Choosing the right carpet for your facility requires you to consider the features that distinguish one carpet from another, what affects its service life, and determine its overall cost in order to better fit your flooring needs.
Carpet is classified by the way it is constructed, which includes woven carpet and tufted carpet.
Woven carpet is produced on a loom by a weaving process where the lengthwise (warp) yarns are intertwined with the widthwise (weft) yarns that add structure support to form the fabric. In woven carpet, the face and back are formed at the same time by interweaving warp, weft and other filling yarns. Weaves come in three different styles, Axminster, Wilton and velvet. Axminster has a stiff rib caused by extra filling yarn. Wilton is made on a Jacquard loom, and velvet is comprised of short even piles.
Tufted carpet is the most common means of constructing carpet. Tufted carpet is a method of manufacturing in which yarns are sewn into a backing material to form loop or cut pile. In tufted carpet, the pile material is stitched into the primary backing material. This backing supports the fiber, provides strength, hand and stability and is usually synthetic. The primary backing is usually held in place with a latex adhesive. Latex is used to secure tufts and laminate primary and secondary backing. A second layer of backing material is fixed to the latex for dimensional stability and performance.
Along with carpet composition and construction, there is also consideration of the type of backing. A quality backing will make the carpet more comfortable to walk on, it will create better stability and it will add a layer of protection to the carpet, making it more spill resistant and the carpet edges are less likely to fray or unravel over time. Backing adds strength to the carpet, changes how carpet feels to the hand and improves the dimensional stability.
Primary backing is a component of tufted carpet consisting of woven or non-woven fabric into which pile yarns tufts are inserted by the tufting needles. It is the carrier fabric for the pile yarn, providing some dimensional stability and durability.
Secondary backing is a reinforcing fabric laminated to the back of tufted carpet, usually with latex adhesive, to enhance dimensional stability, strength, stretch resistance, lay-flat stiffness and hand. It can be made from a woven or non-woven fabric, or a cushion or non-cushion polymer.
Adhesives must be compatible with both the carpet backing and the subfloor. There is an increasing selection of environmentally safe adhesives that have high performance and no negative effects on indoor air quality.
New fibers, technologies and processes have allowed for numerous color and pattern options to exist today. Manufacturers can dye the carpeting prior to tufting of the fiber taking place, called the pre-dye process, or before the second backing and finishing application is done, known as the post-dye process. Each method has its pros and cons.
The pre-dye process includes yarn dyeing and solution dyeing.
Yarn dyeing is sometimes referenced to a skein dyeing. When carpet yarn is dyed, the process starts before the carpet is manufactured. Large skein or bales of yarn are dipped or pressure vat dyed.
Solution dyeing is adding pigment to a polymer prior to extrusion. Synthetic yarn is dyed with a special colored solution that is actually pushed through the yarn. Solution Dyed fiber has excellence colorfastness and color clarity.
The second option for creating color in carpeting happens after the manufacturing process. The post-dye process includes continuous dyeing, printing and Beck.
Continuous dyeing is a process of dyeing carpet in a continuous production line, as opposed to piece dying in batch lots. This fast process is cost effective and environmentally friendly. The benefit of continuous dyeing is that virtually any quantity of carpet can be colored and in a consistent manner.
Print dyeing is a special type of piece dyeing with the direct application of dye in the form of a pattern to the carpet face. The process of printing to give carpet color involves an application using screens, rollers or inkjets that move over the surface of the carpet. Printed carpet is available in a wide variety of patterns or textures that can replicate woven patterns at a much lower cost.
Beck dyeing or Piece dyeing refers to a batch method in which unfinished carpet is submerged in a large vessel or tank. This process is great for custom colors and small dye lots. Beck dyeing is featured as a process with good color saturation and color uniformity.