Carpet Construction

Over 90% of residential carpet is manufactured as tufted carpet. A tufting machine works like an oversized sewing machine with hundreds of needles that insert loops of fiber (tufts or stitches) into the carpet's backing to form the face pile of the carpet.

How long your carpet will last depends on how well it is made. Quality construction will affect the durability, appearance and price of the carpet and is most influenced by the twist of the fibers and the density of the tufts.

Twist refers to how tightly the fiber (carpet yarn) has been twisted. This is especially important in cut pile carpet because the tips are exposed and can become untwisted, giving the carpet a matted and worn appearance. The tighter the yarn is twisted, the better the carpet will stand up to crushing and matting.

Frieze carpet has the highest twist level at about 7-9 twists per inch (TPI), whereas most cut pile carpet styles have between 3-6 twists per inch.

Density refers to both the amount, and how tightly packed together the fibers are within the carpet. The closer together the fibers are placed, the denser the carpet will be, and the better it will wear and perform.

Ways to check for carpet density include trying to reach the carpet backing by pressing your fingers on the carpet fibers. The more difficult it is to reach the backing, the denser the carpet.

Or with outward facing tufts, bend the carpet into a U-shape and look at how much of the carpet backing is visible. The less backing that shows, the denser the carpet.