An Overview of Carpet Types: Fiber, Pile Cuts, And Dye Methods

If you have already made a commitment to get a carpet for your home, and you are looking for a Howard county Maryland carpet installer to do the job, you must realize that there’s a lot to know before you even seal the deal. With so many carpet types and designs to choose from, making a decision is never easy. Understanding the benefits of each carpet type and style will surely help you decide which ones work best for your home. So, before you even get overwhelmed in trying to figure out which one is cut loop, polyester, nylon, and more, here’s a guide to get you started.


Carpet Construction

When you’re planning to install a carpet, you need to look at how the carpet is constructed. Carpet construction determines durability and quality. Before you even hire a Howard county Maryland carpet installer, assess for these three factors:


Weight. You can typically see the details about the weight of the carpet at the back of each sample. Your Howard county Maryland carpet installer should be able to help you out with this. Weight is an indicator of your carpet’s density. The higher the weight of the carpet, the more fibers it has per square footage. The higher the weight, the more durable and denser the carpet is. You should evaluate the weight of the fabric on a like-for-like approach. Meaning, you must compare one Berber with another—the same as comparing apples to apples. Short, dense-fiber carpets tend to become more durable. You will also find a carpet with longer strands and loops that appear bulkier and heavier but weighs less.

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Density. This is important, especially if you are looking to lay the carpet in a high foot traffic area. Rather than the depth of the fabric or carpet, the density determines how many fibers are in a carpet and how tightly these fibers are packed or knitted. The denser the carpet, the more durable it is. You may want to look at the back of each material to find out how much space there is in between the tufts. If you see larger gaps, the carpet is not durable enough and it will lose its resilience much quicker.


Twist. Most carpets are produced using a twist method to increase its structure and durability. As a rule of thumb, carpets with a higher TPI (twist per inch) are more durable. Higher TPI carpets can stand up so well to flattening.


Carpet Fiber and Pile

When choosing a carpet, there are two distinct characteristics that you need to consider: fiber and pile. Carpet comes from different types of fiber. It can be synthetic or natural fibers. The pile, on the other hand, determines how the loops of the fiber are connected to the carpet backing. Both characteristics are contributory to the ability of your carpet to provide a warm, cushiony surface underfoot. In talking to your Howard county Maryland carpet installer, make sure to discuss these details with them so you can also get samples and recommendations.


Types of Carpet Fiber or Material


Nylon polyamide is the most popular synthetic carpet fiber because of its versatility and durability. It makes up about 90% of residential carpets. This type of material offers a wider range of vibrant clear colors and hues that cannot be reproduced in wool. Nylon is so flexible that you can see it in different styles and patterns, from plush to denser versions.  

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In addition to versatility, nylon is exceptionally soft yet durable. Good quality nylon has resistance to abrasion and stains. It can also resist wear, mildew, rot, and molds. Plus, it is easy to dye and holds color so well. With nylon, it does not need to cause you an arm and a leg. It is usually less expensive than wool but more costly than other synthetic materials. When cared for properly, you can expect that nylon carpets can last for about 12 to 15 years.



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A natural carpet material, wool is mostly used for high-quality carpets. It offers a luxurious and alluring appearance on your flooring. Made from sustainable and natural fiber, wool is exceptionally durable and resilient. This makes it a perfect choice for high foot traffic areas. This carpet material has good insulation as well, both in heat and noise. Aside from being soft underfoot, wool is incredible at hiding dirt on your carpet. And if you have allergies or sensitivity to chemicals, a pure wool carpet is an ideal option as it does not have any additives or chemicals on it. However, like any other natural material, wool is susceptible to damage from mildew or molds, making it a bad option for moisture-prone or high humid areas. It is also an expensive choice for carpet flooring, especially those high-grade wool versions.



Normally marketed as synthetic wool, and was originally a wool substitute, acrylic offers the appearance and feel of wool at a fraction of the price. It has good resistance to moisture, static electricity, fading, staining, and mildew. While it resembles the look of wool, it is not as durable as wool. Acrylic does not hold up well in high foot traffic areas. It can even become fuzzy due to wear and tear over time. If stained with alkaline chemicals like those found in most cleaning products, acrylic can turn brown which may become unsightly.



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Frequently used for shag or textured carpets, polyester looks like wool and is less expensive than any other synthetic carpet material. It is remarkably soft, and extremely fade- and stain-resistant. The main drawback of polyester is that it is susceptible to flattening or matting. That is why in choosing polyester carpet flooring, make sure to select a well-constructed version that has a higher density and weight. This way, it can hold up so well over the years. You may also want to speak to a Howard county Maryland carpet installer, so you can derive some recommendations regarding polyester types.



Also known as olefin, polypropylene is a synthetic fiber that is created through a process in which the color is already built into the fibers, making it fully resistant to discoloration or fading. Polypropylene fiber looks like natural wool and it is almost as soft as nylon. At times, it can be a great synthetic wool substitute. This material is highly resistant to stains but very prone to soiling as it can hold onto oils which in turn collects dirt. You may use a bleaching solution to clean it, but make sure to always check the label first.


While polypropylene is a great synthetic material for carpet flooring, it is not as resilient as any other carpet material. In fact, it is not a good choice for high-traffic areas.



This type of material is a combination of natural and synthetic materials. It is normally a mix of 80% wool and 20% synthetic fiber (polyester or polyamide).


Types of Carpet Style

The style or pile cut of a carpet is described by the way that the fibers are connected to their backing. In choosing the right carpet style, you can speak to your Howard county Maryland carpet installer so you will know which styles are best suited for your home. As you know, carpet style affects the durability and aesthetics of your carpet flooring. There are three main categories of carpet style: loop pile, cut pile, and cut-loop pile. Each category has several types as well. Let’s identify each style.


Loop Pile

Loop pile, also known as Berber pile or uncut pile, has fibers that are created into little loops, then stuck to the backing. This means that the entire yarn loop is intact on the surface of the piece. Loop-pile carpets are available in different variations. It can be tightly or loosely constructed and short or tall, which normally depends on the size and number of loops. It also comes either in a level loop, where the fiber loops have the same length; or a patterned loop, where the fiber loops are in different heights.

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Loop pile carpet is exceptionally durable and very ideal in hiding dirt, making it a perfect choice for high traffic areas. It has good resistance to stains and does not show any indentations due to vacuum marks or footprints; hence, it is so easy to clean. Just keep in mind that the loops of the uncut pile are less padded and softer than cut-pile fibers. Often, uncut pile carpets can be a hazard for young children and pets at home.


Cut Pile

Cut-pile carpets have no loops. It is a style of the carpet where exposed fibers are sheared off. This means that the frayed fibers are sticking straight up. Normally, cut pile carpets are much softer than loop pile carpets. Some different variations and styles can be created by changing the shearing angle or by applying various thread treatments to it. This carpet style can easily blend well with your house as it offers different thicknesses and lengths.

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While it is a popular choice, cut pile carpets are not as tough and durable as loop pile carpets. It needs replacement more often. This carpet style is not a good choice to hide marks or trails. In fact, cut pile carpets make it easy for footmarks and vacuum trails to appear. That is why it needs a twist technique to help cut pile carpets stand up against crushing or matting. In talking with your Howard county Maryland carpet installer, make sure to discuss a twist technique with them if you want to install a cut pile carpet in your home.


Saxony Cut

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Saxony cut is a particular type of cut-pile carpet where short fibers stand straight up and down to form a fuzzy, lush surface. The fibers are very dense and soft with Saxony cut. This carpet style is ideal for low traffic areas such as dens or living rooms. This is because Saxony cut carpets can easily be crushed down by vacuum cleaners and feet. They cannot stand up against matting and crushing. Plus, this carpet style is very prone to staining and wear and tear. Not to mention that it is much costly than the traditional cut pile carpets in the market.


Textured Cut

This is another type of cut pile carpet where fibers are of uneven heights. Using a special steam treatment, the fibers are also twisted into spiral strands, so it will remain curled up. Textured cut carpet is very suitable for mid-to high-foot traffic areas. This is because it does not show any marks or footprints on its surface, unlike any other type of cut pile carpet.


Plush Pile

Often called as velvet-cut pile, plush pile carpet is a variation of the cut pile where fibers are much shorter than the Saxony cut pile, but they are densely knitted. This makes the plush pile a luxurious and alluring carpet flooring. While it is very densely packed, this carpet style is not ideal for high foot traffic areas. It should only be used in low traffic settings because it is susceptible to scuffing, wearing down, and showing footprints or marks.


Frieze Cut 

Frieze cut carpet, also called California shag, is another type of cut pile where long cut fibers are twisted and kinked, so it will curl unevenly across the surface of the carpet. This is very ideal for high foot traffic areas and even commercial settings because of its durability. Frieze cut carpet can hide wear and dirt, so it won’t look unsightly.



Cut-loop carpets are simply a combination of cut pile and loop pile fibers. With this carpet style, there are variations of texture and height of fibers on the surface of the carpet. Since it is a mix of both carpet piles, it makes your carpet denser and more durable yet plush and soft. This type of carpet style is good for hiding stains and dirt as well.


Dye Methods

When it comes to dying carpets, there are two popular methods. Here are those:


Continuous Dyed

The dying method happens during the post-tufting process. It is mostly suitable for woven carpets. With this method, it allows your carpet to achieve a more solid color.


Solution Dyed

In this method, the fiber of the carpet is dyed before weaving it. This gives the carpet stronger resistance to fade and stain. It also makes it resistant to harsh cleaning products or agents such as bleach.


Choosing the right color for your carpet will still depend on your preference. We suggest speaking with your Howard county Maryland carpet installer to give you samples for color selections. When you pick the best color for the carpet, think of it as the fifth wall that transitions to other designs in your room. Consider other decors of the house to make sure that the carpet will blend well with them.


Are You Looking for a Howard County Maryland Carpet Installer Today?

Fiber materials, pile cuts, colors, and styles—all these elements make up a good carpet flooring in your home. By understanding each element, it could help you make the right decision. However, if you still need some help from a Howard county Maryland carpet installer and want to get some samples for your next carpet makeover, don’t hesitate to connect with us. Schedule a free in-home consultation today!