Carpet: an integral part of the design scheme for any project. But before we get into the exciting creative decisions around design and colour scheme, do you need tufted, Axminster or Wilton?
All brilliant carpets and you’d struggle to tell the difference at first glance, but they each offer different properties and price points so understanding their properties will help achieve the right aesthetic and lifetime value.
Tufted carpet is constructed on a sort of giant sewing machine which starts with the backing, then punches the yarn into the backing with 1,200 needles, each threaded with a single colour yarn. It can be loop pile, if the face loops are left as they are, or if you shear the yarn, you create cut pile, more common in commercial settings as it’s easier to clean. Tufted carpet offers smaller-scale pattern options as the design is created by shifting the needles side to side. Once constructed, tufted carpet has a secondary backing applied to give optimal stability – you want a bit of give to help with fitting and changing temperatures, but not so much that you get sag and bag – and improved underfoot comfort.
The vast majority of domestic carpets are tufted because it is a super product for lower traffic areas. Commercial-grade yarn is means tufted carpet can also be a cost-effective solution for lower traffic commercial spaces.
- Perfect for lower footfall zones; guest bedrooms, office spaces, corridors, guest houses, boutique hotels.
- Smaller-scale and textured design
- Key price offer
- Swift turnaround
As with many other fabrics, creating carpet on a loom is the traditional way it was constructed and while the principle of this process hasn’t changed a great deal in the 300 years we’ve been producing carpet in this country, the technology has; with modern highspeed axminster looms. Computer controlled and automatically fed, these looms mean it is now possible to quickly switch between designs. Carrying up to 12 colours, which can be changed quickly, high-speed looms help carpet manufacturers to provide both bespoke pattern and colour without the lengthy and costly downtime faced on traditional looms. Wool is combined with nylon which provides the best balance of luxurious underfoot comfort and durability; the industry gold-standard being an 80/20 blend wool to nylon. On a loom, this face yarn, is interlaced with a backing yarn, jute or more commonly a synthetic alternative.
The most commonly produced woven carpet, axminster offers superb durability and great value. This loom selects individually coloured yarn, cuts it and inserts it as a U shaped piece into the carpet where needed for the design. The process allows for significantly more pattern flexibility, making it the carpet of choice if the scheme calls for complex and large scale patterns.
For many projects, the cost of a completely bespoke design can be prohibitive, so some carpet manufacturers offer a semi-bespoke, or Ready To Weave service, where a library design or custom pattern can be made in a combination of colours from a set, stock colour palette. These colours are permanently loomed, so no downtime is required to change colours.
- Best long life value for high traffic venues
- Great flexibility of design
- Superior underfoot comfort
- Swift turnaround
- Outstanding soil-hiding properties
- Perfect for: leisure & hospitality, casinos, restaurants, hotels, bars, reception areas, apartment common areas, places of worship, historic & heritage spaces
Also named after the town where the process originated, Wilton weave carpets are made by continuous threads raised above the surface of the backing by hooks, making it the most enduring of carpets. The surface can be finished in a variety of ways – cut, loop (commonly referred to as Brussels weave) and a combination of both cut and loop to create an integral pattern. Made in up to five-colours, so capable of reproducing simple patterns, wilton woven carpets are exceptionally hardwearing and stable, making them ideal for use in narrow-width applications such as corridors, walkways and halls. Used in the most prestigious, specialist venues, requiring the pinnacle of durable luxury.
- Highest durability
- Creative options for cut and loop pile design
- Narrow width
- Perfect for: Historic and heritage spaces, specialist venues
As well as providing a warm, comfortable floor covering, wool has super soil-resistance and acoustic deadening properties. It’s also a brilliantly sustainable resource. Look for manufacturers who use British wool to support homegrown producers and to reduce miles travelled.
Using a British manufacturing base also helps to ensure practices meet high environmental standards and reduce the impact and supply chain issues associated with shipping.
If you want to chat with one of the country’s leading manufacturers about a technical matter, or for some friendly advice and options, the team at Wilton are always on hand. We’d be delighted to offer support and information.