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CARPET TERMS/GLOSSARY

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I |J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z

A

Abraded Yarns

Continuous filament yarns in which filaments have been cut or abraded at intervals and given additional twist to produce a certain degree of hairiness, so as to stimulate the character of yarns spun from staple. Abraded yarns are usually plied or twisted with other yarns before using.

Absorption

The property of a fiber, yarn or fabric which enables it to attract and hold gasses or liquids within its pores.

Axminster

A traditional method of manufacturing cut pile carpet. The yarn and backing are woven at the same time to produce highly patterned designs of many colors.

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B

Berber

A term that originally referred to the traditional handweaving of North African tribes people who had handspun yarns made from the undyed wool of local sheep. This homespun, natural colored look has been developed on a commercial basis by carpet manufacturers.

Binding Yarn

Synthetic or natural yarn running lengthwise of the woven fabric, used to "bind" the pile tufts firmly; often called crimp warp or binder warp.

Blend

A carpet containing a mixture of two or more fibers.

Boucle

A heavily textured loop pile.

Broadloom/Wall-to-wall

Carpet manufactured in at least 12-foot widths.

Brocade

A carpet or rug in which a raised pattern or engraved effect is formed using heavy twisted yarns tufts on a ground of straight fibers.

Burling

An inspection process following carpet construction to correct loose tufts, etc.; also the process of replacing missing tufts with hand held tools.

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C

Carpet

Designation for a soft floor covering fabric. The word carpet has been used interchangeably to describe a wall-to-wall installed product or a rug, which is not fastened to the floor. Today, however, it is most often used to describe installed broadloom.

Chenille

A soft, silk cotton or worsted yarn fabric with a thick pile.

Cockling

A curliness or crimpiness appearing in the cut face pile as a result of yarn or machine condition. Depending on the style, may be an intentional effect.

Count

A number identifying yarn size or weight per unit of length or vice versa, depending on the particular system being used.

Cut Pile

Carpet in which the tops of loops are cut to a uniform length.

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D

Dead Yarn

The pile yarn in a Wilton carpet that remains hidden in the backing structure when not forming a pile tuft.


Denier

Unit of weight for the size of a single filament. The higher the denier, the heavier the yarn.

Density

Closeness of pile; amount of pile packed into a given area of carpet, usually measured in ounces per square yard.

Dirty Back

Excess face yarn showing on the back of carpet. The usual causes are poor timing, insufficient tension on the face yarn, excessively bulky face yarns, or insufficient stuffers.

Drop Match

When the design in a carpet is dropped in the next combining width of carpet to maintain the pattern.

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E

Embossed

In carpet, the type of pattern formed when heavy twisted tufts are used in a ground of straight yarns to create an engraved appearance. Both the straight and twisted yarns are often the same color.

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F

Finishing

A final process through which fabrics are put; such as shearing, steaming, application of secondary back or cushion, application of soil retardant, anti-static material, stain-resistance, etc.

Frieze/Hard Twist

Also called hard twist, this carpet pile uses highly twisted yarn for a more textured cut pile effect.


Full Roll/ Shipping Roll

A length of carpet; roll goods usually approximately 100 feet long. Shipping roll standards vary and may be as short as 30 feet, depending upon carpet thickness and manufacturers.

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G

Gauge/Pitch

The number of ends of surface yarn counting across the width of carpet. In woven carpet, pitch is the number of ends of yarn in 27quote width, e.g. 216 divided by 28 = 8 end per inch. To convert gauge to pitch, multiply ends per inch by 27 e.g. 1/10 gauge is equivalent to 270 pitch, or 10 ends per inch x 27.

Greige Goods

Pronounced "gray goods." Undyed carpet or other textile materials.

Grin

Condition where the carpet backing shows between the rows of pile yarns.

Ground Color

The background color against which the top colors create the pattern or figure in the design.

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H

Hand

The tactile aesthetic qualities of carpet and textiles. Factors determining how carpet feels to the hand include pile weight, stiffness, lubricants, fiber type and denier, density, backing and latex.

Heather

A multicolor effect provided by blending fibers of different colors prior to spinning carpet yarn.

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J

Jacquard

An apparatus for a carpet-weaving loom that produces patterns form colored yarns.

Jaspe

Irregular stripes of two or more hues, shades or values of the same color used to produce a particular effect on the pile yarn of plain or evenly designed fabrics. Various jaspe effects can be produced by varying the twist of the yarn.

Jute

Derived from a fibrous plant. It is shredded and spun into yarn. Used as the backing for woven carpets, or woven into a backing fabric for tufted carpets.

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L

Level Loop

Carpet construction with face yarns tufted or woven into loops of same pile height.

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.

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M

Matting/Pile Crush

Severe pile crush combined with entanglement of fibers and tufts.

Moresque

Single strands of different colors of yarn twisted, or plied, together to form one multi-colored yarn. Moresque yarns thus have a "barber pole" appearance.

Multi-Level Loop Pile

Carpets with loops of yarn at different heights creating a sculptured effect.

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N

Nap

Carpet or rug pile surface.

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P

Pile

The upright ends of yarn, whether cut or looped, that form the wearing surface of carpets or rugs.

Pile Density

Number of tufts both across (needles per inch or gauge for tufted carpet) and lengthwise (stitches per inch) of the carpet.

Pile Height

The height of pile measured from the surface of the back to the top of the pile, not including the thickness of the back.

Pile Reversal/ Pooling

An irreversible, localized change in the orientation of the pile of a carpet.

Pile Weight

The weight of pile yarn per square yard of carpet.

Pilling

A condition in certain fibers in which strands of the fiber separate and become knotted with other strands, causing a rough, spotty appearance. Pilled tufts should never be pulled from carpet, but may be cut off with sharp scissors at the pile surface.

Plied Yarns

Two or more strands, ends or plies either twisted or otherwise cohesively entwined, intermingled or entangled into a heavier yarn.

Plush

A cut pile carpet in which the tuft ends all blend together.

Point

One tuft of pile.

Printed Carpet

Carpet having colored patterns applied by methods analogous to those for printing flat textiles and paper.

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R

Repeat

The distance from a point in a pattern figure to the same point where it occurs again, measuring lengthwise of the fabric.

Resilience

The ability of a carpet fabric or padding to spring back to its original shape of thickness after being crushed or walked upon.

Riser

The upright part of a step between two stair treads.

Rows/Wires

Rows of tufts counting lengthwise in one inch of carpet. In axminster carpets, these are called rows; in wilton and velvet, wires.

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S

Saxony

A cut-pile carpet texture consisting of heat-set plied yarns in a relatively dense, erect configuration, with well defined individual tuft tips. Tip definition is more pronounced than in singles plush.

Sculptured

A multi-level texture pattern.

Self-tone

A pattern of two or more shades of the same color. When two shades are used in a pattern or design, it is called two-tone.

Selvage

The edge of a carpet so finished that it will not ravel or require binding or hemming.

Serging

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

Shading

The apparent change of color in an area of a cut pile carpet caused by light reflecting on pile laying in different directions. It is not a manufacturing defect. Also called pile switch, pile reversal, and watermarking.

Shag

A deep-pile texture with long, cut surface yarns. Currently defined as having a pile height greater than 3/4" with density not exceeding 1800.

Shearing

The process in manufacture in which carpet is drawn under revolving cutting blades, in order to produce a smooth face on the fabric.

Shedding

The process of losing loose fiber from the pile yarn of a new carpet. It is not harmful to the carpet. Also called fluffing.

Splush

Semi-dense cut-pile carpet, about half-way in appearance between shag and plush, whose tufts lie less irregularly than shag, but not as regularly as plush.

Sprouting

Protrusion of individual tuft or yarn ends above pile surface. May be clipped with scissors.

Static

The build up of electric charge when a person walks over a carpet, which is subsequently discharged. It occurs on natural and synthetic fibers, and is dictated by humidity.

Step Return

A term for that part of a staircase tread that extends over the riser. Also known as a bullnose or extended nosing.

Stitch

The number of lengthwise yarn tufts in one inch of tufted carpet.

Stretch

A carpet installation term for the amount of elongation of carpet when it is stretched over cushion onto tackless strip. Generally 1 to 2 percent.

Stria/Striped

A striped effect obtained by loosely twisting two strands of one shade of yarn with one strand of a lighter or darker shade. The single yarn appears like irregular stripes.

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T

Tensile Strength

Breaking strain of yarns or fabrics. High tensile strength means strong yarns or fabrics.

Tile

A carpet module usually 18" x 18" or 24" x 24" in size. Extremely dense construction with a heavy reinforced backing.

Tip Shearing

A textured loop pattern produced by shearing the tips of some of the loops in a multi-height loop pile.

Tone-on-tone

A carpet pattern made by using two or more shades of the same hue.

Top colors

Colors of the yarn used to form the design, as distinguished from ground color.

Tufted Carpet

Hundreds of needles thread the yarn through a lightweight backing, forming loops or tufts of the required length. An adhesive coating is then applied to the reverse side, anchoring tufts in position and a second backing is applied for extra strength.

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V

Velvet Weave/Velvet Finish

A simple loom first used to produce carpet with a single-level plush or velvet texture. May be used for cut or looped pile, or modified for other texture variations.

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W

Wall-to-wall/Broadloom

Carpet manufactured in at least 12-foot widths.

Warp

In woven carpet, yarns running lengthwise.

Weft

In woven carpet, yarns running crosswise between warp yarns.

Wilton

A woven carpet. Textures can be in a cut pile, loop pile and a combination of cut and loop pile. A carved appearance can also be achieved. Normally Wilton carpets come in one to three colors, but can include up to five colors.

Wires

Component of a carpet-weaving loom on which the pile tufts are formed. Round wires produce loop pile carpet, and flat wires with sharp blades produce cut pile (plush) textures.

Wools of New Zealand

Manages the Wools of New Zealand brand programs and stimulates international demand for branded New Zealand Wool.

Wools of New Zealand Brand

The black and white, stylized fern symbol representing branded Wools of New Zealand products. It is found on premium carpet products which use a majority of branded New Zealand Wool and which meet strict international performance standards.

Worsted

Smooth, firmly twisted yarn made from long strands of wool.

Woven Carpet

Carpet produced on a loom through a weaving process by which the lengthwise (warp) yarns and widthwise (weft or filling) yarns are interlaced to form the fabric.

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