How is a carpet made?
Let's talk about carpet. How is it made? While it probably isn't the most tantalizing topic, it is still a pretty interesting thing to talk about. Most people don't know much about carpet. Even if you live in a house full of carpet, chances are you won't know how it is made. Humans have been decorating with carpets for over 2,500 years when tribes in the Middle East used them in their huts. Currently, almost a billion square feet of carpet are made in the US alone every year. Most of it being produced in one town: Dalton, Georgia. Not many people think about it, but there are a lot of different kinds of carpet.
Types of Carpet
Carpet can be told apart just by touching it. You can feel the pile, which is the part of the carpet we see which is made from individual strands or cut piles, or closed loops which is known as tufted. You can see the density and weight of the pile by looking, you can also see all the different colours of the dye if you look close enough. Even a solid coloured carpet will have several different shades in it.
The Carpet Making Process
Carpet begins in a bunch of strands of fibres. These fibres are known as staples. The staples will be put through a hopper which will heat the strands and lubricate them to form them into slivers. The slivers will be wound onto a spool which will help begin the real carpet making process.
The two major kinds of carpet that are made today are closed loop or tufted a method that was created in Dalton, Georgia which is known as a carpet capital of the world. This is made by pushing carpet fibres through the underside of the carpet with a needle. The underside is called a backing. The looper hook will hold the carpet fibres in the correct position while the needle goes through the baking to form a loop. This used to be a pretty long process, but with automated tufting machines, it is a pretty simple process. The machines are about 12 feet and can have anywhere from 800 to 1200 needles to create the loops.
This will be the end of the road for a tufted carpet, but a cut pile carpet will have another step. This step involves the carpet being pulled over sharp knives to cut the loops. This makes for individual strands instead of the loop look.
The dyeing of the carpet can happen at different stages depending on what the colour or pattern is supposed to look like. Some carpets are put into a vat of water after the carpet is complete. This method involves boiling the water while the dyes are mixed in with the water. This is called the Beck process. Carpets can also be dyed by spraying dyes onto the carpet after its finished or pre dyeing the fibres before they are woven.
At the end of the process, the carpet is washed, dried, and vacuumed before it is sold. They are also trimmed for any stray fibres and inspected before they are sent out to the customer.