If you have carpets in your home or are redesigning a room with carpets, you may have some questions. How long will they last? What is the best way to clean a carpet? How will this affect residents or guests that may have allergies?
All of these questions can be answered by looking at the makeup of carpets both past and present. In this post, we’ll briefly explain what carpets are made of, and how they are made.
Carpets Are Actually Heavy Fabrics
Traditionally, carpets were made out of wool. While carpets today can still be made with wool, a majority of carpets are made with a synthetic fabric attached to a backing. These fabrics are cheaper to make and buy than wool rugs.
The most common types of synthetic fabrics are:
Nylon. This is the most common synthetic fabric due to its tighter construction (which means its more stain-resistant). Nylon also looks better for longer, giving customers the most out of their purchase. While nylon carpets may be more expensive, they are also easier to clean than other synthetic fabrics.
Polypropylene. This fabric is gaining traction in the carpet world. It is very resistant to stains and maintains its appearance for a long time. There are limited colors available, but that may change with its popularity.
Polyester. You can get a good, chunky, stain-resistant rug with polyester. The fabric has been popular since the 1960s.
Wool carpets, typically sourced from New Zealand or Argentina, age gracefully and add a natural, cozy feel to the home. However, a purely wool carpet will absorb stains faster than a nylon carpet; once you spill on a wool carpet, you must treat it immediately. Many manufacturers will blend wool with synthetic fabrics in order to give customers a luxury feel for a fraction of the cost.
How Carpets Are Made
Synthetic fabrics are used to make a yarn that is woven in and out of the backing through a process called “tufting.” Tufting machines hold the yarn and poke a hole through the backing before looping it through and securing the yarn to the backing. Backing is typically made out of polypropylene and looks like a large cloth. An additional machine may cut the yarn to a specific height.
After the yarn is woven through the backing, the carpet is dyed. Depending on the size and preference of the carpet manufacturer, the carpet may be dyed by screen printing or through a process called Beck dyeing.
The last steps of creating a carpet usually involves adding latex to the backing for protection. If you have a latex allergy, you should not have to be concerned about the possibility of latex in your carpet. The synthetic latex that is commonly used to protect carpet will not cause a reaction like natural latex.
Once the latex is applied, a second backing is added to the carpet for an extra layer of protection. Once the second backing is applied and the carpet’s loose ends are cleaned up, it is ready to be shipped to your door!