Simply put, a carpet’s pile refers to the yarn content above the backing – e.g., short pile or deep pile. Pile height, is measured from the surface of the carpet to the backing.
The location of the carpet needs to be considered when choosing the type of pile, as all carpets are designed for different degrees of wear.
Please see below for more information on Twist Pile, Loop Pile and Deep, Soft Pile.
"Twist" pile carpets are the most popular style of tufted carpet and are made from yarn that is tightly twisted and then ‘heat-set’. The application of steam during the heat setting process, gives the tight twist into the yarn, providing the carpet with a more textured effect and feel. Twist pile carpets usually come in three styles - either ‘plain’, ‘heathered’ (slightly mottled) or ‘flecked’.
Twist pile carpets can be made using wool or synthetic yarns, or sometimes a combination of the two. Wool Twist carpets are usually produced using a blend of 80% Wool with 10% Polyester, called ‘Tuftbond’. This melt polyester adds strength to the wool yarn and improves wear and appearance over time.
A number of factors affect the durability of a carpet. These are ‘pile weight’, which is the amount of yarn put into the wear surface of the carpet. Then there is the pile height, which is the height of the yarn above the backing. And finally, there is the ‘construction’ which is the number of stitches across the width and the length. The number of stitches per inch across the width, is known as the ‘gauge’.
All these together determine the overall feel and durability of the carpet. Short, dense pile carpets in a heavy pile weight are great for heavy traffic areas such as stairs. Whilst lighter pile weight carpets can be used for bedrooms, which are generally used less frequently, than other rooms in the house.