Glossary of Terms

A  B  C  D  E  F  G  L  N  P  R  S  T  Y 

A


Abrasion resistance

A measure of the pile fiber's ability to withstand wear. Abrasion testing is performed both by mechanical means and by actual on-the-floor usage tests conducted under carefully regulated traffic conditions.

Adhesives

A variety of chemical compounds used to bond the secondary backing to the carpet. These substances also bond the tufted yarn into the carpet.

Appearance retention

The ability of a carpet to remain visually attractive throughout its expected wear life. Appearance retention is affected by such factors as carpet construction, aesthetic choices, performance features of the pile fibers and yarns, and correct end-use specifications.

Autoclave texture set

A heat set process, which uses the steam to set frieze yarns. The yarn will twist and curl during carpet processing, producing frieze or other highly textured carpet styles.

B


Backing systems

Materials comprising the back of the carpet, as opposed to the pile or face. In tufted carpet, the pile yarn is inserted by tufting machine needles into a primary backing fabric. A secondary backing is a fabric laminated to the back of the carpet to give dimensional stability.

BCF

Bulked Continuous Filament, the term given to continuous strands of synthetic fiber which are first extruded into yarn and then textured to increase bulk and coverage.

Beck dyeing

Carpet dyeing method in which the greige goods (undyed tufted carpet) are immersed in a stainless steel vat or beck containing the dye and rotated in a dye cycle process.

Berber loop

Loop pile carpets, which have exaggerated yarn sizes and/or variances in the color effect.

Blend

Two or more different fibers or yarns mixed together in yarn form.

C


Carpet construction

How a carpet is made. The construction includes the manufacturing method (woven, tufted or bonded) and specifications (gauge, stitches per inch, pile height).

Continuous dyeing

A nonstop dyeing process in which an unlimited amount of carpet passes across a series of rollers while dye is flowed on from a dye system or sprayed on. Some pattern effects can be achieved by continuous dyeing.

Cushion

Any material placed beneath a carpet to provide comfort, insulation, acoustical benefits, and to extend wear life.

D


Delustered fibers

Synthetic fibers whose brightness has been chemically reduced by the addition of delusterant.

Denier

A fiber of yarn numbering system used to measure the size of the carpet yarn, the diameter of the individual fiber or yarn filament related to its weight. Technically, it is the weight in grams of 9,000 meters of fiber or yarn. The higher the denier, the larger the size of the filament or yarn bundle.

Density

The weight of yarn in a unit of carpet, measured in ounces per cubic yard. The formula is D = W x 36/T where D is density, W is pile yarn weight in ounces per square yard, and T is pile thickness or height in inches.

Dimensional stability

A carpet's ability to maintain its original configuration and size without wrinkling or buckling after installation or use.

E


Extrusion

A mechanical process used to manufacture synthetic fibers and filaments in which raw materials are melted and combined, then forced through dies called spinnerets for shaping. Finally, the fiber is cooled in a quenching chamber.

F


Fastness

A carpet's ability to resist fading from exposure to light sources, atmospheric degradation, and cleaning agents.

Fiber

A natural or synthetic structure that is the basic component of fabrics and textiles, including carpeting.

Filament

A single continuous strand of a synthetic fiber.

Flame resistance

The ability of a carpet to withstand the propagation and spread of a fire. The intrinsic factors involved in flame resistance include the type and volume of carpet fibers, backing and adhesive systems, and any chemical additives that are topically applied.

Frieze

Carpet made with a yarn that has been given a high twist so it curls upon itself, giving a textured appearance to the carpet. A frieze carpet is trackless, durable and has a distinct textural appearance.

Funnel area

An area where foot traffic is concentrated, such as doorways and staircases.

G


Gauge

The distance between individual needles in the tufter bar of a tufting machine. A 1/8" gauge carpet would have 8 needles (therefore tufts) per inch of threaded yarn.

Greige goods

Carpet is called griege goods (pronounced "gray") after it is tufted, before being dyed and finished. Griege yarn is undyed yarn.

H


Hand

A subjective term referring to the feel of the carpet in terms of softness, firmness and resilience. Factors which can affect hand include fiber type, weight, fiber or yarn density, denier, backing, and adhesive.

Heat setting

The process by which carpet yarns are exposed to heat to promote twist retention and overall stability to yarn configuration.

L


Latex

A synthetic rubber adhesive applied to the tufted primary backing to lock the tufts into place and serve as an adhesive filling between the primary and secondary backing.

Luster level

The relative brightness of fibers, yarns, and carpet pile. Synthetic fibers are classified as bright, semi-bright, mid-dull, semi-dull, or dull. Luster level should complement the luster of the other furnishings while masking the appearance of soil, stains, traffic, and worn spots.

N


Non-heat set

Continuous filament nylon is offered in non-heat set form for loop pile, textured loop pile constructions, and some cut/uncut styles where the loop pile is the predominant factor. These yarns may be plied to create larger sizes, or air entangled to create special color effects such as heathered patterns.

Nylon

A synthetic polyamide resin which may be extruded into filaments to produce carpet yarn. The nylon types most commonly used in carpeting are Type 6,6 and Type 6.

P


Pattern repeat

One complete unit of the pattern. This includes all components of the patterns such as circles, squares or floral, and the background.

Pile

Pile is sometimes called the "face" or the "nap" of the carpet. It is further defined as the visible surface of a carpet consisting of yarn tufts in a loop, cut or cut/uncut configuration.

Ply

The number of single yarns twisted together to form a yarn of multiple strands (2-ply, 3-ply, etc.).

Polymer

A large molecule composed of linkage of smaller, identical molecules called monomers. Polymers may be formed in one of two ways: by chemically uniting the individual monomers or by repeatedly condensing two or more chemicals. High polymers contain numerous monomers and have a high molecular weight. Low polymers, by contrast, have only a few monomer units and a low molecular weight.

Polypropylene

The synthetic polymer of polypropylene. Polypropylene is commonly referred to as "olefin," but it is actually just one type of olefin. This polymer can be extruded into BCF or staple carpet fiber.

R


Resiliency

The carpet pile's ability to return to its original thickness after being crushed, due either to traffic or to compression from furnishings.

S


Solution dyeing

A method of coloring carpet fibers while still in liquid form prior to extrusion.

Shearing

A carpet finishing operation in which rotating spiraled blades are passed across the pile face to remove loose fibers, to level pile height, and to give the carpet a clean surface.

Skein

A continuous strand of yarn wound on a reel in preparation for dyeing or heat setting.

Skein dyeing

Skeins of yarn are hung in dye vats and subjected to pressure. Usually used for solid colors in medium-sized dye lots that will go into patterns.

Space dyeing

For multicolor effects in carpet, specified color can be "printed" on yarn as color flows form rollers spaced at certain intervals while yarn is being processed.

Spinneret

A plate with small holes through which synthetic raw materials are pumped to extrude fiber filaments.

Spinning

A manufacturing process whereby loose fibers are formed into a rope configuration of a specific size and twisted into a yarn bundle.

Staple or spun yarn

Staple nylon is a filament nylon fiber, which has been cut into short lengths. It is then spun into yarn by a contract yarn spinner or by the carpet manufacturer. Spun nylon offers specific aesthetic and performance benefits important in commercial and residential carpeting: it has a textural appearance similar to wool and the spinning process can enhance durability and appearance retention.

Static resistance

A feature that reduces, prevents, or dissipates static buildup in carpets, keeping static generation below the threshold of human sensitivity. It may take the form of a chemical additive applied to the carpet, or permanent anti-static conductive filaments in the fiber system.

Stitch

The number of times the needles on the tufter bar penetrate the carpet backing material within a specified length of fabric.

Suessen set

A heat set process whereby the yarn is passed through wet heat, causing the fibers to adhere to one another. This technique gives the carpet more prominent tip definition, thus it is applicable for saxonies.

T


Tensile strength

The greatest amount of stretching a carpet yarn or fabric can withstand without breaking.

Trilobal cross section

A filament of yarn characterized by a cross section of three lobes similar to a cloverleaf.. This configuration has been engineered to reduce the surface area to which dirt may adhere, thus minimizing the problem of soiling.

Tuft bind

The force, measured in pounds, required to pull one yarn tuft from the carpet.

Twist

The number of turns per inch and/or the direction of the turns in pile fibers, ply or yarn strands placed together.

Type 6,6 nylon

An advanced generation synthetic resin developed after many years of research, which derives its name from its molecular structure. It is extruded into filaments to produce carpet yarn.

Y


Yarn

A continuous strand of either spun staple fibers or continuous filament which is used to make carpet or other textile fabrics.