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carpet glossary

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The ability to inhibit the build up of static electric charges.


The ability to inhibit the build up of static electric charges.

Attached Cushion

A padding or cushion that can be made of foam, rubber, PVC or other material which is attached to the carpet and sits on the subfloor. It provides thickness, cushion, and stability.

Average Pile Yarn Weight

A measurement of the mass of yarn in a square yard of carpet expressed as ounces per square yard.


A level or multilevel loop style carpet that has a very full, comfortable feel. It often has tiny specks of color contrasting a base color. It is made of nylon, olefin, or a mix of various fibers.


A strip that is used to protect or add strength that is sewn on the edge of carpet.


Carpet that comes in rolls wider than 6 feet. Usual widths are 12', 13'6", and 15'.

Bulked Continuous Filament (BCF)

Yarn bundles that are formed from continuous strands of fiber and then texturized to increase overall bulk.


A cut pile carpet with thicker, longer yarn. It mats and crushes easily and is not recommended for very high traffic areas.

Carpet Dying

The process of dying carpet by spraying or printing a color or pattern of colors directly onto the face of the carpet. It is also referred to as "continuous dying."

Carpet Padding

Carpet padding is a layer of cushion that is placed under the carpeting. It gives carpet its soft cushiony feel and protects it from wear and tear.


The method in which a product is manufactured.


Refers to the padding that is placed under the carpet or sometimes attached to the back of the carpet itself. It provides comfort when walked on and support for the carpet itself. Also referred to as "padding" or "underlay." Most cushions range from 1/4"- 7/16" thick.

Cut Pile

Cut–pile is a smooth finish created by cutting off the tops of the wool loops. The cut loops are then twisted to make tufts of yarn that stand erect, creating a soft even surface. Also known as "velour" or "velvet" pile.

Cut-Loop Pile

A type of carpet that is constructed of small loops of yarn that are bound together. Some of the loops are cut and some are not.


A term used to describe how tightly yarn is stitched in carpet.

Dimensional Stability

Refers to the structural integrity of flooring and its ability to maintain its original dimensions.

Direct Glue-Down

An installation method where the flooring is glued directly to the subfloor.

Double Glue-Down

An installation method where the underlayment or cushion is glued to the subfloor. The flooring is then glued to the cushion or underlayment.

Face Weight

A measurement of the ounces of fiber per square inch of carpet.


The material used to make carpet yarn; can be synthetic or natural.


One continuous strand of carpet fiber.


Loose carpet fibers that have fallen into the carpet pile during manufacturing and have come loose on the surface after installation. Referred to as fuzzing or shedding. Tends to go away after vacuuming a few times.


A type of carpet that is made from tightly twisted cut pile that curls over at the ends. This gives the floor a rough-textured, knobby look. Frieze is highly durable and hides footprints and other marks well.


A problem caused from wear or cleaning, where fuzz or hair-like fibers slip out of the yarn.


A term used in knitting and tufting that measures the distance in between two needle points. It is measured in fractions of an inch.


A term used in context with the way carpet or other floor surfaces feel to the touch.

Heat Setting

The process of using heat to set the pile in carpet. This allows the carpet to retain its twist or curl over time.

Indoor/Outdoor Carpet

A term that is used to describe carpet that can be installed indoors or outdoors.

Level Loop

A type of carpet that has loops that are uncut and about the same height making a level surface.

Loop Pile

A type of carpet that has uncut loops which can be tufted or woven. Also known as round wire, it generally holds up better than other piles under heavy traffic.


The quality of brightness, gloss, or sheen that a substance has.


The appearance of matted or crushed carpet generally visible in areas with high traffic.

Miter Joint

The place where two pieces of flooring come together at an angle.


See Pile Height


The most commonly used fiber to make carpet. It is a synthetic material that is fade, stain, and heat resistant.


See Polypropylene


Also known as the face of the carpet, it consists of the yarn that makes the surface of carpet. It is found in loops, cut loops, and a combination of both.

Pile Crush

A condition that occurs when areas of carpet experience heavy traffic or furniture. This causes the pile to become crushed and lose thickness. In some situations, this can be a permanent condition.

Pile Height

Height is determined by measuring the distance between the primary backing of the carpet to the tip of the tufts; also referred to as "the nap." In general, carpet with shorter pile height tends to hold up better to wear and tear.


A condition that occurs when carpet fibers from different tufts knot together, forming "masses" or "pills." Often times these can be cut with scissors.


A luxury carpet that is smooth and velvety. It is normally made from cut pile carpet that is brushed or sheared.


Single ends of carpet yarn that are twisted together to form plied carpet. Measurement of the yarn's thickness.


A synthetic material that is often used in carpet yarn. It is not as resilient as nylon, but is fairly fade and stain resistant.


Polypropylene or Olefin fibers are petroleum–based synthetic materials derived from propylene and ethylene gases. The fiber is characterized by its resistance to moisture. It is often heat–set to guarantee vibrant color, long lasting beauty and easy maintenance. It is quick drying and mildew, soil and stain resistant. Its fibers have the lowest density of all manufactured fibers giving olefin textiles a very lightweight quality.

Power Stretcher

A device used to stretch carpet to prevent wrinkles when using a tack-less strip installation.

Resilient (Carpet)

Refers to flooring that is elastic, flexible, or has "give". Types of resilient flooring include vinyl, cork, carpet and linoleum.


A style of plush carpet that is very soft and smooth to the touch. Saxony is comprised of twisted, cut-pile tufts that have a uniform appearance. This type of carpet tends to show footprints and is therefore not recommended for high traffic areas.

Screen Printing

A common method used to color carpet; involves applying color through multiple silk screens to carpet to achieve desired look.

Seam Sealing

A process that involves joining the seams (where carpet edges are joined) by applying adhesive to the carpet edges. Seam sealing can help prevent your carpet from fraying at the seams.


The cracks where tiles, planks, or strips of flooring come together.

Secondary Backing

A second backing that is laminated onto the primary backing of carpet to increase dimensional stability. It could be a pad or cushion.


A method used to finish the trim of area rugs by close-stitching edges with heavy yarn. Colored yarn is commonly used in serging.


A term used to describe what appears to be changes in the color of carpet but is actually different reflections of light due to the orientation of the carpet.


The process of removing any loose ends or fibers sticking out of the carpet after tufting.

Shedding (Carpet)

See Fluffing

Sisal (Carpet)

A type of carpet made from natural plant fibers that has a woven rug look.

Soil Retardant

A substance applied to carpet that makes it less likely to hold dirt and debris.


Small tufts or loops that protrude above the pile surface; can be easily clipped with scissors.

Staple Fiber

Small pieces of fiber that can be converted into yarn using a yarn spinning process.


The act of making a tuft in carpeting.

Stitch Rate

A measurement of how many tufts of yarn are in a certain amount of carpet. It is usually measured in tufts per inch. 7-8 tufts per inch is ideal while 3-4 is low quality.


A method of installing carpet that involves stretching it over a tack-less strip which catches and holds the carpet in place.

Synthetic (Carpet)

Made of chemical, man–made products instead of natural materials.

Tackless Strip

A strip made of wood or metal used for stretch-in carpet installation. Tackless strips contain 2-3 rows of pins and are fixed firmly to the floor close to the walls, with the pins angled toward the walls. The carpet is then stretched and secured on top.


A type of carpet with a two-toned appearance made from cut piles with alternating twists.


A term used to describe the place where two different flooring surfaces meet. A molding is often used to cover this transitional area.


Loops or cut loops of yarn that form the surface layer of carpeting.

Tuft Bind

The force that it takes to pull a tuft away from the carpet backing.


Carpet created by weaving loops or cut loops of yarn onto a primary backing.


A process where tufts, or clumps of yarn are grouped together on carpet-backing. The result is a surface consisting of looped and/or cut ends.


The winding of each individual tuft. Generally, the tighter the tuft is twisted, the more durable the carpet.


A layer of material that is installed between the subfloor and new flooring to provide moisture resistance, insulation, and sound transmission resistance. It is often made of rubber, cork, foam, or plastic.


A less common, very expensive fiber used to make carpet that comes from the wool of sheep. It can range in color from off-white to black and many neutral, earthen colors in between.


Carpet made on a weaving loom where backing threads and pile are woven at the same time, creating strong anchors for the tufts. Axminster and Wilton are both well known woven carpets, offering a wider range of patterns.

Yarn Dying

A uniform method of dying yarn before it is sewn onto the primary backing. It is also known as pre-dying.

Yarn Dying-Beck

A method of dying yarn after it has been sewn onto the primary backing.

Yarn Ply

The amount of single plies twisted together to form plied yarn.