Carpet Styles & Textures
When buying a new carpet, you have a huge variety of options. A great starting point to narrowing your choices is to understand the different construction types of the carpet, their styles and textures, and what function or décor they fit.
Introduction to Carpet Construction
A carpet is essentially a textile woven on a loom, and like any fabric product, its look is determined by the weave of the yarn, and how the individual strands are finished. To start, there are three basic construction types of carpet: loop pile, cut pile, and cut and loop pile. All three types of construction are used in homes, but cut pile is the most popular in contemporary residential homes.
Loop pile carpet encompasses all carpets with looped fibers. As the name suggests, each fiber creates a loop. Within the loop pile group there are a wide variety of styles available as well. Most styles fall within four categories:
Level loop carpet – all fabric loops are the same length with level loop carpet. If the loops are smaller it gives a more uniform appearance and it is more durable. Standard level loops are often found in commercial settings.
- Textured loop carpet – Textured loop refers to loops of varying lengths. The varying lengths are usually formed to create a pattern in the carpet to be more visually appealing.
Multilevel loop carpet – Like textured loop, multilevel loop carpet has loops of varying lengths. With multilevel loop, the variance in length is greater than textured. This allows for more intricate patterns.
Cut pile construction means the fabric loops have been cut. Cut pile is the most common and versatile construction style for residential carpeting. There are a wide variety of styles, but four of the most popular are:
Plush – Plush style rings true to its name and it has a cushiony, soft feel. The plush style often has a slight sheen to it – drawing a resemblance to velvet.
Saxony – In the Saxony style, two or more fabric piles has been twisted and heat-set so that the ends of the fabric are easily visible. This textured surface allows for the carpet to show different hues depending on the direction the top layer is viewed from.
Textured – Textured carpet is treated so that the exposed ends of the fabric have less sheen. The fabric tightly kinks creating a matte surface that will show less foot traffic and reduce the visibility of vacuum tracks.
Frieze – Like the textured style it is sometimes confused with, frieze style carpet is treated so the cut pile fabric creates a tight kink. The yarns are highly twisted so the fall back on themselves creating a unique texture look. It’s the most durable of the cut pile styles and therefore usually the most expensive.
Each style of carpet comes with its own selection of firmness, color, texture and pattern – visit our Bay Area carpet showroom in Palo Alto to feel the different options for yourself.