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Loop Pile Carpet

By Michael Hilton

Until the increase in popularity of Berber carpet, loop pile carpets were rarely used in the home. While loop pile traditionally has provided the best performance, they have limited appeal for most homeowners because of their low profile and reduced cushioning. Although loop pile products have the capability of providing higher performance levels, newer constructions utilize large loops, lower densities, and fiber systems that do not provide the performance levels typically expected of loop pile products. (See performance factors) While these fiber systems do provide diminished performance in some categories, they offer superior performance in other categories such as stain resistance. (See fiber types)

In shopping for loop pile products, three distinct categories will be encountered: level loop, textured loop, and multi-level loop.

  • Level Loop: Primarily found in commercial environments, some residential Berbers are now offered in this style. This type consists of loops constructed at the same height. While patterns may be printed on the surface of this style type or may be tufted into pile, this type offers a relatively smooth, homogenous surface. Lower density construction may allow the loops to be dispersed farther apart providing the illusion of texture, but this style offers no apparent texture.
  • Textured Loop: Textured products offer slightly different variations in loop height creating a texture or pattern. Fiber color variations may increase or complement the visibility of the pattern. Loops may vary in size to increase the visibility of texture. Textured loops represent a sizeable portion of residential loop pile products. Textured products offer slightly different variations in loop height creating a texture or pattern. Fiber color variations may increase or complement the visibility of the pattern. Loops may vary in size to increase the visibility of texture. Textured loops represent a sizeable portion of residential loop pile products and can provide beautiful carpet installations
  • Multilevel Loop: Similar to the textured loop, except that height variations are far more dramatic providing deep, easily visible patterns with or without color enhancements.

Cut and Loop Pile

As the name implies, this carpet style utilizes a combination of cut and loop pile yarns to create patterns or textures. Cut and loops may offer a pile surface that is predominantly cut with loops forming a pattern or predominately loops with limited cut yarns to display a pattern. This style offers both level and multi-level constructions.

Multilevel Cut and Loop: The classic cut and loop style was popular for many years and consisted of predominately cut pile yarns with loops forming a textured pattern. These styles were generally random colored providing the appearance of color splotches over the entire surface. These styles offered good performance characteristics and random colorations provided good soil-hiding abilities. These styles have limited appeal today, but a few styles can still be found.

Level Cut and Loop Pile: Sometimes called a tip shear, this style offers cut and loop areas of the same pile height. Color reflectance of the cut yarns gives the illusion of color variation and enhances the patterned effect. While a number of styles are manufactured with cuts and loops in tact, some styles begin as multilevel or textured loops and the higher loops are sheared to provide the cut and loop appearance. Many of these styles perform particularly well and can provide beautiful finished products.

About the Author
Michael Hilton was the original creator of Carpet Buyers Handbook. Having owned and operated a carpet wholesale company, Hilton has a vast knowledge about all-things carpet related as well as other types of flooring.

Other Helpful Links
Berber Carpet
Loop Pile Carpet
Frieze Carpet
Shag Carpet
Looking For A Natural Fiber Carpet? Consider Purchasing Wool
Carpet Styles Offer Variety of Decor Options
Carpet Tile Options
Frieze Carpeting Offers Style and Durability
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