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Terms

Construction

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

Cushion

- Any kind of material placed under carpet to provide softness and adequate support when it is walked upon. Carpet cushion provides a softer feel underfoot and provides added acoustical and insulation benefits and longer wear life for the carpet. In some cases, the carpet cushion is attached to the carpet when it is manufactured. Also referred to as "padding" or "underlay," although "cushion" is the preferred term. Cushion under most residential carpet should be a thickness no greater than 7/16".

Cut Pile

- A carpet fabric in which the face is composed of cut ends of pile yarn.

Cut and Loop Pile

- A carpet fabric in which the face is composed of a combination of cut ends of pile yarns and loops.

Delamination

- Separation of the secondary backing or attached cushion from the primary backing of the carpet.

Density

- Refers to the amount of pile yarn in the carpet and the closeness of the tufts. In general, the denser the pile, the better the performance.

Filament

- A single continuous strand of natural or synthetic fiber.

Frieze

- Pronounced "free-zay," this tightly twisted yarn gives carpet a rough, nubby appearance.

Gauge

- The distance between two needle points expressed in fractions of an inch. Applies to both knitting and tufting.

Hand

- The tactile aesthetic qualities of carpet and textiles, how it feels to the hand.

Heat setting

- The process that sets the twist by heat or steam, enabling yarns to hold their twist over time. Important in cut pile carpet. Most nylon, olefin and polyester cut pile carpets are heat-set.

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.

Luster

- Brightness or sheen of fibers, yarns, carpet or fabrics.

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.

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 singles 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.

Serging

- A method of finishing edges of area rugs by use of heavy, colored yarn sewn around the edges in a close, overcast stitch.


Shading

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

Sisal

- Originally made of vegetable fibers, the carpet industry has recently captured the look of natural sisal and jute with the gentler, more comfortable synthetic alternatives.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

Soil Retardant

- A chemical finish applied to fibers or carpet surfaces that inhibits attachment of soil.

Sprouting

- Protrusion of individual tuft or yarn ends about the pile surface. May be clipped with scissors.

Staple

- Short lengths of fiber that may be converted into spun yarns by textile yarn spinning processes. These spun yarns are also called "staple" yarns. For carpet yarns spun on the common, modified worsted systems, most staple is six to eight inches long. Staple fiber may also be converted directly into nonwoven fabrics, such as needlepunched carpet.

Stitches

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

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

- Carpet cushion under rugs.

Woven

- Carpet produced on a weaving loom in which the lengthwise yarns and widthwise yarns are interlaced to form the fabric, including the face and the backing.

Yarn Ply

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

Area rug terms are reproduced from the Carpet and Rug Institute web site. For more carpet and area rug terms, please visit the Carpet and Rug Institute at http://www.carpet-rug.org/