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Carpet Glossary F


A planar textile structure produced by interlacing yarns, fibers, or filaments.

fabric construction

The details of structure of fabric. Includes such information as style, width, type of knit or weave, threads per inch in warp and fill, and weight of goods.

fabric crimp

The angulation induced between a yarn and a woven fabric via the weaving or braiding process.

fabric crimp angle

The maximum acute angle of a single weaving yarns direction measured from a plane parallel to the surface of the fabric.

fabric protector

Materials that enhance the performance of fibers or fabrics, especially in the area of soil/stain retardancy/repellency.

fabric set

The number of warp threads per inch, or other convenient unit.

fabric softener

An additive (usually cationic) that provides fabrics with a softer hand or feel. Fabric softeners also reduce static electricity build-up in fabrics.

fabric stabilizer

Resin or latex treatment for scrims used in coated fabric manufacture to stabilize the scrim for further processing.

face fiber or yarn

Those fibers/yarns extending above the primary backing or base fabric.

face seam

Sewed or cemented seams made without turning the carpet over or face down. They are used during carpet installations when back seaming is impossible.

face to face carpet

Pile carpet made on a loom or bonding unit which produces simultaneously, face to face, two backings, or substrates joined by the pile yarn. Two cut pile carpets are made by cutting the pile yarns between two backings.

face weight

The weight of the pile including those portions of the pile that extend into backing structure, usually expressed in ounces per square yard or grams per square meter.


A broad term for fabrics with a fancy type weave made on a Jacquard or dobby loom.


Device for determining the effects of light on the properties of yarns, fibers, fabrics, carpets, plastic, and other materials. It uses a standard light source such as a xenon arc lamp to simulate approximately the spectrum of sunlight. Generally used for measuring fade resistance of carpet colors which are rated according to the number of hours of fadeometer exposure required to produce the visible loss of color.


Gradual, irreversible loss of color intensity, usually due to exposure to light (actinic radiation, especially direct sunlight); or from contact between dyes and various soils or oxidizing gases (ozone); or fumes from certain liquids (oxides of nitrogen, sodium hypochlorite), etc. Fading may occur locally or throughout a fabric, depending on exposure to outside agents and airflow. Windows and the general orientation of the structure to outside agents and airflow. Windows and the general orientation of the structure may be a contributing factor, since the greatest potential for sun fading is from a Southwest exposure with the least being from a North or NorthWest exposure. Loss of color usually caused by exposure to sunlight or atmospheric gases. Loss of color. Caused by actinic radiation such as sunlight or artificial light, atmospheric gases including ozone, nitric oxide, and hydrogen sulfide, cleaning, and bleaching chemicals such as sodium hypochlorite, and other household and industrial products, chlorine chemicals or swimming polls, and other factors. Commercial carpet installations in areas where such exposures occur require extreme care in selection of colorfast carpet.

fading test

Laboratory tests designed to predict the likelihood of carpet fading under actual use conditions. Fading is usually caused either by ultraviolet light or by exposure to ozone gas. Carpet can be tested in laboratory fadeometers for results against fading agents. Dye, hue, as well as fiber, can affect fadeability, so a specific carpet being considered for a critical carpet installation should be tested prior to selection.


A scale for measuring temperature. On the Fahrenheit scale, water boils at 212 degrees and freezes at 32 degrees. Fahrenheit is converted to degrees centigrade (Celsius) by subtracting 32, and multiplying by 5/9ths.


A soft, slightly glossy woven fabric made of silk, rayon, cotton, wool, or manufactured fibers or combinations of these fibers and having a light, flat crossgrain rim or cord made by using heavier yarns in the filling than in the warp.

false twist method

The type of card used for cotton fibers and for cotton system processing. It is named for the flat wire brushes called flats that are assembled on an endless chain that partially surrounds the main cylinder. The staple is worked between the flats and cylinder, transferred to a doffer roll, and peeled off as a web that is condensed into a sliver.


Nails, screws, or staples used to secure materials to various surfaces.


1. Property of dye to retain its color when cloth is exposed to sun, perspiration, atmosphere, washing, or other color destroying agents. The term fastness is a relative one. A dye may be reasonably fast to washing and only moderately fast to light. Fastness of color is tested by standard procedures. Retention of color by carpets or other materials, usually with reference to specific exposures, e.g., lightfastness and washfastness. Dyestuff, fiber type, and dyeing method all influence the ability of colored carpets and fabrics to withstand the effects of color destroying agents.


Refers to the resistance of a material to weakening or failure during alternate tension compression cycles, i.e., in stretch yarns, the loss of ability to recover after having been stretched.

fats and oils

A general term that refers to lipid (fatty) materials of animal, vegetable, or marine origin.

fatty acids

Oily, acidic materials that are formed by degradation of animal tissues. The principal components in the molecular structure of natural fats, vegetable oils, fish oils, waxes, rosins, and essential oils, whereby they are bound chemically with glycerin; this combination is termed a glyceride. Fatty acids react with a base to form soap.

feather in

Use of a bone scraper to work a stain removal agent into the pile of the carpet.

feature strip cutter

A tool with two parallel blades that adjust for distance (both width and depth) and cut resilient materials for insertion of feature strip.

fecal coliform bacteria

Bacteria found in the intestinal tracts of mammals.

Federal Housing Administration (FHA)

United States federal agency that specifies minimum standards for construction components used in houses that qualify for FHA guaranteed loans.

Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA)

United States federal regulations administered by EPA under this act require that certain useful poisons, such as chemicals pesticides, sold to the public contain labels that carry health hazard warnings to protect users.

Federal Register

A daily publication of the federal department regulations that are promulgated under a particular law.


See hand.


1. The end of a piece of fabric that is woven last. 2. In weaving, the last filling pick laid in the fabric at any time.

fell of the cloth

The line to which a filling end is beat by the reed.


1. A nonwoven sheet of matted material of wool, hair, or fur, sometimes in combination with certain manufactured fibers, made by a combination of mechanical and chemical action, pressure, moisture, and heat. 2. A woven fabric generally made from wool, but occasionally from cotton or certain manufactured fibers, that is heavily shrunk and fulled, making it almost impossible to distinguish the weave.

felt cushion/pad

A carpet cushion (carpet padding) made by felting natural fibers (hair and jute) and coating the resulting cushion with a latex binder; or needlepunching bats of synthetic felt into a spun polypropylene “skin” to form synthetic composition of felt pad.


An inexpensive rug, usually woven in plain colors (or stenciled or printed), in plain flat weaves and felted.


1. The process of exposing wool fibers alone or in combination with other fibers to mechanical and chemical action, pressure, moisture, and heat so that they tangle, shrink, and mat to form a compact material. Felting is generally carried out in a fulling mill. 2. The act of constructing a non-woven fabric by intertangling fibers to form a mat and then needlepunching this mat of fibers through a backing material. A backcoating of latex holds the needlepunched felt to the backing. 3. Within the cleaning industry, felting has evolved to describe the loss of a wool fiber’s epidermis, due to exposure to alkalinity, thereby decreasing fiber use life. 4. A nonwoven fabric formation process comprising entanglement of fibers such as polypropylene are used as outdoor carpet. Unlike weaving and tufting, felting does not employ yarns but converts fibers directly to fabric. 5. The process of pressing or matting together various types of hair or fibers to form a continuous fabric, known as felt.


Federal Housing Administration


A generic term for various natural or man-made types of matter which form basic elements of textile fabrics. A generic a term for various natural or man-made types of matter which form basic elements of textile fabrics. A generic term for any natural or synthetic strand or filament that is strong enough to be used in thread or yarn in the manufacture of a textile product. Important properties to be used in thread or yarn in the manufacture of a textile product. Important properties of fibers include elasticity, fineness, uniformity, durability, soil resistance, and luster. A unit of matter, either natural or manufactured, that forms the basic element of fabrics and other textile structures. A fiber is characterized by having a length at least 100 times its diameter or width. The term refers to units that can be spun into a yarn or made into a fabric by various methods including weaving, knitting, braiding, felting, and twisting. The essential requirements for fibers to be spun into yarn include a length of at least five (5) millimeters, flexibility, cohesiveness, and sufficient strength.

fiber cushion

1. A term used to describe carpet cushion (carpet padding) (carpet padding) made by the needlepunch process out of animal hair, jute, other materials, or a blend. Some constructions are made with a rubber face and backed by hair or fiber. 2. Separate carpet underpad consisting of needle-felted animal hair, jute, other fibers, or fiber blends. Hair and jute blends are common. Some padding felts are rubberized and may have one or two faces.

fiber engineering

Fiber engineering refers to improvements to the fiber including: polymer characteristics, polymer additives (delusterant or solution dye pigments), cross section design (hollow filament with at least 89% solid polymer, modified lobes for soil release, increased cross section size for fewer soil traps, heavy denier per filament), fiber finishes (low surface energy fluorochemical coatings for stain and soil release).

fiber number

The linear density of a fiber expressed in units such as denier or tex.

fiber placement

In general, refers to how the plies are laid into their orientation, i.e., by hand, by a textile process, by a tape layer, or by a filament winder. Tolerances and angles are specified. Microprocessor controlled placement that give precise control of each axis of motion permits more intricate winding patterns than are possible with conventional winding and is used to make composites that are more complex than usual filament wound structures.

fiber reactive dyes

A type of water soluble anionic dye having affinity for cellulose fibers. In the presence of alkali, they react with hydroxyl groups in the cellulose and thus are linked with the fiber. Fiber-reactive dyes are relatively new dyes and are used extensively on cellulosics when bright shades are desired.

fiber rugs

Rugs made of specially prepared paper yarns in combination with cotton and wool yarn. Fiber rugs are reversible, come in plain or twill weaves, and are often sized.

fiber shape

Refers to the cross section and size of the individual filaments. Fiber shape impacts soil hiding, and soil releasing (cleanability).

fiber size

Refers to the denier per filament (dpf) or weight/thickness of a filament. Nylon fiber size impacts soil trapping and soil release. Heavier dpf (large fiber size) makes more easily cleaned carpet fiber.


The process of forming nonspun fibers by completely or partially slitting sheets of extruded polypropylene, sometimes followed by twisting into yarns. Fibrillation is employed in the formation of woven polypropylene backing yarns and to make pile yarns for grass carpet.


See Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act

fifth generation fiber

See stain resist carpet and generation.


1. A fiber of an indefinite or extreme length such as found naturally in silk. Manufactured fibers are extruded into filaments that are converted into filament yarn, staple, or tow. 2. A single continuous strand of natural or synthetic fiber.

filament count

The number of individual filaments that make up a thread or yarn.

filament winding

In the fabrication of composites, the process of placing reinforcing fibers over a rotating form, (mandrel) to make the product shape. Prepreg fibers or dry fibers that are treated in a resin bath immediately prior to winding may be used. The wound form can be cured or consolidated after the fiber winding is complete to product specifications.

filament yarn

1. A yarn composed of continuous filaments assembled with or without twist. 2. A yarn made of two or more continuous monofilaments held together by twist or otherwise.


1. A low-cost material used for extending rubber, plastic, or other polymers. 2. Fillers are usually powders of very small particle size. 3. Carpet latex laminating compounds and foams contain large amounts of fillers. The most common filler in carpet latex is finely powdered calcium carbonate often called whiting, produced by grinding limestone. 4. An inert material added to paper, resin, bituminous material, and other substances to modify their properties and improve quality. 5. Fuller’s earth or clay, or similar material used in the mix of rubber cushion. If excessive filler is added, the foam tends to decompose more quickly.


Filling (same as weft) yarns of cotton, jute, or kraftcord running across the fabric and used with the chain yarns to bind the pile tufts to the backing yarns. In a woven fabric, the yarn running from selvage to selvage at right angles to the warp. Each crosswise length is called a pick. In the weaving process the filling yarn is carried by the shuttle or other type of yarn carrier.

filling band

See mixed end or filling.

filling skewness

See skewness.

filling yarn

Yarns, usually of cotton, jute or kraftcord, running across a woven fabric and used with the chain yarns to bind the pile tufts to the backing yarns.

film yarn

Yarn produced by slitting extruded films into narrow strips. Slit film polypropylene yarns are woven into fabrics used as primary backings in tufted carpets.


Development of a thick covering or coating.

filtration soiling

Accumulation of airborne dust or other pollutants under doors, draperies, furniture, or along baseboards and stairs where air flow is restricted or channeled over or through the carpets pile. Filtration soiling is also associated with fabric wall coverings or office partitions.

fine end

1. A warp yarn of smaller diameter than that normally used in the fabric. 2. A term for a defect in silk warp yarn consisting of thin places that occur when all the filaments required to make up the full ply are not present. This condition is usually caused by poor reeling.

fine structure

Orientation, crystallinity, and molecular morphology of polymers, including fiber forming polymers.


1. A relative measure of fiber size expressed in denier or tex for manufactured fibers. For cotton, fineness is expressed as the mean fiber weight in micrograms per inch. For wool, fineness is the mean fiber width or mean fiber diameter expressed in microns (to the nearest 0.001 millimeter). 2. For yarn fineness, see yarn number. 3. For fineness of knit fabrics, see gauge.


Particles or dust of polymer formed during the process of cutting to produce chip.

finger mark

A defect of woven fabrics that is seen as an irregular spot showing variation in picks per inch for a limited width. Causes are spreading of warp ends while the loom is in motion and pressure on the fabric between the reed and take-up drum.


1. A substance or mixture of substances added to textile materials to impart desired properties. 2. A process, physical or chemical, performed on textile materials to produce a desired effect. 3. A property, such as smoothness, drape, luster, water repellency, flame retardancy, or crease resistance that is produced by number 1 and/or number 2 listed above. 4. The state of a textile material as it leaves a process.

finish composition (yarn)

Physical and chemical analysis of the lubricant applied to yarns to reduce friction and improve processibility.

finish turns

The actual degree of twist in the final yarn product.

finished fabric

Fabric that is ready for the market, having passed through the necessary finishing processes.

finished seam

A completion step in seaming whereby any trapped tufts are brought upright and any sprouting tufts are trimmed even with the carpet surface.


A collective term denoting processing carpets subsequent to tufting, weaving, and dyeing. Carpet finishing processes include shearing, brushing, application of secondary backing, application of attached foam cushion, application of soil retardant and antistatic chemicals, back beating, steaming, and others.

finishing bar

A noticeable streak across the entire width of a fabric usually caused by machine stoppage during processing.

finishing spot

A discolored area on a fabric caused by foreign material such as dirt, grease, or rust.

first quality

See yarn quality.


The process of setting a dye after dyeing or printing, usually by steaming or other heat treatment.

flagged fibers

Brush or broom fibers that are split at the end to increase cleaning (floor sweeping) efficiency.


Excessive broadening of the tips of the tufts to form a fan shape, usually due to lack of heat set or excessive mechanical agitation. See blooming.


A term that refers to the granular form in which cellulose acetate and triacetate polymers exist prior to dissolving or feeding into the extrusion or molding unit.

flake yarn

Yarn in which roving or short, soft staple fibers are inserted at intervals between long filament binder yarns.

flaky web

A web at the card that shows thick and thin places, approximately 1 to 6 square inches in size. This indicates that, instead of a free flow of fibers through the card, either an uneven amount has been fed into the care, or groups of fibers have hesitated in the card and then dropped back into production.

flame resistance test

See flammability tests.

flame resistant

A term used to describe a material that burns slowly or is self-extinguishing after removal of an external source of ignition. a fabric or yarn can be flame resistant because of the innate properties of the fiber, the twist level of the yarn, the fabric construction, or the presence of flame retardants, or because of a combination of these factors.

flame retardant

A chemical compound that can be incorporated into a textile fiber during manufacture or applied to a fiber, fabric, or other textile items during processing or use to reduce its flammability.


The ability of a material to ignite easily and burn rapidly. This term is used to classify certain liquids on the basis of their flashpoint.

flammability limits

The range of gas or vapor concentration in the air that may ignite or explode if an ignition source is present. There is an upper and lower flammability limit.

flammability tests

Many procedures have been developed for assessing the flame resistance of textile. The most common currently in use are detailed below. Diagonal (45 degree) Flame Test: In this test for flame resistance, a specimen is mounted at a 45 degree angle and exposed to an open flame for a specific time. This test measures the ease of ignition and rate of burning of the samples. Horizontal Flame Test: A test for flame resistance in which a specimen is mounted in a horizontal holder and exposed to an open flame for a specific time to measure burning rate and char-hole diameter. Methanamine Pill Test: A test for the flame resistance of carpets or rugs in which a methenamine tablet is ignited on a test sample under controlled conditions and the size of the burn hold is measured. Mushroom apparel Flammability Test; This test method involves igniting a cylinder of fabric around a core containing heat sensors and measuring the rate of heat transfer from the burning material to the sensors. Radiant Panel Test: A test for the flammability of carpets or rugs in which the specimen is mounted on the floor of the test chamber and exposed to intense radiant heat from above. The rate of flame spread is assessed. Smoke Chamber Test: This method assesses the smoke generating characteristics of a sample due to pyrolysis and combustion by measuring the attenuation of a light beam by smoke accumulating in a closed chamber under controlled conditions. Results are expressed in terms of specific optical density. Table Test. See flammability tests. Methenamine Pill Test. Thermo-Man: This instrumented mannequin system, interfaced with a computer, allows full scale testing of garments for protection capability or degree of flammability. The system was developed by Accurex Corporation for the U.S. Air Force. Tunnel Test: Test for the flammability of floor coverings in which a sample is placed on the ceiling of a tunnel of specific dimensions and ignited under controlled conditions to determine the extent to which it will burn. (Also called Steiner Tunnel Test). Vertical Flame Test: A test for flame resistance in which a specimen is mounted in a vertical specific time. The open flame is then extinguished and continued flaming time and char length of the sample are measured.

flammable aerosol

An aerosol that, when tested by the method described in 16 CFR 1500.45, yields a flame projection exceeding 18 inches at full valve opening, or a flashback (a flame extending back to the valve) at any degree of valve opening.

flammable gas

1. A gas that, at ambient temperature and pressure, forms a flammable mixture with air at a concentration of 13% by volume or less. 2. A gas that, at ambient temperature and pressure, forms a range of flammable mixtures with air, wider than 12% by volume, regardless of the lower limit.

flammable liquid

Any liquid having a flash point below 100 degrees f (27.8 degrees c), the total of which makes up 99% or more of the total volume of the mixture.

flammable solid

A solid, other than a blasting agent or explosive, as defined in CFR 1910.109 (a), that is liable to cause fire through friction, absorption of moisture, spontaneous chemical change, or from retained heat from manufacturing processing; or which can be ignited readily, and when ignited, burns so vigorously and persistently as to create a serious hazard.

flange crimping

Simultaneous crimping of two ends of yarn by using heated snubber pins, then combining both ends on a draw roll after they contact a rubber flange on the draw roll.

flash coving

Covering baseboard with either a separate piece of carpet, or by extending wall-to-wall carpet up over the baseboard.

flash ignition

See flash point.

flash point

The temperature at which a liquid will give off enough flammable vapor to ignite if an ignition source is present, although combustion will not be self supporting. There are several flash point test methods, and flash points may vary for the same material, depending on which method is used. The test method should be indicated when the flash point is given (e.g., 150 degrees f/71 degrees c PMCC, or 200 degrees f/93 degrees c TCC, etc.).


1. After a chemical spill, rapid vapor ignition that occurs when vapors from a spill area travel downwind to a ignition source, ignite and rapidly burn back to the spill. 2. When the flame from a cutting torch burns back into the tip of the torch, or the hose. This is often accompanied by a hissing or squealing sound with a smoky or sharp, pointed flame.


In carding, one of the parts forming an endless chain that partially surrounds the upper portion of the cylinder and gives the name to a revolving flat card. Flats are made of cast iron, T-shaped in section, about 1 inch wide, and as long as the width of the cylinder. One side of the flat is nearly covered with fine card clothing, and the flats are set close to the teeth of the cylinder so as to work point against point. A chain of flats contains approximately 110 flats and operates at a surface speed of about 3 inches per minute.


See crushing.


A slender, erect plant cultivated for its bast fiber, used in making linen.


The property of bending without breaking.


1. A planned part of the design in which the face yarn is carried over two or more wires. 2. A defect in the face of carpet resulting from a long loose end of face yarn that is not securely fastened into the back. 3. Yarns that rise and pass over four or more weft yarns, to form a satin weave.


A clump of solids formed in a liquid by biological or chemical action.


The process by which clumps of solids in water are made to increase in size by biological or chemical action so that they can be separated from the water.

flocked carpet

1. Carpet composed of very short fibers embedded in some kind of backing. There are three basic methods of applying flock: beater bar, spraying, and electrostatically. Carpets made by electrostatic flocking have a single level, cut pile surface with a velvety look. 2. Velvety pile carpet composed of short fibers embedded on an adhesive-coated backing.

flocked velvet

A fabric made by electrostatically implanting short pieces of nylon fiber into an adhesive coating on a plain woven cotton, polyester or combination base fabric. The final fabric simulates a velvet weave, although it isn’t as durable. Flocked velvets are easily damaged by abrasive wear and exposure to dry solvents (wet clean only). Oily soils in armrest areas will eventually damage the adhesive resulting in fiber loss.


A textile construction technique in which short, or chopped fiber (flock) is implanted or adhered to a latex precoated backing fabric, usually by electrostatic processes. Fabric constructed by this method is a short pile material with a velvety texture that has a primary backing only.

floor finish

The top layer(s) of protective floor coating that are exposed to traffic.

floor machine

Powered machine that spins a circular brush or pad used in floor and carpet care. The machines are referred to as buffers.

floor sander

A motor driven machine designed for removal of finishes or foreign materials from wood or concrete surfaces.

floor scraper

A small hand tool with a sharp four inch blade used for removal of adhesives, carpet, rubber, or tile prior to installation of new flooring materials.

floor stripper

A wide blade floor scraper with extension handle that allows the installer to stand upright while removing resilient or glued down carpet from subfloors, usually concrete.


A ruffle or strip of fabric running along the base of upholstered furniture that is attached to the frame by the flounce’s upper edge only.

flue gas

The air coming out of a chimney after combustion in the burner that the gases are venting.


1. A term describing the appearance of a carpet after loose fiber fragments left during manufacture have worked their way to the surface. Fluffing is not a defect; it is simply a characteristic of new carpets that disappears with vacuuming. Sometimes called fuzzing or shedding. 2. Back brushing velvet pile upholstery fabric with a velvet finishing or carding brush following cleaning and drying, to separate fibers and restore a soft texture. 3. A condition of shedding the short fibers or lint (fuzz), which remain in the surface of any new fabric, after cutting and shearing. It is a normal phenomenon, since carpet yarns are not only composed of different types of fibers but of various length of fibers. Wear and sweeping work these loose fuzz to the surface. The fuzz is then picked up into the vacuum cleaner. Fluffing does not damage the carpet and does not mean that the carpet is falling apart. In time fluffing will disappear.

fluorochemical soil/stain repellent

Fabric protectors that serve as soil retardants and as water and oil based stain repellents at the same time.


The short, waste fibers that are released into the air in textile processing operations such as picking carding, spinning, and weaving.


1. A device used to insert twist into slubbing, roving, or yarn, and to serve as a guide for winding it onto a bobbin. The flyer is shaped like an inverted U that fits on the top of the spindle and revolves with it. One arm of the U is solid and the other is hollow. The yarn enters through the top of the hollow arm, travels downward, and emerges at the bottom where it is wound around a presser finger onto the take-up package. 2. See Loom Fly.

flyer spinning

A method of spinning by means of a driven flyer. It is used primarily for spinning worsted and coarser yarns.

flyer spinning frame

See spinning frame.

flyer waste

During the roving operation, flyer waste refers to fibers that free themselves by centrifugal force from the regular bulk of roving and accumulate on the flyer and adjacent machinery.


A mass of bubbles formed on liquids by agitation (pouring, shaking, stirring, etc.).

foam rotary shampooing

A new shampooing method which reduces drying time to 30 to 60 minutes. The new equipment consists of a foamer attachment (a self contained solution tank and foam builder) which fits on any rotary machine. One main does the shampooing and another removes the heavy dirty suds with a wet vacuum.


Applying a chemical by rapidly heating or finely diffusing the liquid chemical so that it forms very fine droplets that resemble smoke or fog, and it remains suspended within air for relatively prolonged periods.

foiled tabs

Paper or plastic squares, about 3 inches square, used to protect the damp carpet fibers from damage by furniture legs, rust, stain, etc.

folded selvage

A curled selvage.

folded yarn

See plied yarn.


An object or substance, other than food, that harbors, supports, or carries infectious organisms.

Food and Drug Administration - FDA

Under the provisions of the Federal Food Drug and Cosmetic Act, the U.S. FDA establishes requirements for the labeling of foods and drugs to protect from misbranded, unwholesome, ineffective and hazardous products. FDA also regulates materials for food contact service, and the conditions under which the materials are approved.


1. A one carbon aldehyde, (CH20), it is a colorless, pungent gas at room temperature. This compound is used primarily as a disinfectant and preservative and in synthesizing other compounds and resins. 2. A pungent, colorless, irritating gas that is used as a preservative, sterilizing, and disinfecting agent, produced in liquid or gaseous form. Formaldehyde is used in synthesizing several compounds and resins, and may be found in particle board, paneling, and plastics. It enters air through off-gassing from building components, resulting in symptoms ranging from mild irritation to cancer. 3. carpet does not contain formaldehyde. While no formaldehyde is used in the manufacture of carpet, formaldehyde occurs naturally in the environment. Carpet and any fabric can absorb airborne formaldehyde.

formic acid

A colorless, pungent, fuming liquid organic acid, which, in concentrated form, is used to identify nylon fiber by completely dissolving a small sample or tuft and is found particularly in yarn blends.


The conventional scientific designation for a material.


Materials added to cleaning products or deodorants to produce a pleasant smell or aroma.


1. A general term for many machines used in yarn manufacturing such as the drawing frame, roving frame, and spinning frame.


Racks at back of the Wilton loom holding spools from which yarns are fed into the loom, each frame holding separate colors; thus a 3-frame Wilton has three colors in the design.


The loss of yarn from a fabric edge or from a backing material; or a loss of the backing material itself.

free form

A non-rectangular shaped carpet installation or floor, or an irregular shaped finished edge of carpet. The term also applies to the application of a flexible metal or vinyl molding used to protect an irregularly shaped edge of carpet.

freize yarn

1.Velvety pile carpet composed of short fibers embedded on an adhesive coated backing. 2. A hard twisted yarn used in plain fabrics to effect a rough, knotty, textured appearance in the surface pile.

frieze carpet

(pronounced “free-zay”) 1. A tightly twisted yarn that gives a rough, nubby appearance to carpet pile, and carpet having this characteristic. 2. A term applied when the pile of a velvet, plush, velour, or other pile fabric is uncut. 3. A cutpile carpet made of highly twisted yarns normally plied and heatset. A kinked or curled yarn effect is achieved. Excellent durability results from the hard twist pile yarns.

frieze carpet

A rough, nubby, textured carpet using tightly twisted, skein-dyed, or preset, stock dyed yarn.

fringe machine

A sewing machine, equipped with two needles and adjustable guides, designed for applying fringes to area rugs.

frost marks

A defect of woven fabrics consisting of surface highlights that give a frosted appearance. Frost marks are caused by improper sizing or insufficient warp tension as a result of uneven bending of some warp ends over the picks.

frothing agent

A foaming detergent that may be added to SBR latex, fabric protectors, etc., in order to create a low moisture content foam for a more uniform application to carpet backing materials (latex), or to carpet yarns (protectors).

full roll

A length of carpet, described in the carpet industry as being over 30 feet of a standard width. Full rolls are approximately 100 feet long.


A finishing process used in the manufacture of woolen and worsted fabrics. The cloth is subjected to moisture, heat friction, chemicals, and pressure which cause it to mat and shrink appreciably in both the warp and filling directions, resulting in a denser, more compact fabric.


Airborne dispersion of irritating smoke, vapor, or gas particles suspended in air. The minute solid particles may arise from the heating of a solid material or the evaporation of a liquid.

fume fading

Loss of fabric color due to atmospheric gases passing over or through fibers for prolonged periods and reacting with dyes. Although fume fading may be accelerated by the heat associated with sunlight (calorific property), it is different in that it may occur in areas where sunlight does not contact the fabric. Ozone pollution and nitrogen dioxide fumes from gas furnaces are the primary contributors to fume fading.


A biocide that is vaporized to kill pests. Can be used indoors or outdoors.


A major group of simple, lower plants that have no chlorophyll (e.g., molds, mildews, yeasts, mushrooms), and whose rigid walled cells contain one or more organized nuclei. They have no stems, leaves, or flowers. They are found in soil, water, and air. They begin as spores and develop into new plants. Since they lack chlorophyll, they cannot manufacture their own food; therefore, they must live on living or dead plants or animals. Unicellular fungi area called yeasts. Fungi formed by long chains of cells are called molds.


Biocides that are used to prevent, or kill fungi.


Chemical that limits, controls, or inhibits the growth of fungi (micro-organisms).

furniture protectors

Foil or plastic cups that protect carpet from staining by furniture.

fused nap

A defect occurring when carpet is exposed to excessive head during drying and curing operations. Fused nap also is encountered when carpet experiences excessive friction from toys or play activities during us. (e.g., skidding bicycle tires may fuse carbon black in fibers).


1. Melting 2. Uniting, as by melting together.

fusion bonded

Construction technique introduced in 1971 in which face fibers are attached to a single, six-foot wide backing (usually fiberglass by a vinyl adhesive compound. Yarns or fibers do not penetrate the backing fabric as with tufted or woven goods, therefore, virtually all fiber is exposed to wear and use. Most fusion bonded carpet is made face-to-face in a sandwich configuration. After the adhesive is cured, the sandwich is cut open with a knife to form two separate carpets. To date, only spun yarns can be used in the process and only cut pile configurations are possible. When fusion bonded carpet has a vinyl back applied and hardening in a curing oven, the finished product may be cut into carpet tiles.


1. A term describing a woven fabric defect characterized by a hairy appearance due to broken fibers or filaments. Principal causes are underslashed warp; rough drop wires, heddles, no reed; fabric slippage on the take-up drum; rough shuttles; cut glass, dents, or reeds in warper; and damage in slashing. 2. A term describing a fabric intentionally made with a hairy surface; such fabrics are usually produced from spun yarns.


1. A hairy effect on the carpet surface caused by the working loose of fibers under foot traffic or by slack yarn twist. This can be caused by poor latex penetration, poor yarn spinning, poor twisting and heatsetting, or improper carpet care or wet cleaning procedures. Not to be confused with shedding, a normal phenomenon associated with spun cut pile construction. 2. The result of poor penetration of latex through the fiber bundle of the tuft allowing individual hairs of fiber to pull away from the bundle. It is sometimes correctable by shearing. Carpet of continuous filament yarn is fuzzed by snagging and breaking. See also staple carpet fibers.

Did you know?

There is a clear-cut procedure for filling a carpet claim. Each participant has responsibilities to ensure that the carpet claim process is handled to everyone's satisfaction. The filing a carpet claim section of the Carpet Buyers Handbook examines the relationship between the carpet retailer, discount carpet wholesaler, carpet distributor, carpet installer, carpet manufacturer, and the consumer. It includes carpet manufacturing defects, visible carpet defects, carpet color, carpet dye lot, second quality carpet , carpet irregulars, mill end, carpet remnants, carpet warranties, carpet mill inspection, concealed damage, carrier claim, CRI 104, CRI 105, improper carpet care, water damage, backing material, carpet padding failure, cushion failure, topical treatments independents, independent inspector. Always preserve about 1 square foot piece of the original uninstalled carpet. Some manufacturing defect analysis only can be performed on unused (untrafficked) carpet. Also, should the carpet fail (which is rare), it is helpful to evaluate a new piece versus a sample that has been trafficked.