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Rug and carpet construction types

Simply put, rug or carpet construction is a particular way of putting it together. Whether produced by hand, or by machine, they are made in a certain way. This includes all that is done to come up with a finished product: from tufting or weaving the yarn to dyeing and applying chemical or other treatments.

However, rug/carpet construction types are based primarily on its face fiber placement technic. According to it, rugs and carpets come either as tufted, needle-punched or woven. The latter construction type is rarely used for carpets, being time-consuming and pricey to produce. Weaving is mostly used in rug making, for making knotted, flat-weave and braided area rugs.

Tufted rug and carpets are made by needles inserting loops of yarn into the cloth foundation. Needle-punched rugs/carpets are made by punching the yarn laid onto the backing through it by a dense array of needles, and woven by weaving the yarn into foundation strands. Cloth foundation holding the face fiber is called primary backing.

Not all area rugs need backing. For instance, braided rugs are constructed by plaiting and stitching braids together; that alone gives to a rug sturdiness needed for even very heavy use.

Tufted carpets and rugs can have face loops left intact (loop-pile rugs), sheared (cut-pile rugs), or combined. The pile can be looped (most commercial carpets), or sheared evenly, for a flat top surface, or selectively high and low, creating sculptured patterns.

Needle-punched carpets and rugs are thick, felt-like coverings, good for heavy traffic areas.

Woven carpets and rugs also come in a number of variations. Carpets most often come as knitted, Wilton, Velvet or Axminster. The three main rug construction types here are knotted, flat-weave and braided.

All these face fiber construction methods have somewhat different general properties in regard to pattern flexibility, bulk, weight and durability. You can follow the above links for more specific information on that, as well as other construction attributes, such as yarn form, density and treatments.

Also, area rugs are either hand-made, or machine-made, with some general differences between the two.

Certain rug/carpet face construction techniques - tufting in particular - require (or benefit from) adhering of the so-called "secondary" backing to the underside. It secures the face fiber and adds dimensional stability to a rug.

An important part of rug and carpet construction is its face fiber dyeing technique. Together with fiber type, it determines how good is rug/carpet inherent color retention. Finally, face fiber inherent properties - resilience, stain, soil, static, flame and bacterial resistance - can be enhanced by various fiber treatments.

Carpet and rugs terminology - This sounds like a school class - but this is the one you don't want to miss. An educated buying decision translates into a buying success, and that is your goal. Certainly, understanding carpet and rug terminology is something you need for enjoyable, successful shopping.  And it is not as simple as it may seem at first...

Materials - Nearly all of materials used for rug and carpet construction are in their face-fiber and backing. It is usually the face-fiber material that gets most of attention and consideration. This is because the rug/carpet fiber forming its face is most exposed, both, visually and physically. Hence it is the main determinant of appearance quality and retention...

Environmental effect - Most materials, natural or synthetic, have some environmental impact, and those used for carpets and rugs are no exception. Health hazard comes mainly from rug and carpet being outgassing potentially toxic fumes, as well as from rug and carpet mold (mildew) infestation...

Label and warranty - Rug/carpet label and its warranty can give important information and indications in regard to its quality level. Getting familiar with their contents is time well spent. Here's what you should look for...

Area rug size and shape - In somewhat different ways, area rug size and shape have both, functional and aesthetic aspect. At first, one would say that area rug's size is pretty much determined by dimensions of the space it is intended to. In reality, the decision on how large area rug will be, and whether it is to be square, round or of some other shape, should come after careful consideration of not only room's size and geometry, but also typical traffic patterns, form and arrangement of other objects and decor elements present, as well as the intended use of the room, or space...

Colors and Patterns - Color of your rug, or carpet, creates certain visual effect, emotion, and an atmosphere. Individual perceptions vary, but most of us will be affected similarly. Here's a brief overview of what are out typical responses to colors and patterns. It may help you decide what rug color and pattern type is best for your room...

Design style - Possible variations in the visual characteristics of the rug/carpet face - its design - are literally countless. They come from visual rug/carpet attributes created by both, fiber coloration, and its dimensional appearance. Luckily, all this immense variety is being channeled, fairly efficiently, into a few main classifications...

Carpet and rug buying checklist - The two main aspects of every rug or carpet are (1) its aesthetics and (2) practicality. Once you find the one that has the right looks, the next step is to check out how appropriate are its materials and construction type to its intended use. In other words, what is its quality level. The following checklist will help you figure that out...

Rug and carpet care tips - From the moment a new rug or carpet enters your home, certain steps and procedures should be followed to ensure its functionality and appearance retention. They are related to placement and installation, as well as carpet or rug care and maintenance. Here are the main pointers.

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