Long ago, carpets were woven in intricate patterns with many colors of wool. Today, most homeowners buy tufted pile made of synthetic fibers. These durable, affordable carpets feature a wide variety of styles:
- Plush is the softest carpet. Unfortunately, it's the worst for showing footprints.
- Textured plush has fibers cut to different lengths, which is better at hiding footprints and dirt.
- Velvet or velour carpets have a smooth, close-cut pile.
- Sculptured carpets feature both high and low piles.
- Saxony has long, shaggy fibers and a textured look.
- Frieze is also known as hard-twist pile. The fibers are so twisted they curl.
- StainMaster carpets have a neutral electric charge that resists dirt, static electricity and dyes from spilled liquids.
Carpet comes in a variety of materials. Wool is the softest and most expensive choice. Moisture- and fade-resistant olefin is best for indoor/outdoor carpet. Other synthetic materials are soft to the touch and colorfast. Nylon lasts a long time. Polyester is bright and easy to clean. Triexta is a new polyester-type fiber that's engineered to be stain-resistant. PET carpets, made from recycled plastic bottles, offer strength, rich colors, stain-resistance and low static.
Now that you know the types of carpet and their lingo, on the next page, learn how to measure your rooms for carpet.