July 8th, 2022
Things to know before you buy your carpet
Wool – Generally used for high-quality carpets, you’ll pay more for natural materials, but you’ll get a great looking floor covering that is made from sustainable fibre, is resilient and highly durable. It gets top marks for insulation, too – good for reducing heat loss and noise – and retains its appearance remarkably well. Wool also feels beautiful and soft underfoot!
Wool-mix – Some consider a mix of 80% wool, 20% man-made fibres (such as polyamide or polyester), as the best combination for an all-purpose carpet.
Polypropylene – This man-made carpet fibre is a popular choice, because it’s hardwearing and resistant to stains. It can be cleaned using a part-bleached cleaning solution, although always check with the manufacturer or retailer first. However, Polypropylene is flammable and not self-extinguishing.
Polyamide (also known as nylon) – Available in a wider range of hues and vibrant clear colours that can’t be reproduced in wool. A good all-rounder for family homes, good-quality polyamide or nylon carpets come with built-in stain-resistant treatments and score high marks for wearability.
Polyester – Often used for textured or shag carpets. Polyester is most like wool in appearance and feel, and is remarkably soft, durable and stain resistant. Most often used as a blend, rather than on its own.
Twist – Hardwearing carpets with yarn which has been twisted tightly together, creating a one-way pile direction. Twist carpets are the most popular type of carpet currently being produced and come in plain colour or in a combination of complimentary shades to create a ‘heather’ look, which helps hide build-up of dust or animal hairs. It’s also a good choice for places where tread always wears, such as hallways and stairs.
Berber or looped pile – Originally named after carpets made by the Berber tribe in Africa, a Berber or looped pile carpet is made from uncut continuous loops on the surface and has a distinctive knot appearance. Carpet can be looped, with a low-profile pile construction, which is known for maintaining its appearance, or have loops of different heights to form a textured pile. For a busy room, choose a Berber with smaller or tighter loops, which easily bounce back and decrease the chance of loops crushing and matting with wear and tear. A good all-rounder, however, not a great choice if you have pets, particularly cats, as they may pull up the loops with their claws.
Saxony – A deep-pile carpet that is popular for bedrooms, it has a cut pile with long tufts giving it a gentle, soft feeling underfoot and a luxurious look. Its long pile makes it easy to flatten, however, so wardrobe and cupboard feet marks won’t necessarily spring back as you might wish.