How Is Carpet Made
By combining innovation from the 21st century and old world craftsmanship, you get the carpeting we have in our homes today.
Creating a carpet in the past was quite a complicated process, since no one had the computers or other equipment that today do a good deal of the work. The technology used by carpet manufacturers these days, makes the process much less labor-intensive.
Making carpets was very different before they had large mechanical looms. Erastus Bigalow invented the power loom in 1839 and doubled his production of woven carpets in just one year. During the early 1800’s, children were often used in the carpet factories because they were small enough to go inside the giant looms.
Woven or Tufted
Carpets have been woven by hand for centuries, as they still are in some parts of the world. However they are now more often woven by machine. Regardless of whether they are woven or tufted, the procedures followed are very similar.
Woven carpets have vertical fibers, known as the warp, locked into position by weaving horizontal fibers, known as the weft, running through them. Woven carpets come in many colors with intricate patterns which can be created by the weaving process itself.
Tufted carpets are manufactured on tufting machines which utilize the latest computer programs for the styles, designs, density and construction. These machines remove the guesswork that used to require a human being to set up the loom and figure out how to lay out the warp in the required design – quite a laborious job for anyone.
Making a tufted carpet involves pushing pieces of looped yarn through the backing, Berber is one such type of tufted carpeting. Tufted carpet is strong and long-wearing.
When the carpet has been made, with the fibers locked into the design and pattern, the carpeting is dyed by one of several different methods, depending on the effect required. For softness and a lovely feel, a cut pile carpet has its pile loops cut, and in a final stage the carpet is stretched.
Then, it receive a secondary backing that gives it stability and enables the installer to stretch the carpet as it is laid. More often than not, carpets today receive a coating that gives it some protection against stains.
Once it’s completely finished, the carpet is washed and dried, then vacuumed. Any pile that hasn’t been cut will get trimmed off and if there are any bare spots, someone using a pile gun, will fill those in with additional loops of yarn.
Carpet may not be a sexy or interesting dinner party conversation topic but since most of us use carpets, either wall to wall or area rugs in our homes, getting to know a bit about carpet can be a useful thing.