Glossary

Antistatic

A carpet’s ability to dissipate an electrostatic charge before it reaches the level of human sensitivity.

Backing

The fabric and yarns that make up the side of the carpet that lays next to the floor. In tufted carpets there are two types of backing:

  • Primary Backing: A woven or non-woven fabric through which the yarn is inserted by the tufting needles.
  • Secondary Backing: Fabric that is laminated to the back of the carpet to reinforce it.

Cut pile

A carpet in which the yarn loops are cut to create a textured look and feel.

Cut and loop pile

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

Density

A measure of how tightly the yarn is stitched into the primary backing. Higher density carpet will typically wear better than lower density carpet.

Fading

All carpet (like any textile product) is subject to color changes over time. This change is very gradual and is caused by oxidation through exposure to the open air within the home. Due to damaging ultra-violet rays, areas exposed to sunlight are subject to more dramatic color changes.

Finishing

A collective term denoting final processing of carpet subsequent to tufting and dyeing. Carpet finishing processes include shearing, brushing, application of secondary backing and application of soil retardant and antistatic chemicals.

Formaldehyde

Carpet does not contain formaldehyde. While no formaldehyde is used in the manufacture of carpet, formaldehyde occurs naturally in the environment. Carpet, as well as any other textile, can absorb airborne formaldehyde.

Gauge

The distance between two needle points in tufted carpet. It is usually expressed in fractions of an inch.

Gut label

The GUT label is a persuasive argument for the consumer. Every year, hundreds of carpet types are checked by GUT. Only those products that meet the GUT standards obtain the GUT licence number. This licence number, which appears on the back of the carpet, indicates that it has been tested by a certified testing institute.

Loop pile

The fiber in the carpet is looped and uncut. Can be either level loop or multi-level loop.

Pile

Cut or uncut loops of yarn that create the surface of carpeting.

Pile height

Pile height is the length of the tuft measured from the primary backing to the yarn tips. It’s usually shown as a fraction, or sometimes its decimal equivalent. Usually shorter pile heights are more durable than longer pile heights.

Polyester

A common synthetic material well accepted for its bulkiness, color clarity, and good stain and fade resistance. While not as resilient as nylon, Polyester fiber carpet constructed with today’s new technologies can be a good performer.

Prodis label

PRODIS, the uniform PRODuct Information System of the European Carpet Industry

PRODIS is the first comprehensive consumer information system that integrates information on environmental issues, consumer health and safety topics as well as information on use areas of use and additional characteristics of textile floor coverings.

PRODIS provides reliable information for the consumer and trade and is based on two elements:

  • the GUT test system for VOC-emissions and chemicals
  • the FCSS standard symbols for use classification

Polypropylene

Another common synthetic material used in carpet manufacturing, sometimes referred to as olefin. Today it represents more than thirty-five percent of the total fibers used in the carpet industry. While polypropylene is not as resilient or resistant to abrasion as nylon, it is naturally stain and fade resistant. Polypropylene is most often used in loop pile carpet constructions.

Resilience

The ability of a carpet to return to its original thickness after static or dynamic loading (compression). The higher the resilience, the less quickly walking paths are visible in the carpet. Carpets with higher resilience are more durable than carpets with lower resilience. Resilience is closely associated with the raw material from which the pile is manufactured. Polyamide has the best resilience.

Rug

A carpet of a certain form with limited dimensions. Rugs are laid on top of other, usually harder floor coverings such as ceramic tiles or parquet floors.

Saxony

Saxony has a smooth, soft, velvet plush look and a luxurious feel with a uniform twist and finish. This style is not a good choice for high traffic areas or rooms with active kids. Also be aware that this style does show footprints and vacuum marks.

Textured

A very popular cut pile carpet that has alternating twists of yarn creating a two-tone appearance. This carpet creates a more casual atmosphere in the room and is available in a broad range of prices.

Twist

When selecting carpet, you want a tight twist in each yarn, not loose and frayed at the end.

Yarn

Yarn is the basic material that a carpet is made of. Over ninety percent of all of the carpet made today is made up of synthetic yarn. The rest is natural yarn, most commonly wool.