• By Michelle Holman
  • •
  • 29 Sep, 2017

GETTING STARTED – Where you’re planning to purchase a carpet, you will need to consider what sort of footfall it will have to endure, this will help you narrow down your options. You can afford to treat yourself to a bit of luxury in the bedroom, where a softer pile will withstand slippers or bare feet, but you’ll need something with a dense, tight, low-pile tuft in those high-traffic areas.

Carpet styles

There are a variety of surface texture options available, which affect the feel, appearance and performance of your carpet.

• Twist piles have a coarse, rugged finish.

• Loop piles replicate the appearance of natural flooring such as sisal and coir. Remember that cats and anything with long claws and loop piles do not mix! They typically come in natural and neutral shades.

• Saxony has a pronounced sensuous feel with a deep pile. Very popular in bedrooms, saxonies do flatten and so are not practical in high-traffic areas.

• Patterned carpet usually has a smooth velvet surface with excellent appearance retention and is very hardwearing.

By and large, the more luxurious the surface, the greater care it will need. Shorter pile generally wears better than long but is not as luxurious. It all comes down to personal taste, future plans and room usage.

Pile Fibre

Wool – Generally used for high-quality carpets, you’ll pay more for natural materials, but you’ll get a great looking floor covering that is made from sustainable fibre, is resilient and highly durable. It gets top marks for insulation, too – good for reducing heat loss and noise – and retains its appearance remarkably well. Wool also feels beautiful and soft underfoot!

Wool-mix – Some consider a mix of 80% wool, 20% man-made fibres (such as polyamide or polyester), as the best combination for an all-purpose carpet.

Polypropylene – This man-made carpet fibre is a popular choice, because it’s hardwearing and resistant to stains. It can be cleaned using a part-bleached cleaning solution, although always check with the manufacturer or retailer first.

Polyamide (also known as nylon) – Available in a wider range of hues and vibrant clear colours that can’t be reproduced in wool. A good all-rounder for family homes, good-quality polyamide or nylon carpets come with built-in stain-resistant treatments and score high marks for wearability.

Polyester – Often used for textured or shag carpets. Polyester is most like wool in appearance and feel, and is remarkably soft, durable and stain resistant. Most often used as a blend, rather than on its own.

Wool is the classic carpet fibre. It is soft, doesn’t flatten easily, keeps its appearance well, is easy to dye and is fire-resistant.

Nylon is very strong and also doesn’t flatten easily. It is often used in blends with wool.

Polypropylene is stain-resistant and wears well but it flattens easily.

Polyester wears well and is easily cleaned but does flatten.

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