Carpets: Comfort in the Home

A touch of underfoot luxury

Personal preferences for colour and pattern are main considerations when choosing carpets.

The problem is usually how to select the right carpet from the bewildering range which is made. This article tells you about quality, fibre content and wearability, so that you can choose to fit your budget.

Carpeting the home can be the most expensive aspect of furnishing. Modern materials no longer make this necessarily the very expensive operation it once was; you can now buy soft floorings that are both cheap and tough, and easy to lay. Many were originally developed for the office or for contract use. These cheaper carpets are non-woven and made from such synthetics as nylon and polypropylene-the bulk of them are synthetic cord carpets. Where budget is the main consideration, alternatives to carpeting include sisals and rush matting, which though in the lowest price brackets are worth considering.

Colour and design

Most people have particular colour-preferences, so personal choice must play an important role in selection; but it is wise to keep the options open where choice of colour for a carpet is concerned. The carpets dictates the choice of the remainder of the furnishings and this should be strongly borne in mind: a carpet goes on after the remainder of the furnishings have been replaced and it is the dominant if not the key factor in the room scheme. When choosing a pattern, remember to keep strong patterns to one surface only -the floor-or the walls, or furnishings such as curtains. Too many patterns can cancel each other out, so if your selection is a bold flowing pattern, make sure that the rest of your patterns are small but complementary.

How to avoid confusion

When shopping for a carpet you will be faced with a vast choice of textures, constructions and fibres, in addition to a wide range of colour and design. Before a carpet can be selected with any degree of confidence, it is necessary to know something about how they are made. Never be in a hurry-it is always worth shopping around and finding out about carpets.

Construction

Domestic carpets are generally made in one of three constructions, Axminster, Wilton or Tufted. These terms describe the method of manufacture; they are not necessarily an indication of quality or fibre content. Neither is Wilton nor Axminster a brand name; these are generic terms used to describe the method of construction.

Axminster is a woven carpet using up to 35 colours in the design, and each fibre is dyed before weaving. The majority of patterned carpets are produced by this method, for it gives an even pile and a huge pattern selection.

Wilton is again woven but mainly in plain colours, giving a velvet pile finish. But there are some patterned Wiltons, using up to five colours in a design. Many Wiltons are textured, carved and sculptured, effects being predominantly in either one or two tones.

The difference between the two types is the method of weaving, but from a wearability viewpoint there is little difference between them.

Tufted

This is manufactured by an entirely different process to the traditional centuries-old weaving method of the Axminsters and Wiltons. Each tuft is inserted into a pre-woven backing and then covered with latex, while a second backing is added to increase the stability of the tufts. The method is a modern one, and is faster in production than traditional weaving.

The majority of the tufted carpets are in the lower qualities and price ranges. However, there are now a number of better grades, including several with luxurious long-wool pile, so that the tufted carpet is gradually being up-graded. Most tufted carpets are plain or mottled, but a few have simple designs. Some have a five-colour design printed on the pile surface.

Non-woven

These are a newer type of carpeting and, as the name implies, it is made on a different machine in which a mass of fibres are interlocked by a needling process which compresses the fibre into a close, flat surface which is very tough. This type of carpet has a flat non-pile surface. Loose-laid carpet tiles which are made in the same way often have a single-directional pile.

10. November 2011 by admin
Categories: Featured, Handyman Tips | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Carpets: Comfort in the Home

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