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THE PILE GUIDE

Heather Nette King is a Melbourne-based interiors stylist and writer for many leading interior titles and newspapers. The hallmarks of her styling are colour and vibrancy, and she writes passionately about peoples’ homes and how they live in them.


How well do you really know your carpet? I thought I knew my carpet well, however after reading up on new advancements in its production, technology, and styles, there is so much more to carpet than just fibres, twists, loops and piles – so let’s start with the basics.

What is the difference between a cut pile and a loop pile?

A cut pile carpet has been sheared or cut at the top which exposes the ends of the fibre. A loop pile carpet has the fibres of carpet looped over and back into the structural material, creating a rounded surface.

CUT PILE CARPETS

The two main types of cut pile carpets are twist pile and plush pile.

Twist pile is known for its resilience, while dense plush pile carpet provides a smooth and luxurious finish. Cut pile carpets can be tightly woven with high density into what is described as ‘plush’ carpet, or the cut pile can be twisted, hence the term ‘twist pile carpet’.

Cut pile carpets can feel a little softer to walk on in comparison to loop piles, as your toes can sink further into the fibres. Cut pile carpets are ideal for areas that have foot traffic - so home offices and formal living rooms are perfect for a cut pile carpet.

For a delightfully soft yet durable experience, Carpet Court’s Luxe Tone range is perfect – it features a 7 Star Luxe Tone and is a luxurious 50oz (1700gsm) carpet featuring the innovative Nysoft ™ yarn. My favourite colourways include Moonstone, The Peridot and Opal.

 

If making an eco-friendly selection is high on your list of priorities, try the Provenance range made with ECONYL® regenerated nylon. It’s a luxurious, fine gauge yarn, yet it’s strong enough for families and the yarn has been woven from waste including old carpets, fishing nets and fabric scraps, giving you piece of mind that you’re making an eco-conscious design decision.

 

LOOP PILE CARPETS

The two main kinds of loop pile carpets are level up loop pile and textured loop pile.

As its name suggests, with level loop pile, the loops are all the same height and with textured loop pile, the height of the loops is different across the surface of the carpet, giving a more textural look and feel.

With loop carpet, the tighter the loops are, the more resistant to matting and crushing it will be – and if the loops are twisted as well, then you will be looking at a crush resistant carpet.

Loop pile carpets are stain and crush resistant, they also won’t leave track marks from vacuum cleaners and will show less evidence of foot marks in high traffic areas. Look at the Frontier loop pile made with ECONYL® regenerated nylon – it gives a beautiful, contemporary look for an extremely cost-effective price tag.

Where would I use a loop pile carpet?

Loop pile carpets are a great option for both residential and commercial uses and are very popular in game rooms, family rooms and offices for their durability and pattern variety. They’re also ideal for kids’ rooms and for households with pets as they are stain resistant and easy to clean when accidents happen.

If your family has allergies, you may like to consider the Genesis range. This collection is certified with a low VOC output, ensuring the allergen filtering properties of the carpet capture common pollutants. This makes Genesis the perfect option for family homes, as it creates a cleaner, and safer living environment for those with allergies or asthma.

What about the type of fibre – is wool or synthetic best?

There has always been a lot of discussion about the merits of different carpet fibres. There has even been a bit of snobbery - with many believing that a wool carpet was superior to a synthetic one. To some, nothing will replace the allure of a pure wool carpet, however a big advancement in carpet technology and manufacturing processes - the arrival of Solution Dyed Nylon – has really shaken up the whole wool vs. synthetic debate!

So, what exactly are these SDN’s?

Although nylon carpets have been available for years, they have undergone an enormous transformation - a manufacturing process called ‘solution-dying’. This fibre is called Solution Dyed Nylon (SDN) due to its colouring process being different to traditional methods of liquid dyed yarns.

Historically, the carpet yarn was manufactured in a white colour, with liquid dyes then used to soak the colour into the yarn. Now, SDN is coloured during the extrusion process which is when the nylon is being converted from pellets into yarn. The nylon pellets are mixed with dye pellets and then extruded into yarn as its final colour.

What are the benefits of SDN carpets?

SDN carpets are extremely colour fast, making them perfect for sunny areas of the home. They’re easy to clean thanks to the way that they are manufactured so that they do not take up any liquid. As a result, they are incredibly resistant to spills as the liquid cannot soak into the yarn. My favourite SDN is a very plush, twist pile from the Antilles Twist range – it’s a beautiful, deep dark navy, which is suited to a smart office or a deeply luxurious and moody bedroom scheme.

 What are the benefits of wool carpets?

100% wool remains a popular fibre and is often the preferred carpet type for many. Why?

  • It’s incredible softness
  • It’s a natural fibre and is 100% renewable
  • It’s highly insulative, durable and flame retardant
  • 100% wool has antibacterial and antimicrobial properties, so these natural fatty acid found in wool inhibit static and the growth of mould and mildew

I often get asked to recommend wool carpet, and my two top picks include the Correa range, which comes in really lovely rustic hues that are perfect for Australian homes, and the Essentialist range which is exclusive to Carpet Court also comes in a range of stunning nature-inspired hues.

I hope this has given you a great starting point in your exciting carpet selection journey. As always, if you have any questions, speak to your super-helpful Carpet Court store.


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