass per unit area of the pile yarn including buried portions of the pile yarn. In the U.K., it is usually expressed as ounces per square yard, though metric measurements can also be used. Often referred to as the ‘FACE WEIGHT’.

Backing - Fabrics and yarns that make up the back of the carpet as opposed to the carpet pile or face. In tufted carpet:

................Primary backing - A woven or non-woven fabric in which the yarn is inserted by the tufting needles.
Secondary backing - Fabric laminated to the back of the carpet to reinforce and increase dimensional stability.

Berber - Loop-pile carpet tufted with thick yarn, such as wool, nylon or polypropylene. Often having random specks of colour in contrast to a base hue, this floor covering has a full, comfortable feel, while maintaining an informal, casual look. Currently, this term has expanded to describe many level or multi-level loop carpet styles.

Broadloom - A term used to denote carpet produced in widths wider than 6 feet. Broadloom is usually 12 feet wide, but may also be 13’6” and 15 feet wide.

Construction - The manufacturing method (i.e. tufted, woven) and the final arrangement of fibre and backing materials as stated in its specification.

Cut Pile - A carpet in which the face is composed of cut ends of pile yarn. Still one of today’s most popular constructions, its durability is achieved with factors including the type of fibre, density of tufts, and the amount of twist in the yarn.

Density - Refers to the amount of pile yarn in the carpet and the closeness of the tufts. Generally, in cut pile carpets, the denser the pile, the better the performance.

Durability Rating - Carpets have been walk and wear tested to determine the most accurate assessment of its expected durability and appearance retention. Common designations include-

Medium Duty - This carpet is suitable for the lounge and living room of a small family, and not for areas subjected to heavy traffic flow. It may also be used for bedrooms which double as playrooms or studies.
Heavy Duty - This is the general-purpose lounge and living room carpet for average two-or-three-child families. Use Heavy Duty in most hallways or lounge and living rooms - anywhere there is a heavy flow of household traffic. Carpet coded with this label plus a stair symbol is also suitable for stairs.
Extra Heavy Duty - This type of carpet is designed for all heavy traffic flow areas of the home, including busy living areas and hallways. It is also suitable for use in some commercial offices and shops. The phrase “including stairs” indicates a carpet will give satisfactory performance and appearance retention on flat walking surfaces as well as stairs.

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Fibre - Nylon: Wear-resistant, resilient, withstands the weight and movement of furniture, and provides brilliant colour. Ability to conceal and resist soils and stains. Generally good for all traffic areas.

Fibre - polypropylene: Strong, resists wear and permanent stains, and is easily cleaned. Notably colourfast because colour is added in the fibre production. Resists static. Many Berbers are made of polypropylene.

Filament - A single continuous strand of natural or synthetic fibre.

Fluffing - Appearance on carpet surface of loose fibre fragments left during manufacture; not a defect, but a characteristic that disappears after carpet use and vacuuming. Sometimes called “fuzzing” or “shedding.”

Gauge - The distance between two needle points expressed in fractions of an inch. Applies to both knitted and tufted carpets.

Level Loop - A carpet construction in which the yarn on the face of the carpet forms a loop with both ends anchored into the carpet back. The pile loops are of substantially the same height and uncut, making a smooth, level surface.

Loop Pile - Carpet style having a pile surface consisting of uncut loops. May be woven or tufted. Also called “round wire” in woven carpet terminology.

Pile - The visible surface of carpet consisting of yarn tufts in loop and/or cut configuration. Sometimes called “face” or “nap”.

Pile Crush - Loss of pile thickness by compression and blending of tufts caused by traffic and heavy furniture. The tufts collapse into the air space between them. This may be irreversible if the yarn has inadequate resilience and/or the pile has insufficient density for the traffic load. Frequent vacuuming will lift the pile for longer carpet life.

Pilling - A condition of the carpet face (which may occur from heavy traffic) in which fibres from different tufts become entangled with one another, forming hard masses of fibres and tangled tufts. Pills may be cut off with scissors.

Plush - Luxuriously smooth-textured carpet surface in which individual tufts are only minimally visible and the overall visual effect is that of a single level of yarn ends. This finish is normally achieved only on cut-pile carpet produced from non-heat-set single spun yarns by brushing and shearing. Sometimes called “velvet-plush.”

Ply - 1. A single-end component in a plied yarn. 2. The number that tells how many single ends have been ply-twisted together to form a plied yarn, e.g. two-ply or three-ply.

Resilience - Ability of carpet pile or cushion to recover original appearance and thickness after being subjected to compressive forces or crushing under traffic.

Saxony - A cut-pile carpet texture with twisted yarns in a relatively dense, erect configuration. The effect is well-defined tuft tips. Smooth, level finish, but pile yarns have more twist so that the yarn ends are visible and create a less formal look. Minimizes foot prints.

Seams - In a carpet installation, the line formed by joining the edge of two pieces of carpet by the use of various seaming tapes, hand sewing or other techniques.

Seam Sealing - Procedure of coating the trimmed edges of two carpet breadths to be joined with a continuous bead of adhesive in order to prevent fraying and raveling at the seam.

Shading - A change in the appearance of a carpet due to localized distortions in the orientation of the fibres, tufts or loops. Shading is not a change in colour or hue, but a difference in light reflection.

Sisal - Originally made of vegetable fibres, the carpet industry has recently captured the look of natural sisal and jute with the gentler, more comfortable synthetic alternatives. Synthetic alternatives are almost worry-free and offer a variety of interesting textures, patterns and prints.

Soil Retardant - A chemical finish applied to fibres or carpet surfaces that inhibits attachment of soil.

Stitches - Stitches per inch. Number of yarn tufts per running inch of a single tuft row in tufted carpet.

Tackless Strip - Wood or metal strips fastened to the floor near the walls of a room containing either two or three rows of pins angled toward the walls on which the carpet backing is stretched and secured in a stretch-in installation.

Tufted - Carpet manufactured by the insertion of tufts of yarn through a carpet-backing fabric, creating a pile surface of cut and/or loop ends.

Twist - The winding of the yarn around itself. Should be neat and well-defined. A tighter twist provides enhanced durability.

Underlay - Any kind of material placed under carpet to provide softness and adequate support when it is walked upon. Carpet underlay provides a softer feel underfoot and provides added acoustical and insulation benefits and longer wear life for the carpet. In some cases, the carpet underlay is attached to the carpet when it is manufactured.

Yarn Ply - The number of single yarns twisted together to form a plied yarn.

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