Simply put, a carpet’s pile refers to the yarn content above the backing – e.g., short pile or deep pile. Pile height, is measured from the surface of the carpet to the backing.
The location of the carpet needs to be considered when choosing the type of pile, as all carpets are designed for different degrees of wear.
Please see below for more information on Twist Pile, Loop Pile and Deep, Soft Pile.
Twist pile carpets the most popular style of tufted carpet. And are made from yarn that is tightly twisted and then ‘heat-set’. The application of steam during the heat setting process, sets the tight twist into the yarn, giving the carpet a more textured effect and feel. Twist pile carpets usually come in three styles - either ‘plain’, ‘heathered’ (slightly mottled) or ‘flecked’.
Twist pile carpets can be made using wool or synthetic yarns. Wool Twist carpets are generally produced using a blend of 80% Wool with 10% polyester called ‘Tuftbond’. This melt polyester adds strength to the wool yarn and wears with appearance retention.
Loop pile carpets are made from uncut “loops” of yarn. Loop pile carpets can be either uniform in pile height, known as level loop, or produced with differing pile heights creating a textured loop pile. Variations include a rustic tweed style loop known as a ‘berber’ or flecked, which uses yarn with contrasting ‘slubs’. Wool loops are a popular alternative to coir and sisal matting because they have the added comfort, warmth and durability of natural wool. Loop pile carpets are great throughout the house and naturally hide the footprints or traffic marks that you can see after use with cut pile carpet. We don't recommend loop pile carpet though if you have pets, as the loops can get pulled by their claws. Equally, the rubber soles of kid’s training shoes can act abrasively on loop pile carpets, so it is recommended that their use is limited in-doors.
Fitting a deep, soft pile carpet in your home is a great way to add a touch of luxury. They’re also a great contrast against hard flooring. The effect of deeper pile carpets is achieved by allowing a longer pile height during the manufacturing process. Soft, deep pile carpets are often popular for bedrooms as they have a silky, sensuous feel – great for sinking your feet into on a cold, wintery morning. Although our deep, soft pile carpets are suitable for residential wear, they will flatten, to some extent, during use. To lessen the effect of flattening, vacuum your carpet regularly with an upright vacuum, using the beater bar and brush.
A number of factors affect the durability of a carpet. These are ‘pile weight’, which is the amount of yarn put into the wear surface of the carpet. Then there is the pile height, which is the height of the yarn above the backing. And finally, there is the ‘construction’ which is the number of stitches across the width and the length. The number of stitches per inch across the width, is known as the ‘gauge’.
All these factors together determine the overall feel and durability of the carpet. Short dense pile carpets in a heavy pile weight are great for heavy traffic areas such as stairs. Whilst lighter pile weight carpets can be used for bedrooms, which are generally used less frequently, than other rooms in the house.