Introduction

Style and color are vital when choosing carpet for a home. Stain resistance and durability are equally important, and nothing affects these attributes more than fiber, twist levels, and durability. It has enormous impact on the quality, performance, comfort, and beauty of the product. All of our products meet these requirements. Choosing the right product has never been easier with our collection of residential and commercial carpet. Our residential offering has a variety of styles in cut pile textures, friezes, cables, cut-pile Berbers and patterns.

Residential Products

The first collection is an outstanding assortment of traditional, cut-pile textures in solid colors. All the products are nylons and are still the top-selling style in the market.

Our second collection was designed using high twist yarns that make longer lasting styles. These frieze products will never wear out. They come in Berber and solid coordinating colors.

The third fashion statement is where creativity and style come together. Cable visuals and thick/thin yarn creations in solid and Berber fleck colors.

Our last residential offering is high fashion patterned products designed for a more upscale formal look.

We’ve already done the research and put the products into groups, and it simplifies your efforts in finding the right carpet

Commercial Products

Our “Home and Office” mainstream commercial line emphasizes value pricing and flexible options. We offer them in 3 categories with great styling, design, and performance. These products are functional in commercial settings and are great alternatives for home offices, bonus rooms, and recreational rooms.

Category one of the commercial offering is level loop olefins in solid colors and graphics at great price points.

Our second commercial groupings are nylon loops that are known for exceptional durability and perfect for high-traffic installations. We also have patterns with multiple coloration that create more sophisticated styles.

Rounding out our offerings are solid color, cut pile nylons in staple and continuous filament construction. These products are very popular and are available in different face weights.

Other Considerations

To ensure that all of our carpets wear and perform as intended, we provide padding in a variety of thickness and densities. We offer commercial and residential padding. 

By combining the Major Carpet brands recognition (Mohawk, Shaw, Royalty, and etc.) and our cross-selection of products, we’re sure to have a style that will match your taste and budget.

Pillars of Performance

Pillar One: Fiber Engineering

Carpet Fibers

The first performance pillar is fiber engineering. For many people, the first thing you’ll be looking at is the fiber face—what you see and feel. In the face is where you’ll find the style that matches both your intended fashion—color, style, and texture—and function—what holds up under the brunt of foot traffic. To match your needs, manufacturers spend about 70% of their investment in the carpet’s type and amount of fiber.

Nylon

Nylon was one of the original synthetic (man-made) fibers used in carpets. Developed in 1935, nylon was first used for women’s hosiery. When World War II broke out, all of the production of nylon went to the war effort. After W.W.II ended, DuPont found other uses for this great new fiber. Nylon is synonymous with strength and abrasion resistance.

Nylon was a great addition to the carpet industry, which until the 1940s, had used mostly wool and cotton. Today, nylon represents the largest percentage of fiber used residentially and commercially.

Nylon is made with two chemical formulas. Four chemical manufacturing companies make up the bulk of nylon fiber manufacturing. In addition, Mohawk Industries and some other manufacturers extrude (press out) some of their own nylon. To date, nylon fiber has evolved through six generations of performance improvement.

Nylon fiber comes in two physical types of fiber: staple and bulked continuous filament (BCF). The size is measured by the terms of denier (for BCF) or cotton count (for staple). One type is not superior, nor is the other inferior; they are simply used for different purposes. Performance, style, and the “hand” of a carpet can be affected by the shape and size of the individual fiber.

Characteristics

Good resilience – a greater ability to bounce back to its original state after being walked on. It has excellent abrasion resistance.

With the development of stain treatment, nylon has become resistant to 70-80% of food and beverage spills. The improvement of dyes and dyeing methods has also made nylon carpet more fade-resistant. Nylon can be dyed in unlimited colors and in any of its physical states: molten (solution dyed), raw fiber (stock dyed), yarn form (skein dyed, pad dyed, space dyed), and carpet-dyed (beck dyeing, continuous dyeing, and printing). These dye methods will be explained in Pillar Three. The ease of dyeing nylon in any of these states helps make it the most popular carpet fiber.

Olefin (Polypropylene)

Olefin, another man-made fiber, is made from petroleum (like nylon). The chemical name is Polypropylene. It was invented in the late 1940s, but not widely used in carpets until about 1960. Today, most major mills extrude their own Olefin fiber. Currently, Olefin is manufactured only as a bulked continuous filament fiber.

Olefin is the lightest commercial carpet fiber. It absorbs practically no moisture (it is hydrophobic), so it must be dyed in its liquid or molten state (solution dyeing). This characteristic makes Olefin extremely stain resistant to water-based stains and dyes. Not even bleach will affect the color of an Olefin carpet. However, Olefin has an affinity for oil and oil-based products, which may stain a carpet. It is the principal fiber of indoor-outdoor carpets. Because of Olefin’s characteristics and low cost, it is used as a primary and secondary backing.

Characteristics

Good resistance to abrasion, moisture, stains, fading, and good “clean-ability”. It has adequate resilience and texture retention when used in a loop or multi-level loop texture.

Olefin Advantages
  • Inexpensive
  • Abrasion resistant
  • Moisture resistant
  • Fade resistant
  • Stain resistant
  • Low static

Olefin’s greatest strengths are stain resistance and low cost. It is less expensive, but the least resilient of the top four fibers. Therefore, Olefin is mostly constructed in dense looped pile styles. Olefin performs very well in this dense application. Olefin is often air-entangled with nylon to add flecks of color. Olefin is the most fade-resistant fiber (hence, indoor-outdoor carpeting). Olefin is moisture resistant and very resistant to static electricity buildup.

Polyester

Polyester is a man-made fiber, developed in the middle to late 1960s. The chemical name for polyester is Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET). Unlike nylon, it has no dye sites. It is naturally stain resistant. So, acidic dyes like those found in foods and beverages will not stain polyester. That attribute requires mills to use dispersed dyes rather than acidic dyes, when dyeing polyester.

First produced after 1965, polyester became popular because of its bright, lustrous shades and soft, luxurious appearance—all closely emulating wool. It has become the most produced man-made fiber in the world (20 billion pounds/year). Polyester fiber is also the most easily recycled fiber, and it is also one of the easiest to produce from recycled materials. Mohawk is the largest recycler of plastic soda bottles in the world.

Polyester
is more crush resistant than Olefin, and it costs less than most fibers. Polyester is mostly manufactured as a staple fiber, however continuous filament polyester is emerging. When polyester was introduced into the carpet industry, there was a lot of hype surrounding it. Unfortunately, poor construction and bad specifications in the late 1960s and early 70s caused it to quickly gain a bad reputation. Today, polyester manufacturers have very strict standards, and samples must pass through rigorous testing and quality control checks before being cleared for use by the end user.

Characteristics

Good resistance to abrasion, very good resilience and texture retention when adequately twisted and heat-set, with adequate “clean-ability”. Naturally stain resistant. Manufacturers apply only a soil treatment. Polyester is second only to Olefin in fade resistance. The resilience of polyester is about halfway between nylon and Olefin. When constructed properly, it performs well. Polyester is marginally less expensive than nylon.

Fiber Characteristics

Bulked Continuous Filament (BCF) fiber is made from synthetic fibers, such as nylon, Olefin, or polyester. After extrusion and crimping, BCF fibers are wound on a spool ready for twisting.

BCF fiber costs more per pound, is a bulkier fiber (after crimping), and is less uniform than staple. All natural fibers are Staple Fibers (cotton, rayon, or wool). Synthetic fibers can be made into BCF or staple. After extrusion and crimping, synthetic fiber is cut into 6 to 8 inch lengths. Staple fiber is lower in cost, has a wool look, and dyes more uniformly than BCF fiber.

Staple fiber
  • Lower cost
  • Wool look and feel
  • More uniform
BCF fiber
  • Higher cost
  • More bulk/value
  • Less uniform.

Types of Carpeting

Understanding a few simple basics about carpet construction will help you make the right choice for your lifestyle and budget.

Textured Plush
  • Most decorative, versatile cut-pile carpet
  • Textured surface helps hide footprints and vacuum marks
  • Adds casual beauty to any room
  • Looks great in-between vacuuming
  • Preferred style for busy households
  • A great “whole-house” carpet
Saxony
  • Refined cut-pile surface
  • Luxuriously smooth, soft finish
  • Beautiful with traditional interior
  • Adds distinctive elegance to any room
  • Ideal for living and dining rooms
  • Shows subtle highlights and accents Berber Loop-Pile
  • A wool-like look and rugged loop surface
  • Natural, hand-crafted appearance creates a warm, personal atmosphere
  • Tight loop texture helps hide footprints and vacuum marks
  • Subtle patterns fit a variety of room styles
  • Ideal choice for contemporary, country, or cottage furnishings
Berber Cut-Pile
  • A new Berber look with all the wonderful color and interest of traditional loop Berbers
  • Great plush feel of thick, cut-pile carpet
  • Beautifully crafted and colored yarns add personality to any room
  • Decoratively versatile: Ideal for casual rooms, kids’ rooms, etc.
  • Subtle color flecks help hide soil that might appear between cleanings
Cut/Loop
  • Carved definition with cut-and-loop pile
  • Accent colors spice up floor surfaces
  • Multicolor effects hide soil and stains
  • Looks great between vacuuming
  • Choose from soft tones to bolder color combinations
Commercial Loop
  • Versatile styles blend comfortably with any decor
  • Durable long-wearing surface pile engineered for high-traffic areas
  • Intriguing color choices suitable for professional and practical installations
  • Textured surfaces provide subtle highlights

Pillar Two: Carpet Construction

There are many components involved in the construction of carpet. Tufting is the process by which most carpet is manufactured.

Yarn is sewn or tufted through a primary backing by needles on a tufting machine. It is then adhered to a secondary backing material (usually Olefin for residential) with latex adhesive.  This is process is called coating. The individual tufts are locked into place with the latex adhesive. This gives the individual yarn tufts a “tuft bind”.

Primary Construction Factors

  • Kind of fiber (as discussed in Pillar One)
    • Nylon
    • Olefin
    • Polyester
    • Acrylic
    • Wool
    • Cotton
    • Rayon
    • Jute
    • Silk
    • Hemp
    • Etc.
  • Fiber size or thickness of each fiber
  • Denier is used to measure the size of bulk continuous filament yarns
  • Cotton count is the measurement for the size of staple fibers (diameter)
  • Face Weight or Ounces is determined by the amount of fiber in one square yard of carpet
    • Does not include the primary backing, latex adhesive, or the secondary backing (that would be the total weight)
  • Density is determined by multiplying the face weight (oz/yd²) times 36 and dividing by the finished pile height
    • Resultant number is expressed as ounces per cubic yard (oz/yd³)
    • Gauge of construction, stitches per inch, pile height, and oz/yd² all affect density
    • Most important factor in the performance of loop-pile carpet
  • Yarn Ply-Twist is measured in turns per inch (tpi)
    • Number of times two or more yarns have been plied or twisted in the length of one inch
    • Most carpet yarns have a 3.5 to 6.0 tpi
    • Most mills do not turn any higher than about 7.5 tpi, advantages vs. cost seem to diminish at that point
    • Twist is the most important factor in the performance of a cut-pile carpet: the tighter the twist, the better the performance
  • Pile Height is the length of the tuft from the backing surface, or bottom of the carpet face, to the tip of the yarn tuft
    • Measured as a fraction of an inch or as a decimal equivalent
    • Increasing or decreasing the pile height can affect the performance depending on other construction factors.
  • Gauge is the measure of the spacing of the needles stitching each tuft across the width of the carpet
    • Distance between the centers of the needles, measured in a fraction of an inch (i.e., 5/32, 1/8, 1/10, 5/64.)
  • Stitches per inch (spi) defines the number of stitches sewn by the needles along the length of the carpet
    • Controlled by the speed at which the primary backing is fed through the tufting machine
    • Generally accepted rule of thumb is that the spi should roughly equal the number of needles per inch in the gauge (i.e., 1/8 gauge uses 8 spi)
  • Finishes
    • Topical stain treatment is applied after dyeing but before coating, and may be sprayed on or applied as foam
    • Topical soil treatment is applied during coating, and it helps the fiber release dry soil more easily during vacuuming

Finishing

Coating

Coating includes the application of latex and the adhering of the secondary back. The latex is formulated to penetrate the backstitch of the carpet yarns, so as to lock in the yarn tufts and individual filaments. By doing this, the tufts cannot easily be pulled out, nor can the individual filaments be worked to the surface to create pilling. The latex also adheres the secondary back. The combined effort of the latex is to achieve the necessary tuft bind and lamination numbers in an economical and efficient manner.

Once the secondary back is added, the carpet goes through a finishing oven. Normally the first zone will use elevated temperatures to preheat the carpet and new backing. Most of the heat is introduced from the
underside of the carpet. As the carpet travels through this 300 foot oven, with temperatures ranging from 350° to 450° Fahrenheit, the latex cures, making it possible to roll up the carpet on the back side after shearing.

Shearing

Shearing is the final process before packaging a cut pile carpet. After drying and coating, the carpet surface may be uneven. Shearing produces a clean, groomed surface. The number of shear heads used depends on the desired finish state of a cut-pile carpet. The more shear heads used, the finer the finish. The average shear head takes off less than 1/64th of 1 inch. The shearer also is used for “tip,” or random shearing. When a tip-sheared carpet is specified (described in Pillar Three: Style/Color), the carpet is tufted as a loop-and-cut-pile style. The cut-pile yarns are longer than the looped pile. After shearing, the looped-pile and cut-pile yarns are closer to the same height. A tip-sheered carpet face may show more looped pile than cut pile on the surface.

Inspection

All carpets are inspected before they are packaged. Inspectors are looking for color consistency and any manufacturing defects that might have occurred during the manufacturing process.

Pillar Three: Style / Color

Carpet is a fashion product. The aesthetics in carpet can be achieved through style and coloration.

Carpet Styles

As a general rule the surface appearance of the carpet is what makes up its style. A manufacturer can use several different methods to make the yarn into carpet. Within each method, many variations affect its appearance and performance.

Most of the carpet today is produced by a tufting machine. As described in Pillar Two, these are huge sewing machines that insert stitches of pile fiber into a backing material. Carpets can be made into three basic styles on a tufting machine, and within each style there are several variations.

Cut Pile

Cut-pile is created when the top of the pile loop is cut, leaving two individual yarn bundles in place of a continuous loop. The carpet is referred to as a cut-pile. Within this category falls some of the most beautiful carpet styles available today. Differences are due largely to the amount of “twist” in the yarns that make up the pile.

Velvet is a style made from yarn fibers that stand erect and the finish looks like velvet. (Do not confuse velvet style with the Velvet Carpet method of construction.) The velvet style is considered a formal look.

Between the extremes of velvet and textured is Saxony, one of the most popular carpet styles. To the casual carpet observer, it is difficult to tell the difference between some Velvet and some Saxony styles. There are fewer types of Velvet on the market today, because a Saxony can look somewhat velvety or (as twist is increased) become more textured as the yarn approaches the frieze style.

Another version of the Saxony style is Textured Saxony. Crimping the yarns in a stuffer box, after twisting and before heat setting, creates permanent kinks in the yarn. After tufting, the kinks in the yarn cause the yarn ends to bend in different directions on the surface of the carpet. As light reflects off the surface, the bent ends refract the light differently than the straight yarns, creating a visual variation. The textured look reduces the appearance of footprints and vacuum marks.

Plush is another term associated with cut-pile carpet. Plush basically refers to a smooth, single level, cut-pile carpet. The carpet can be textured, velvet, or Saxony, as long as it is cut-pile at one level. Velvet plush and much Saxony plush take on a shading effect, depending on nap direction and how light hits the pile. This shading is considered normal and adds a sense of elegance. This richness makes these styles popular for the formal areas of the home. One cable is a cut pile carpet with yarn tufts having a thicker diameter than the average cut pile carpet. The thicker yarn has a cable type look. The cable style creates a knobby finish to the carpet. Cable carpet is more popular in California, but is available across the country. Found in medium to high-end carpets, cable is a casual to semi-formal style.

Cut Pile Berber can be a Saxony style or a frieze style. A cut-pile Berber has flecks of neutral or earth-tone colors against a solid natural color background.

At the other end of the scale is the frieze. Frieze style is created with a yarn that is very tightly twisted to give a rough, nubby, textured appearance to finished carpet pile; the ply yarns are twisted more than the singles. Also called “hard twist,” frieze styles usually perform better because of the high twist. One of the drawbacks of the high twist is the compaction of the yarn bundles, so that the carpet loses its apparent value. Frieze carpets are gaining more popularity because they are easy to maintain.

Shaggy Frieze is another style that is similar to the frieze (except for the pile height is higher). Increasing the pile height gives the carpet a shag look. Because of the high twist of the frieze and the torque of the yarn, a shaggy frieze has a wormy look. Shaggy frieze is considered to be casual to semi-formal depending on the coloration.

Looped Pile Carpet

Looped pile carpet styles are the simplest of carpet styles. In tufted or woven carpet pile surface, the face yarns remain in continual loops, connected together beneath the backing of the carpet, rather than being cut into a plush pile. Loop pile can be level, textured/patterned and commercial. Level loop style carpet comes up from the backing to its full height, forms a loop and returns to the backing. The pile loops are all of equal height and uncut, making a smooth and level surface that offers excellent wear resistance.

Another name for thick-looped, looped pile carpet is Berber. The name comes from a North African tribe of nomads called the Berbers. Their most prized possessions were the rugs they made from wool. The tribesman would spin wool fiber in its natural state (i.e. uncleaned, with sticks and burrs still in it) and weave it into rugs. Any carpet with flecks of color on a natural background, whether loop pile or cut pile is now called a Berber. Today, the flooring industry calls any residential, thick-looped, loop pile carpet a Berber, even though it may not have flecks of color.

Multi-level loop pile is a carpet style made up of different height loops, with two or three heights being common. The difference in height creates a surface that is often described as sculptured or patterned, with a pattern appearing as if carved into the carpet. Patterns can range from large, diamond shapes to smaller medallions and classic designs.

Cut and Looped Style

The infinite variety of surface textures available today results largely from combining cut-pile with loop-pile. Tip-sheared, random-sheared, precision cut and uncut (PCU), and sculptured effects can be achieved by combining different loop heights and varying the cut-pile areas. Cut and looped styled carpets are the most complicated styles made on tufting machines. Because the style variations are so great, cut and looped styles can be casual, formal or anything in between.

Commercial

Most commercial carpets today are tufted or woven. Commercial carpets can be cut pile, looped pile, or a combination of the two. For commercial carpets, the pile height is pulled down to give it a stronger and harder surface. Commercial carpets are used more and more in residential homes for a home office, or as an inexpensive way to carry carpet through the basement and still get excellent performance.

Pillar Four: Carpet Cushion

Choosing the right cushion for a residential carpet application requires a thorough understanding of the product. Many of the performance and wear warranties from fiber and carpet manufacturers require a particular
cushion type be used with their products. In addition, some carpets require certain cushions be used to safeguard against stretching problems, delamination, and creeping. Let us help you choose the best cushion for your installation.

Cushion Benefits

  • Comfort: Cushion makes a carpet feel more luxurious and creates softness underfoot and reduces muscle strain. Studies show that a cushion takes up to 90% of the walking impact of carpet. In tests conducted at the University of Chicago, the effects of people actually walking over carpet and cushion were measured. The tests revealed that carpet and cushion could improve comfort by reducing walking fatigue.
  • Performance: Cushion helps the performance of the carpet. It will, add from 17% to 50% to the carpet’s life. In research conducted by Independent Textile Testing Service, a test was used whereby different carpet/cushion systems were subjected to rolling a chair with 150 lb. Weight over them 20,000 times. The results indicated that carpets with no cushion had an average of 19.3% loss in pile height (thickness) as opposed to a 5-10% loss in thickness for carpets with a separate cushion.
  • Easier Maintenance: Recent research into consumer complaints shows that 40% of consumer complaints about appearance retention can be traced to cushion failure. Therefore, manufactures require cushion under carpets to maintain mat and crush or texture retention warranties. Cushion makes a carpet easier to maintain. Vacuum cleaning is more efficient with separate cushion, since most machines “lift” the carpet to provide air circulation through the carpet. This air circulation allows more soil to be extracted from the carpet. Vacuuming helps reduce the grinding action of embedded dirt that can cut and fray fiber.
  • Acoustic Properties: Cushion adds to the overall acoustics of a home and acts as a sound barrier. A carpeted environment is quiet because the pile surface absorbs surface noise at the source. But a carpet installed with separate cushion can make the room even quieter. A carpet cushion more than doubles a carpet’s acoustical properties, and thus reduces noise. Cushion along with the carpet reduces echo and absorbs normal everyday sounds to make a home quieter.
  • Insulation: Cushion has insulation properties. Cushion is not a huge factor but when combined with other insulation factors in a home it adds some value. In fact, typical carpet cushions have been measured to have “R-values” from .75 to 2.0. R-values are commonly used to measure a material’s resistance to heat flow depending on the thickness and the density.

If you ever have any specific questions about Orange County Carpet, we specialize in installing carpet flooring in Orange County and the surrounding areas.