|The Following is a guide to selecting the best carpet
for your money. Surprisingly, Rule Number One is to forget
color. Concentrate on the construction and learn how to
judge quality. Here are some suggestions:
HOW TO JUDGE QUALITY
Density: This is measured
in tufts of yarn per square inch, ranging from 4 to
10 and depending on the thickness of the yarn. As with
thread counts for sheets, the higher the better. (Don’t
confuse density with thickness or height of the pile.)
Test a sample by bending it back and noting how close
the tufts are and how much backing can be seen through
the tufts. You don’t want to see much of he white
Twist Level: How tightly is
the yarn twisted? The number of turns per inch if yarn
is called the twist level. The tighter the twist, the
better. Look for neat tight ends that do not “blossom” and
ask if the twist is heat-set, a finishing treatment that
holds the shape.
Height: The height of the pile
has nothing to do with the quality of the carpet. Densely
woven, tightly twisted carpet may have lower pile and
be of better quality than carpet with a deep pile and
loose weave (remember 1974’s hot seller, shag that
practically buried your feet?).
Fiber: The kind if fiber alone – from
wool to nylon to polyester to olefin – doesn’t
make a good quality carpet. Choosing a fiber is subjective
and depends on the look you want and, since fibers wear
differently, where the carpet will be laid. Carpet construction – from
the twist of the yarn to the tufting – is most
Carpet: Floor covering either
woven, tufted, knitted, flocked or needle punched,
made from a variety of fibers.
Crushing: Irreparable loss of
pile height caused by heavy foot traffic.
Fiber: The starting block, the
fundamental unit of textile raw material, including cotton,
wool, nylon, and polyester.
Matting: When heavy traffic or
soil causes the tufts of yarn to stick together; usually
Tufted Carpet: Pieces of yarn
embedded in backing material.
Yarn: An assemblage of fibers
or filaments twisted together to form a continuous strand.