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How is Carpet made?

August 27th, 2019

Category: WB Jamieson

Author: Darren Seymour

How is Carpet made?

Believe it or not, the process in making carpet is actually rather interesting and there's probably a lot more to it than you might have imagined. In fact, the carpet you have in your home may have been boiled in a vat of water during the dyeing process. The manufacturing of these products involves incredibly large machines and specific process to accomplish the finished material that many of us take for granted each day.

Carpet is something most of us have probably never spared a thought for. Yet it is something we most likely walk or lounge on everyday. It's ubiquity is probably the reason why we don't pay any attention to it. Carpet has indeed been a mainstay since nomadic Middle Eastern tribes used it to cover the floors of their huts 2,500 years ago.

Carpet is easy to overlook, but if you pay close attention you will find that there are many variations between carpets. For example, you can determine whether the top part or 'pile' is composed of individual strands (which is known as cut pile) or small loops (which is known as tufted). By inspecting carpet you can also determine the face weight of the pile or how thick it is. Also, many carpets are made up of lots of differently dyed fibres which make up a single colour.

Carpet machine with yarn being attached to backing and making a roll.

How is Carpet created?

The floor of your living room which is constructed from a collection of loose fibres are called staples and these are what form the plush large expanse which provides comfort and warmth to you floor. The staples are put into an industrial hopper where they undergo heat, lubrication and are then formed into slivers, which are wound into a long spool of fibre. Now the Carpet production process can begin.

Most carpet can be divided into one of two groups, either tufted or closed loops.
The way these carpets is constructed is as follows: 

  • A needle pushes the carpet fibres through the underside or backing 
  • Next a hook or looper holds the fibres in place as the needle retreats into the backing, forming an attached loop
  • Before machines which could perform this process very quickly, this would have been an incredibly slow and tedious job.

The machines capable of producing large rolls of carpet are huge, measuring around 12 feet long and use around 1200 needles to create the carpet quickly but also precisely.

The result is a tufted loop carpet. If a cut pile is being manufactured an extra step is required where the loopers holding the individual pile strands are pulled over sharp blades which cuts the top of the loops leaving a cut pile carpet.

 The carpet manufacturing process

Finished carpet roll - WB Jamieson

Dyeing the carpet

In order to colour the carpet, there are many different techniques with alternative stages throughout the production process. Each giving a unique characteristic or specific visual effect.

  • The Beck process is one where carpet is put into large vats of boiling water with dyes mixed into the container
  • Continuous Dyeing is a method where the rolls of finished carpet are sprayed with dyes
  • Pre-dyeing is a method that takes place before the carpet is processed. The Yarn itself is dyed rather than the carpet as a whole, allowing for a uniform colour.

Once the carpet is finished, it must be washed, dried and vacuumed. Any stray piles are trimmed and then the carpet in finally inspected to ensure quality control.



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