Glossary

Get to know these common carpeting and flooring terms. It’ll help make your buying process even easier.

A

ACCS is a voluntary industry labelling and grading system developed by the Carpet Institute of Australia. Used by all the major carpet suppliers, it covers carpets of all fibres and provides a guide as to expected wear and performance of the carpet.

A carpet’s ability to dissipate an electrostatic charge before it reaches a level that a person can feel.

B

The fabric and yarn that makes up the side of the carpet that lays next to the floor. In tufted carpets there are two types of backing.

A loop-pile carpet that offers great durability, a full comfortable texture and a casual, informal look. Often, these carpets incorporate flecks of colour that contrast with the primary hue. The term Berber has expanded to include many level and multi-level loop carpet styles.

A special stitch, band or strip sewn over a carpet edge to protect and/or decorate it.

Carpet that is cut and bound (by stitching or serging around all sides) but not attached to the floor.

Generally, carpet rolls are 3.66m long (that's about 12 feet if you prefer old measurement scales). So each metre cut off the roll has an area of 3.66 square metres.
It is worthwhile checking with your retailer whether your quote is in square metres OR broadloom metres, particularly if you are trying to compare quotes.

Strands of synthetic fibre (such as nylon or olefin) that have been formed into bundles of yarn. The fibres have undergone a texturizing procedure that makes the formerly straight filaments either kinked or curled.

C

Carpet with casual cut pile construction featuring chunky tufts and long pile height.

The material placed under a carpet for softness and support. It helps reduce noise, increase insulation benefits and contributes to a softer feel underfoot. Purchasing an incorrect type of cushion may invalidate your warranty. Also known as "padding" or "underlay."

A carpet in which the yarn loops are cut to create a textured look and feel.

D

This describes the amount of fibre or yarn in a carpet and how close the tufts of fibre are to each other. In general, the denser the pile, the
better the performance.

Density refers to how tightly the carpet yarns are packed together. A higher density carpet should wear better and this is important if you want your carpet to last. Here's a couple of tricks to compare the density of different carpet samples when you're shopping around:
1) The fingers test: the harder it is to push your fingers into the carpet, the higher the density.
2) Bending the backing: When you bend the carpet, can you see the backing? It's easier to see the backing on carpets with a lower density.

F

A single, continuous strand of natural (such as wool) or synthetic (such as nylon) fibre.

Loose fibre fragments remaining from the manufacturing process that appear on a carpet surface. This condition is remedied by vacuuming and carpet use. Also known as “fuzzing” or “shedding.”

Tightly curled or twisted yarn that gives carpet a textured appearance good for hiding footprints. Pronounced free-zay.

Occurs when fibres from the carpet slip out of the yarn with use or sometimes after wet cleaning.

G

The distance between two needlepoints in knitted or tufted carpet. It is usually expressed in fractions of an inch.

H

How a carpet feels.

A process that sets the twist in a carpet pile with heat or steam. This process allows fibres to hold their twist over time, allowing them to bounce back with great resilience whenever they are stepped on.

L

The fibre in the carpet is stitched in uncut loops of the same size. It creates a smooth, level surface.

Generally, carpet rolls are 3.66m long (that's about 12 feet if you prefer old measurement scales). So each metre cut off the roll has an area of 3.66 square metres.
It is worthwhile checking with your retailer whether your quote is in square metres OR broadloom metres, particularly if you are trying to compare quotes.

The fibre in the carpet is looped and uncut. Can be either level loop or multi-level loop.

P

Made from Saxony yarn, this carpet features a sophisticated look created by running cut pile and loop pile on a level pile height.

The visible surface of a carpet, consisting of yarn or fibre tufts in loops that can be either cut or uncut. Also known as the “face” or “nap” of a carpet.

A cut pile carpet in which the individual carpet fibres appear to be cut the same length. The carpet offers a smooth, luxurious surface.

A tool used to install residential carpet that prevents wrinkles and ripples.

A woven or nonwoven fabric through which the yarn is inserted by the tufting needles.

R

The ability of carpet pile or cushion to recover its original appearance and thickness after continued use.

S

The carpet fibre loops are cut and twisted to create a relatively dense, consistent look. Saxony carpet presents a smooth, luxurious surface and is generally for formal settings.

The line formed by joining two pieces of carpet. The pieces can be sewn together or fastened with various seaming tapes or other adhesives.

Fabric that is laminated to the back of the carpet to reinforce it.

A change in the appearance of a carpet due to distortions in the orientation of fibres, tufts or loops that make up the carpet pile. This is not an actual change in the colour of the carpet, but a difference in light reflection.

A type of woven floor covering originally made of vegetable fibres such as grass and jute. Now synthetic alternatives are available that offer a more comfortable feel as well as interesting textures, patterns and prints.

A chemical finish applied to carpet fibres or surfaces that inhibits the attachment of soil.

Where a nylon has been Solution Dyed, it means the colour has been added during the manufacture of the nylon fibre. This results in solid colour throughout the nylon fibre, and will provide excellent light fastness and colour retention. Usually SDN carpets can be cleaned with stronger non-bleach chemicals than non-SDN carpets.

The raising up of an individual tuft or fibre above the level of the pile. These may be cut with scissors.

The number of yarn tufts per running inch of a single row in a tufted carpet.

The procedure for installing residential carpet over a separate cushion using a tackless strip with a power-stretcher.

T

Wood or metal strips fastened to the floor near the walls. The strips have two or three rows of pins angled up toward the walls on which carpet backing is fastened during a stretch-in installation.

The force required to pull a tuft from a carpet.

A method of manufacturing carpet. Tufts of fibre are inserted through a carpet backing to create a pile of cut and/or loop ends.

Winding the fibre around itself to strengthen a fibre’s resistance to crushing.

U

The cushion or padding that lays underneath rugs.

W

The naturally resilient fibre that is made from the hair of sheep and sometimes goat, llama or alpaca.

Carpet that is manufactured on a weaving loom in which the lengthwise yarns and width wise yarns are interlocked to form a fabric.

Y

The number of single fibres twisted together to form a plied yarn.