Carpet Manufacturing Process

Carpet Making Process

Saiful Sabuz
Department of Textile Engineering
Ahsanullah University of Science & Technology (AUST)
Cell: +88016-77057646
Facebook: Saiful Islam

Carpet is a rich floor covering which is basically a textile product consist of two layers, upper layer call “pile” attached with pre woven lower layer. Carpet is generally made from wool, jute fiber or man made synthetic fiber. There is a difference between carpet and Rug. Carpet is basically use wall to wall when rug is smaller in size and can be used here and there in the room.

Carpet Construction:
Carpets do have three types of construction.
  1. Woven: Woven carpet is longer wearing and more stable than tufted carpet, but it is lower and more expensive to produce. The traditional method of carpet making is to interweave the fibers with the backing. There are three basic weaving techniques. Velvet, Wilton and Axminister. Axminister and Wilton carpets can contain many colors, but Wilton construction of interwoven pile and backing allows for a maximum of five colors to be used. While a color doesn’t appear in the pile it is woven into the backing producing an extra-thick strong carpet.
  2. Tufted: The majority of carpet produced today is tufted. Tufting involves stitching face yearns into a backing material with multi needed machines. The fibers are secured to the pre-woven backing with a heavy latex coating. A secondary backing may be added for greater dimensional stability.
  3. Bonded: Bonded carpets have pile that is bonded, often heat-fused on to pre-made backing, as a result they are relatively inexpensive.

Carpet Fibers & Yarns:
The fibers available for manufacturers to blend fall into two distinct categories – natural and man made fibers.

Natural Fibers
Wool: The most popular of natural fibers and a great renewable resource, wool is exceptionally suited to being used as a carpet fiber because it combines excellent resistance to foot fall with an uncanny knack of looking good for years. Wool Carpets are also resistant to combustion and under normal conditions provide a great anti-static flooring option.

Silk: Being so delicate, silk is rarely used in carpet but it does bring a certain something to the finest hand made rugs, particularly those from the Middle East and Indian regions.

Jute: Used mainly in the backing of carpets from a traditional point of view, jute is gaining popularity as a natural fiber floor covering and its depth of texture makes it great for rugs.

Coir: Coir is made from the fibers of coconut husks and it is a strong and resilient fiber. The husks are harvested and then soaked for months before being beaten into submission, washed and then dried. The pale yellow fibers are then spun into yarn that is then woven into flat weave carpeting or as many people will recognize it, into cut pile doormats that are great at removing dirt and moisture from soles.

Flax: Only used occasionally in loop pile and flat weave rugs and carpets.

Sisal: These are some of the toughest fibers in the business and unlike most natural fibers it can be dyed. When combined with wool, sisal can also take on a softer side and is being favored by natural flooring manufacturers for its aptitude at creating colorful, natural floors.

Seagrass: Hailing from the paddy fields of China, Seagrass is a rapidly replenishing resource. Once the fields have been flooded with seawater, the fiber is harvested and spun into yarn that has an impermeable quality. While this makes it hard to dye, it also makes it relatively easy to care for.

Man Made Fibers
  • Acrylic
  • Polyamide ( Nylon)
  • Polyester
  • Polypropylene
  • Viscose
All carpets are made from either natural fibers, man made fibers or a combination of both that are spun into yarn that is then woven or tufted into the finished article to be found in carpet retailers throughout the globe. Spinning the yarn itself is a skilled job and one that has created specialist companies serving carpet manufacturers.

Stages in yarn spinning:
Raw fibers are blended together in precise proportions according to the ‘character’ and ‘handle’ of the yarn required for the carpet in question

The blend is scoured, pulled and teased – in carpet speak called carding – until it is straighter, whiter and free of natural burs and foreign bodies

The fiber is systematically opened up , layered and cross layered before the resulting ‘web’ or ‘spat’ is split into ‘slubbings’ that are then pulled and twisted on a spinning frame. This helps to add strength to the single strand of yarn

Two or more of these strands are then twisted together – ‘doubled’ – and this results in a yarn with high tensile strength capable of being tufted or woven by the latest high-speed machinery at maximum efficiency and at the lowest production cost.

Color is introduced either at the raw fiber stage or when the yarn is spun into the thickness and length suitable for the carpet in question.

Carpet Fiber Characteristics

Nylon Carpet:
Nylon carpet fiber is the most popular fiber (about 90% of residential carpets and 65% of all carpets). Nylon carpet fiber is a good choice for all traffic areas because it is durable and static free, maintains fiber height, and resists soiling, staining, and mildew. Nylon fibers, which are dyed after production, maintain color. Some nylon carpet fades with sunlight. It comes in continuous or spun fibers. Spun yarn is made of short lengths of fibers that are spun together. Thus, continuous filaments are less likely to unravel.

Nylon Fiber Facts:
  • Yarn-forming substance of any long-chain, synthetic polyamide having recurring amide groups as an integral part of the polymer chain
  • Offered as BCF or staple, both used for commercial application
  • Sold as a solution-dyed yarn
  • Accounts for 65% of all face fibers in carpet products
Fiber Advantages:
  • Good bulk and cover
  • Good crush resistance
  • Long wearing
  • Clear colors
  • Range of dye depths
  • Excellent luster range
  • Good performance, even at low weights
  • Good soil resistance
  • Responds we to cleaning
  • Higher cost
  • Easiest of synthetic fibers to stain with typical food and beverage spills (fabric protection helps fight this problem)
  • Will lose color in presence of bleach, especially chlorine 

Practically any style carpet, in any price range, can be made with Nylon and easily dyed and finished by any method.

Acrylic Carpet Fiber:
Acrylic carpet fiber offers the appearance and feel of wool without the cost. Acrylic carpet fiber has a low static level and is moisture and mildew resistant. It is commonly used in Velvet and Level Loop constructions; it is often used for bath and scatter rugs.

Acrylic carpet fiber is known as art, art wool, or man-made wool because it is an artificial fiber. These fibers provide the look and feel of wool at a fraction of the cost. Acrylic carpet fiber resists static electricity, moisture, mildew, fading, crushing, staining, and sun damage. However, acrylic fiber is not durable enough for high traffic areas (it fails under abrasion when compared to other fibers).

Acrylic fibers are produced from acrylonitrile, a petrochemical. The acrylonitrile is usually combined with small amounts of other chemicals to improve the ability of the resulting fiber to absorb dyes. Some acrylic fibers are dry spun and others are wet spun. Acrylic fibers are used in staple or tow form. For a detailed production flowchart (wet and dry spun), go here.

These fibers are modified to give special properties best suited for particular end-uses. They are unique among synthetic fibers because they have an uneven surface, even when extruded from a round-hole spinneret.

Acrylic Carpet Fiber Characteristics:
  • Outstanding wick ability & quick drying to move moisture from body surface
  • Flexible aesthetics for wool-like, cotton-like, or blended appearance
  • Easily washed, retains shape
  • Resistant to moths, oil, and chemicals
  • Dye able to bright shades with excellent fastness
  • Superior resistance to sunlight degradation 

Olefin Carpet Fiber: Olefin carpet fiber is strong, resists wear and permanent stains, and it is easily cleaned. It is notably colorfast because Color is added in the fiber production. It resists static electricity and is often used in both indoor and outdoor installations because of its resistance to moisture and mildew. It is used in synthetic turf for sports surfaces and in the home for patio and game rooms. Many Berber are made of Olefin.

Olefin is the next-best seller after nylon (about 80% of commercial carpet). These fibers are colorfast because the production process involves mixing polypropylene with dyes. Olefin works best in loop carpets such as Berbers. It is strong (resisting both crushing and abrasion), mildew resistant, moisture resistant, and easy to clean (bleach can be used safely in some cases). However, olefin can be easy to crush depending on the pile. This fiber is used in many artificial sport turfs.

Olefin Facts:
  • Fiber-forming substance of any long-chain, synthetic polymer composed of at least 85% by weight of ethylene, propylene or other olefin units
  • Offered as BCF or staple
  • Primarily sold as a solution-dyed fiber or yarn
  • Can be engineered for outdoor applications 

  • Solution dyed colors
  • Good cover and bulk
  • Abrasion resistance
  • Inherent stain resistance
  • Low static
  • Favorably priced
  • Resists fading
  • Poor resilience
  • Flammability rating typically lower than nylon

Contract and residential. Medium to low price points. Also, dominant fiber in primary backing.

Polyester Carpet Fiber:
Polyester carpet fiber is noted for its luxurious soft "hand" when used in thick, cut pile textures. It has excellent color clarity and retention. Polyester is easily cleaned and resistant to water-soluble stains.

Polyester does not hold its fiber height under traffic and shifting weight as well as other carpet fibers. Polyester is luxurious, durable against abrasions, easy to clean, and resistant to water soluble stains. Polyester carpets cost less than wool and nylon.

Polyester Facts:
  • Made from terephthalic acid and ethylene glycol
  • Offered in BCF, but mainly staple form
  • Used in residential and some commercial applications
  • Color clarity
  • Colorfastness
  • Resistant to water-soluble stains
  • Noted for luxurious "hand"

Wool Carpet Fiber
Wool's naturally crimped shape is the formation of millions of air pockets that act as insulation to help regulate room temperature and reduce energy bills. Also, Berber carpet is easy to clean and purifies your indoor air for up to 30 years from common contaminants like formaldehyde, nitrogen dioxide and sulfur dioxide by locking the contaminants deep in the core of the fiber.

Soft, yet resilient, this fiber can withstand the toughest treatment and still bounce back.

Fiber Facts:
  • Natural fiber
  • Inherent resilient property
  • Prestigious
  • High customer acceptance
  • Pleasing hand
  • Resilient
  • Styling versatility
  • Frame resistant
  • Low "apparent soiling"
  • Expensive
  • High static charge
  • Difficult to remove many stains
  • Allergenic for some
  • Variable quality
  • Available only in staple
  • Low abrasion resistance
  • Not piece dye able
Contract and residential. However not suitable for every construction.

Carpet Texture
Velvet: (also known as plush, frieze and splash)
  • Has an even, generally dense pile.
  • Tends to show foot prints, which is desirable for shadowing
  • (Takes away from the ‘flat look’)
  • Resists crushing and bending
  • Tends to show soil more than others, not the
  • Best for stair covering. 

  • Comes in varying yarn lengths (up to two inches)
  • Gives grass like appearance
  • Used for both formal and informal setting
  • Does not wear well on stairs
  • Look for dyed back, which camouflages wear.
There are two characteristics that make shag carpet stand out from other types of carpet and rug designs. The first is the length and configuration of the individual carpet yarns that are used in the design. Along with being longer sections of yarn, the fiber is also twisted in a loose design, rather than the tight design that is used with short loop carpeting techniques. The relaxed twist is combined with a pattern that space the individual yard strands further apart than in a conventional weave. As a result, the look of a shag carpet is somewhat like that of a section of grass that allows the blades or strands to lay in a variety of different directions.

Velvet Shag:
  • A high, soft pile that easily shows indentation Form traffic.
  • Tends to mat in high traffic areas. 

One-level looped:
  • Tightly woven looped carpet
  • Very strong, withstands water and stains
  • Wears well on stairs 

Level loop pile is made by weaving even loops of yarn into carpet backing at both ends. Higher loops create a more luxurious appearance, yet offer durability and track resistance because of its strong loops. Level loop piles with short and densely packed loops prevent dirt from filtering into carpet and are easy to clean, making it ideal for high traffic areas.

Two-level looped:
  • Or sculptured
  • Has sculptured effect, very durable
  • Wears on stairs

Carpet durability The main factors that affect the durability of a carpet are:

Fiber weight – The heavier the fiber weight, the harder wearing the carpet will be.

Pile density – The higher the density, which depends on the tightness of the yarn twist, the better.

Yarn stitches per inch – The more the better, improving the crush resistance of the carpet.

Benefits of carpet:
  • Carpet provides thermal resistance, it retains warm air longer and make place comfortable to sit.
  • Carpet can add beauty and style to the room.
  • Carpet softens slips and falls.
  • It can reduce noise by absorbing noise.
Maintaining your carpet
Everybody wants their carpet to stay looking good over time. Here are the Euro-peon Flooring tips for maintaining your carpet.
  1. Use a doormat or off cut from the carpet to help reduce the how much it will soil. Vacuum regularly to prevent dirt matting the carpet fibers. Note that a vacuum fitted with brushes or beater bar should be used on cut pile carpets while a vacuum only should be used on loop pile carpets. Also note that newly laid carpets often shed loose fibers, which is fine.
  2. One can save wear and tear on carpet by asking everyone to take off his or her shoes before entering home.
  3. When cleaning your carpet, detergents such as washing up liquid and soap should not be used. Instead, reputable carpet care treatments should be used.
  4. When dealing with spillages, act swiftly as this will improve the chance of avoiding stains. Liquids should be blotted (not rubbed) using clean white absorbent cloth or kitchen roll, and you should start from the outside of the stain and work inwards. Apply your cleaning agent to the cloth and not the carpet directly, and rinse with water afterwards. Use a hair dryer to dry the area and finish by brushing up the carpet pile.
  5. Change air filters in heating and air-conditioning systems as recommended by the manufacture’s directions. The more dust and particles remove by the filter, the less that fall on the carpet.
Carpet flooring provides unequalled warmth and comfort, and is more economical than many other floor types with the product and installation being cheaper. However it can require a greater level of maintenance, especially in rooms with lots of traffic.

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Mazharul Islam Kiron is a textile consultant and researcher on online business promotion. He is working with one European textile machinery company as a country agent. He is also a contributor of Wikipedia.

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