Carpet options buying guide

The basics of buying a wall-to-wall carpet.
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  • Updated:1 Jul 2008

04.Cut or loop

Loop pile

  • These carpets are made up of individual strands of yarn pulled through the carpet backing twice to create a small loop.
  • Loops can be all the same height (level loop pile) or two or three different heights (multi-level or modulated loop pile), to create a pattern.
  • Carpets with short level loop pile are suited to high-traffic areas and are comparatively easy to maintain.
  • Multi-level loop pile gives a more textured appearance and is becoming increasingly popular.
  • Loop pile tends to give a more casual look and is less susceptible to footprint marks and shading (the appearance of irregular light and dark areas) than cut-pile carpets. 
  • Popular loop styles include:
    • Berber carpets, which have thick yarns tufted into chunky loop tufts. They’re usually in earth tones with a ‘flecked’ appearance — excellent for hiding stains.
    • Sisal-style/cord carpets have tighter loops than berbers, creating a stiffer feel. The loop lines can be either all the same height or alternating heights. These carpets are good for high-traffic areas.

    Level loop pile Multi level loop pile





      Level loop pile               Multi level loop pile      

    Cut pile

    In cut pile carpets the loops are cut at the top, leaving tufts of yarn that stand straight up. Cut pile has a more luxurious, formal look than loop pile.

    Popular cut styles include:

    • Velvet/ plush carpets, which are smooth, soft and elegant. The carpet pile is cut several times to create a velvety sheen, but this also shows every footprint. It’s best used for formal areas. 
    • Saxony carpets are similar to velvet, but not quite as smooth.
    • Freize/twist carpets have tightly twisted fibres that curl slightly at the pilesurface. They hide footprints and vacuum marks, making them suitable for high-traffic areas.

    Plush pile Twist pile





     Plush pile                       Twist pile

    Combination cut and loop pile

    • These carpets have a combination of cut and looped yarns and can create sculptured effects such as squares, swirls and so on.
    • This effect is good for hiding dirt and footprints.

    Cut and loop pile





     Combination cut & loop pile

    Images: Courtesy of Feltex Carpets


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