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Carpet Glossary G


Liquid measure. One U.S. gallon = 128 ounces, one imperial gallon = 160 ounces.

gapped seams

Irregular separations within a seam caused by the installer’s failure to properly straight edge both sides of the carpet before seaming, or simply from careless seaming.

gas fading

A change of shade of dyed fabric caused by chemical reaction between certain disperse dyes and acid gases from fuel combustion, particularly oxides of nitrogen.

gauge lines

Lengthwise striations caused by slight irregularities in needle spacing on tufting machines.

gauge row

Rows of tufting across the width of the carpet, perpendicular (at right angles) to the direction of manufacture.

gauge wire

A standing wire used with an extra filling yarn to control the height of the pile on a carpet weaving loom.

gauge/ gage

1. The distance between two needle points expressed in fraction of an inch. Applies to both knitting and tufting. 2. A generic term for various measurement instruments such as pressure or thickness gauges. 3. The number of needles per given distance in a knitting machine. 4. The thickness of the knitting needle in the shank and the hook. 5. The number of wales per inch in a knit fabric. 6. On spinning or twisting frames, the distance from the center of one spindle to the center of the next spindle in the same row. 7. The distance, expressed in fractions of an inch, between two adjacent needles on a tufting machine, or the space between stitch rows in carpet tufted on a machine with more than one needle bar. It represents the number of ends of surface yarn counting across the carpets width, e.g., 1/8 gauge = 8 ends per inch. cp “pitch”


The number of ends of surface yarn counting across the width of carpet. In woven carpet, pitch is the number of ends of yarn in 27 inches of width; e.g., 216 divided by 27 = 8 ends per inch. In tufted carpet, gauge also means the number of ends of surface yarn per inch counting across the carpet; e.g., 1/8 gauge = 8 ends per inch. To convert gauge to pitch, multiply ends per inch by 27; e.g., 1/10 gauge is equivalent to 270 pitch, or 10 ends per inch x 27. One-eighth gauge is 8 ends of yarn per inch x 27 = 216 pitch.


A colloid in a semi-solid state, producing a jelly-like consistency.

gel dyeing

Passing a wet-spun fiber that is in the gel state (not yet at full crystallinity or orientation) through a dyebath containing dye with affinity for the fiber. This process provides good accessibility of the dye sites.


A length of DNA that directs the synthesis of a protein.

general exhaust

A system for exhausting air containing contaminants from a general work area, usually accomplished via dilution.


An informal reference to the stages of development for nylon carpet fibers: 1st - early nylons; 2d - modified cross-section for soil hiding; 3d - 2d generation plus antistatic properties; 4th-3d generation plus fluorochemical soil/stain repellent; 5th-4th generation plus acid dye blocker treatment.

generic name

A non-proprietary name for a material.


A compound that kills disease causing micro-organisms.


The process used to separate cotton fiber from seeds and other waste materials. Ginning occurs immediately after harvesting and before processing the cotton fiber into yarn.

glacial acetic acid

A 98% pure form of acetic acid used in production of acetate fiber. In the context of spotting, glacial acetic must be diluted to a 5-7% concentration. Glacial acetic is extremely hazardous (toxic fumes, severe skin burns) and should not be used without special training, personal protective equipment (PPE), and under carefully controlled conditions.


A progressive and irreversible increase in the luster of a use surface, due to the deformation of fiber cross sections resulting from mechanical action.

glue down

A method of carpet installation where the carpet is glued directly to the floor.


An aldehyde based sanitizing agent used in leather tanning, food processing and in fabric sanitizing or disinfecting.

glycol solvent

A dry solvent classification. Glycol solvents are fairly visible in water and they have a particular affinity for dissolving animal and vegetable oils. They are found in many cleaning compounds.


Foreign matter that is accidentally woven into a fabric. It is usually fly or waste that drops into the loom during weaving or that catches in yarns during spinning.


The level of carpet installation in relation to the ground level. Above grade and below grade. The level of the floorcovering installation as related to the soil or ground level outside the structure. Below grade carpet installations may be subjected to wetting from ground water infiltrating through walls, due to hydrostatic pressure.

grains of hardness

A measure of water hardness. The actual amount of dissolved mineral salts measured in parts per million in a U.S. gallon of water.

grains(of moisture) per pound (gpp)

A unit for measuring the weight of moisture in air, expressed as grains per pound (gpp) of dry air. It is determined by use of a psychometric chart when temperature and humidity are known. Seven thousand (7000) grains equals one pint of liquid, which weighs approximately one pound.

Gram’s stain

A method of staining bacteria with various dyes for microscopic examination, invented by Christian Gam in 1884. Some bacteria when exposed to the stains will retain a blue dye (gram positive) whereas others will not (gram negative). The various bacterial types may be divided into two basic groups depending on their reactions to the dyes used in this staining method.

gram (g)

A metric unit for mass weight. One gram is about 4/1000th of an ounce, or one ounce U.S. is about 28 grams.


A means of classifying bacteria (chiefly) as related to the bacteria’s ability to be stained with Gram’s purple stain. Staph and strep are examples of gram-positive bacteria. Pseudomonas and salmonella are examples of gram-negative bacteria.

graphics machine

A tufting machine capable of producing patterns, usually by the use of independently shifting needle bars, or with needles that may be individually controlled (with computers), or with a combination of the two.


Rugs made of certain long jointless grasses, twisted with cotton threads into yarns. Grass rugs are usually reversible and come in plain weave and color.

grass carpet

A styling term used to describe pile designs made of cut pile, slit film, yarns that simulate grass.

grate/grid/hook plate

The part of the Fine Index Jacquard in which the bottom hooks of Jacquard hook wires are set when the top hook is not engaged by the griff. It is also used to raise all the remaining face yarns that were not selected to be raised by the griff to permit the insertion of the bottom shot.

gray fabric

See greige fabric.

greige goods

(Pronounced gray goods). Term designating carpet just off the tufting machine and in an undyed or unfinished state.

griff or griffe

1. The part of the Fine Index Jacquard consisting of members containing the metal knives. 2. Also applied to the metal lifting knives used to lift the hook selected to be up at the correct time.


Condition where the carpet backing shows between the rows of pile yarns.


Visibility of carpet backing through the face, often between two adjoining tuft rows. May be caused by low pile yarn weight, off-gauge tufting machine parts, tuft row deflection, inadequate blooming of pile yarn, or carpet installation over sharp curves such as stair nosings.


A nap setting tool used primarily on cut pile designs for carpet finishing.


The process of nap setting following cleaning and additive (fabric protector) application, using a shag rake, carpet comb, brush, or groomer.

ground color

The background color against which the top colors create the pattern or figure in the design.


The procedure used to carry an electrical charge to ground through a conductive path. A typical ground may be connected directly to a conductive water pipe, a grounding bus, or ground rod.


Matrix between ceramic tile on walls and floors.

grout floats

A molded foam or sponge backed trowel used to work the grout into spaces between ceramic tiles.

guide bar

A mechanism on a warp knitting machine that directs warp threads to the latch needles.

guide tube

Metal or plastic tubes through which yarn is fed from the yarn creel to the needles of the tufting machine.


Fittings of various shapes for controlling the path of a threadline.


Cutting device that consists of a single blade that descends between guides for chopping fibers, plastic strands, etc.


The separation between anchored tackless strips and the parallel baseboard or wall. The width of the gully should be slightly less than the thickness of the carpet but always less than 3/8 inch. The space between the tack strip and the wall.


A term covering a wide range of substances. Strictly, gums are carbohydrate high polymers, either soluble or dispersible in water, that are derived from vegetable origins. Loosely, the term gum is used to mean resins, saps, natural rubber, chicle, starch, cellulose derivatives, and many other products. In textile printing, the term refers to print past thickeners.


A widely available mineral consisting of hydrous calcium sulfate. It is used to plaster of Paris and in making plasterboard.

Did you know?

Different carpet fibers may require different carpet cleaning methods and different cleaning chemistry. Tough synthetic carpet fibers will withstand a wide variety of carpet cleaning methods and cleaning chemistry, but natural carpet fibers can be damaged by improper cleaning.