A selection of definitions and often used phrases in carpets and flooring

30oz40oz50ozBerberBindingCarpetColour MatchingCrumb Rubber,CrushingDensityDoor CuttingDouble-Glued Seams, D.P.M.EdgingFace WeightFading On WoolFeltbackFiberFlatteningFlockedFuzzing,HeatsettingHessian BackH/S/LIndentationsKnittedLaminate UnderlayLevel LoopLoop PileMattingMemoryMulti-level LoopNeedle PunchedPilePile ReversalPile WeightPillingPU FoamPulled LoopsRipplingSamplesSaxonyShadingSheddingSnagsSoilingSponge RubberSproutingStretch & TrimStatic ElectricityTexture RetentionTuftedTwist,Twist LevelVelvetWaterfall InstallationWeightWhippingWovenYarnYarn Count


Pile weight, weight of yarn used per square yard/metre. 30oz is often considered as a general domestic carpet, not for contract use.

Pile weight, weight of yarn used per square yard/metre. 40oz is often considered as a heavy domestic / general contract carpet.

Pile weight, weight of yarn used per square yard/metre. 50oz is often considered as an extra heavy domestic / heavy contract carpet.

See Loop Pile

Binding (edging / Whipping)
Running cord or thread round the edge of the carpet to to prevent unlaying and for a neater and more decorative look.

Carpet is a heavy fabric used to cover floor and made from a variety of fibres.

Colour Matching
Carpets are produced in batches, known as creels - and usually each batch produces between 500m² - 3000m² in a single width, depending on the creel size. Whilst the recipe used by the dyer remains constant, and is followed to the letter, in each separate production of the colour reproduction will vary from batch to batch. However production is matched back to the original or master sample to ensure that the colour remains 'within a commercial tolerance'.

Crumb Rubber
A type of underlay. Flat and dense, crumb rubber is good for heavy footfall - offering maximum protection but a little less comfort (and a very good over stair nosings).

Crushing is irreparable loss of pile height caused by traffic or weight.

Density (weight)
Density refers to the amount of pile yarn per area of carpet or the closeness of the tufts. Higher density carpet improves resistance to crushing and matting.

Door Cutting
Flooring or underlays may be thicker than the one previously installed, this may cause it to rub or catch on the bottom of the door. Door cutting is the process of trimming the door down to allow it to open and close freely without damaging the flooring.

Double-Glued Seams
Double-glued seams attach carpet to bare floor to prevent delamination and edge ravel. Installers should double-glue seams to prevent fuzzing.

D.P.M (Damp Proof Membrane)
Used to create a damp proof barrier on the flooring.

Edging (Whipping / Binding)
Running cord or thread round the edge of the carpet to prevent unlaying and for a neater and more decorative look.

Face Weight (Weight)
Face weight is the number of ounces of fiber per square yard in the face of the carpet (not including the backing). The face weight affects performance and durability. Face weight is different from density because it varies with carpet height.

Fading on Wool
Carpets made from wool can and do fade in use. The degree of fade can vary depending on the colour chosen and the local conditions to which the carpet is subjected. Fading can be caused by exposure to ultra violet light which is found in daylight, but is accelerated when sunlight shines directly onto the carpet. This has the effect of lightening or "Bleaching" the colour just as exposure to sunlight will lighten human hair. Wool is after all animal hair.

This is the type of backing on some carpets, it removes the need of underlay, and is more effective than the old style rubber backing as it does not dry up and crumble.

Fiber is the fundamental unit of carpet. Carpet fibers are made from nylon, polyester, cotton, acrylics, wool, and recycled material.

Flattening will occur as a result of traffic which eventually flattens the pile particularly in the main areas of use. All pile fabrics will flatten to greater or lesser degree dependent on the amount of traffic to which it is subjected and the construction (tuft density/pile fibre/height/weight) of the product concerned.

Flocked carpet is made of tufts of wool or cotton fiber.

Fuzzing occurs when fluffy particles appear on carpet surfaces. It is caused by fibers that loosen because of weak twist or snags. Professional carpet cleaners can shear the carpet to remove fuzzing.

Heatsetting is the process of heating or steaming yarns to hold their twist. Most nylon, olefin, and polyester cut pile carpets are heatset.

Hessian Back
Made from Jute, this is the more common backing on carpets, which normally also require an underlay separately.

An abbreviation often used for Hall, Stairs, and Landing

When a carpet is subjected to a heavy point load, such as under the legs of furniture, it is unreasonable to expect the carpet not to indent. Usually, the longer the load is in place, the longer will be the time for the pile to recover. In the case of very heavy loads in place for considerable time, the recovery time can be very considerable.

Knitted carpet is formed by interlacing yarn in a series of connected loops.

Laminate Underlay
Improves acoustic performance of the floor and helps the boards float above any imperfections in the sub-surface.

Level loop 
When all the loops are of the same height, a highly flexible and durable carpet is created which has a natural, casual appearance even when (commonly) it is made from synthetic fibres. The tight loop texture tends to hide marks so its a good blend between luxury and practicality.

Loop Pile (Berber) 
Berber loop pile carpets look like and are named after a handmade, bulky wool carpet made by the Berber tribes of North Africa and Asia. The loops are made from thick or bulky yarns of wool, nylon, polypropylene or a blend of these fibres to give a cushioned effect underfoot. These carpets are available in an assortment of colours and may be flecked and be either level loop or multi-level loop.

Price Per Metre Square

Matting (crushing)
Matting is the usually irreversible adhesion of carpet yarn caused by traffic or dirt.

Carpet memory refers to texture retention.

Multi-level Loop 
The loops vary to two or sometimes three loop heights to create informal, random textures which are very forgiving for marks and stains and therefore very suitable for high traffic areas and busy family rooms.

Needle Punched 
Needle punched carpet is stitched into backing material.

A pile is a column of carpet fiber.

Pile Reversal 
This doesn't affect the wear. Pile reversal or shading is a feature of cut pile carpet. Traffic bends the carpet fiber in different directions creating an impression of light and dark areas. Regular vacuuming can create uniform shades. It is not recognised as a manufacturers fault.

Pile Weight
Weight of yarn used per square yard/metre. The heavier the weight, the more concentrated the yarn is and therefore more robust and better wearing

Pilling (Fuzzing) 
Pilling occurs when fluffy particles appear on carpet surfaces. It is caused by fibers that loosen because of weak twist or snags. Usually, you can simply cut the pills with sharp scissors. If the pills are large, however, call in a professional carpet cleaner, retailer, or installer to resolve the problem.

PU (Polyurethane) Foam
A type of underlay. Typically made from recycled foam offcuts, the foam provides excellent comfort and performance levels with lots of thickness options. Can be recycled again after use.

Pulled Loops
Pulled loops occur only in looped pile carpet where one or more loops in the continuous pile is pulled through the primary backing of the carpet. This is usually due to come local condition, possibly some sharp object which has caught in a loop in situ and has resulted in a pull. Pulled loops are easily dealt with by trimming the offending end level with the rest of the pile. They should not be left as this could result in further loops being pulled and developing into a ladder.

Heat and humidity can cause ruffles or waves in wall-to-wall carpet. A professional carpet retailer or installer can re-stretch the carpet with a power stretcher.

The samples held by individual retailers may not be from the same batch as current production and therefore should be used as a guide and not an exact colour match.

A type of cut pile. Saxony textures are made of twisted yarns, which should be heat set. The tips remain very distinct, rather than blending together to form a very elegant finish. Saxony textures show footprints and vacuum marks so are suitable for more occasional rooms in the home. More textured variations improve practicality of saxonies.

Shading is the same as pile reversal.

New carpet tends to shed for a few weeks after installation. Regular vacuuming can resolve this problem. Shedding is more common in cut pile carpet and in wool carpet. Synthetic fiber carpet (such as nylon) does not shed as much.

Snags can occur when an object tangles in carpet. Usually, you can simply cut the snag with sharp scissors. If the snag is large, however, call in a professional carpet cleaner, retailer, or installer to resolve the problem.

Sponge Rubber
A type of underlay. Popular type of underlay in flat or waffle patterns in a wide range of weights. Performs well for comfort and has a durable spring retention.

Soiling occurs when dirt particles build up in carpet fibers. Regular vacuuming and cleaning will prevent this problem.

Sprouting (Fuzzing / Pilling) 
Sprouting occurs when fluffy particles appear on carpet surfaces. Usually, you can simply cut the sprouts with sharp scissors. If the sprouts are large, however, call in a professional carpet cleaner, retailer, or installer to resolve the problem.

Stretch & Trim
Over time some carpets may stretch/settle to create excess carpet in certain areas, this is resolved by taking the carpet up at the edges and stretching it to take out the excess and then trimming/cutting this excess off.

Static Electricity 
Cold and low humidity often create isolated motionless charges of electricity. Some carpets provide static resistance. Humidifiers also limit static electricity buildup.

Texture Retention
Texture retention or carpet memory is the ability of tufts to retain their shape under traffic. Caring for care will help texture retention.

Tufted carpets are pieces of yarn embedded in backing material.

The cut-pile standard and is very popular. Twist is the winding of the yarn around itself. More twist improves carpet performance (especially in cut pile).

Twist Level
Twist level is the number of turns per inch of yarn.

Velvet textures (sometimes called 'velour' or 'plush') all have a level surface pile of approx 5mm to 10mm height, which is then sheared to give a smooth finish. With very little twist in the yarn, the ends blend together which then further enhances the overall finish. These carpets tend to 'shade' (see Pile Reversal) with heavy use. Footprints show easily and the colour looks different place to place because fibres lying in different directions reflect the light differently. A luxury for occasional rooms.

Waterfall Installation
Stairs are composed of a tread (the upper horizontal part of a step) and a riser (the upright member between two stair treads). Waterfall installation attaches carpet to two points on each step (one at the back of the tread and one at the bottom of each riser). This type of installation extends the life of carpet on stairs. When the carpet on the treads become worn, they can be taken up, reversed, and reinstalled with the worn areas placed over the risers.

Pile weight, weight of yarn used per square yard/metre.

Whipping (Edging / Binding)
Running cord or thread round the edge of the carpet to prevent unlaying (exposed strands) and for a neater and more decorative look.

Interlacing strands of fiber into a yarn forms woven carpet.

Yarn is made of fibers that are twisted together to form a continuous strand.

Yarn Count
Yarn count reflects the amount of yarn packed into a given area.

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