How is Carpet Made?
You’re thinking, why do I need to know how carpet is made? Well, aren’t you the least bit curious as to how that softer more padded flooring beneath your feet came into existence? You know it keeps you warmer and more comfortable than hard flooring, but have you ever wondered how it it is made, and why it looks and feels the way that it does?
Carpet-making likely came about in Central Asia thousands of years ago. Nomads in vast regions needed protection from the bitter winters and wanted more than just animal skins to keep their tent homes warm, so they used the outer fur and hair of goats and sheep to make what most people would consider area rugs today.
Early carpet-makers fashioned simple wooden horizontal hand looms that were made with wooden or bone supports to handle the different directions that the hair or fur yarn strands needed to go in order to construct an actual rug piece, which was comprised of the warp (horizontal yarn pieces) and the weft (vertical yarn pieces). Once the process of weaving commenced, designs were either incorporated within the rugs along with dyes and other features that were part of the rug making process.
Most materials used in early and even later carpet-making were from animal hair (wool), cotton and various yarn combinations as well as fibers such as jute, flax, hemp and other plant based materials.
Many traditional and high quality carpets in use today are comprised of natural materials, such as wool and cotton, and they are also manufactured from synthetic fibers like polypropylene, nylon, polyester acrylics and semi-synthetics. Wool is the most common fiber in even modern carpets, but man-made fibers are usually more economical and easier to care for, so they are just as much in use as other carpets fashioned of traditional materials.
Types of Weave
The result of any kind of weaving is part of the process of making a rug. Once woven, most rugs whether ancient, older or newer, have a pile. This is the density of the fibers that comprise the rug. Most rugs are either hand-knotted, hooked, tufted or flat woven and their pile is determined by the measurement taken from the carpet’s surface to its backing. A flat-woven rug lacks pile or density and is often reversible.
Today carpet-making involves the use of modern looms and broadlooms, which are of course larger and mechanized in comparison to hand looms. Hand looming still exists and is used in many cultures, but most wall to wall carpeting today is manufactured in plants with larger loom capacities.
A good percentage of carpeting is tufted, which involves a two-step procedure. A backing for tufted carpets is woven first and then tufts of fibers of varying materials (natural or synthetic) are inserted and held in place by a rubberized (latex) coating, which is applied to the back of the carpeting.
Woven carpeting consists of a consolidation of the pile and backing in one operation. This process is utilized with wall-to-wall carpeting, which is a distinct process from that of individual rugs and carpets. Broadloom carpeting involves producing carpeting on a wide loom, and with wall-to-wall carpeting being in demand, carpet-making facilities require wider looms to produce and keep up with the need for this type of carpeting.
Carpeting has many advantages and obviously most homeowners want to invest in the best quality carpeting made, plus they realize that maintaining their high-end carpeting is going to involve care that they may not have time to deal with on a daily or weekly basis, and even if homeowners choose to go with stain-resistant carpeting, they still have to consider the upkeep with daily wear and tear as well as food, drink and pet accident stains and numerous other issues involving dust and dirt.
With the added worry of continual maintenance, think about contacting and consulting with a carpet cleaning company, such as Heaven’s Best to get some ideas on how to care for your carpeting. You want the added assurance of professionals as they can help extend the life of your carpet, and that’s an important consideration when it comes to the investment you’ve made in your carpeted floors.