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Construction Basics

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The specific construction or manufacturing method of a carpet affects both its appearance and performance. Most carpet is made by one of four methods: 

  • Tufted carpet is made on a high-speed machine that stitches big loops of yarn through the backing fabric. A latex coating locks the loops in place, and then a secondary backing material is applied for strength and stability. Over 90 percent of the broadloom carpet made in North America is tufted. It’s efficient and less expensive to produce than woven carpet, and offers consumers a complete range of styling.
  • Woven carpet construction is similar to woven fabric. The pile, weft, and warp yarns interlace on the loom, allowing for wide versatility of design. Velvet plush, Axminster, and Wilton carpets are all woven.
  • Needle-punched carpet is made by punching layers of fiber through a mesh fabric by thousands of barbed needles. The result is a felt-like carpet. This type of carpet was developed first for indoor-outdoor use. It’s relatively durable, but limited in available styles.
  • Hand-knotted carpets and rugs have been made for centuries, primarily in the Middle East and China, mostly of wool fibers. Commonly referred to as Oriental rugs, they follow distinct traditions of color and pattern and are usually very expensive.

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