What is it that makescarpet such an enduring and popular flooring choice for so many people’s homes? Some might say that it’s the cozy, inviting look of carpet, and others might say that they appreciate the warmth and comfort it provides underfoot, but most people would agree that there’s nothing quite like the softness of a carpeted floor. Whether you’re lying on it to play with children or pets, sitting on it during a family movie night, or just walking across it throughout your day,a soft carpet is an undeniable benefit you won’t find with any other flooring type. But what exactly makes carpets soft? If you’ve ever been curious about how carpets are manufactured to create the softness you know and love, read on to learn more.
It’s helpful to start with a foundational understanding of the structure of carpet: this beloved household textile is made up of individual filaments or threads, which are bundled together to form fibers resembling yarn. These yarn-like fibers are then twisted around each other and attached to carpet backing, forming a loop of carpet fiber that is either left intact or cut to create distinct styles of carpeting, such as shag, frieze, or berber. Regardless of what the finished product is called or how it looks, the type of material used to create the carpet can have a significant impact on its softness.
Nearly all residential carpets are made of synthetic fibers, the most popular ones being nylon and polyester. More recently, carpet manufacturers have developed specialized synthetic materials, such as Olefin and Triexta, which are designed with the unique needs of flooring in mind. All of these materials offer softness, durability, andcolorfastness. To protect carpet from stains, many manufacturers choose materials that are inherently moisture-repellent to help insulate carpeting from liquid-based stains, and other carpet companies apply chemical treatments to finished carpeting in order to further protect it from staining.
Let’s take it down to a level of greater detail: the individual filaments that compose the carpet fibers. In the textile world, there’s a unit of measurement known as a denier number, and it refers to the thickness of the individual threads or filaments in a given material. A lower denier number denotes a finer material, and therefore an overall softer product (like the inverse of thread-counts for sheets). An average denier number for carpets ranges from 20-24, so it goes to reason that a lower number would yield an overall softer carpet, while a higher number would give you a carpet that’s relatively less soft. Another point of consideration - a lower denier, while making the carpet soft, also makes it less durable, since the individual threads aren’t as thick.
One common measure of how “plush” a carpet feels is based on its density. The industry standard for measuring carpet density is known as face weight, or how many ounces one square yard of carpeting weighs. When researching carpets, pay special attention that you’re not confusing face weight (carpet only) with total weight (carpet plus backing), as this will make it harder to achieve an apples-to-apples comparison. A high-density luxury carpet feels softer than a low-density carpet, and when paired with the proper carpet pad, a higher density carpet offers plenty of cushion and comfort, especially in bedrooms and relatively low-traffic areas of a home. But also beware, a high density carpet doesn’t always mean a soft carpet (think about a doormat - very dense and very rough).
When a carpet has high density combined with low denier, it means you get the super fine, soft filaments, and there are A LOT of them. This combination achieves both softness and durability and makes the highest quality carpet.
Another major factor in how soft a carpet feels is the final treatment of those loops we learned about earlier. If you’ve ever shopped for carpet, then you’ve likely heard the term “pile” before to describe carpeting, and it’s an important word that tells you about the final form those carpet looks take.
At MyFlooring, we’re big fans of all kinds of flooring, but we have a “soft spot” for carpets. We took our combined flooring industry experience and sought to bring the highest quality soft carpets to our customers without the added expense of a middle man or the added hassle of sales pitches, in-store shopping, or confusing pricing.
Our selection of carpeting includes a variety of face weights, fiber materials, and pile styles. Whether you’re looking for a luxuriously plush carpet (check out our Ecstatic collection), a quick fix for a house flip (our Flippin’ Great line is perfect for you), or a unique patterned look (you’ll love our Fancy Schmancy collection), we’ve got you covered. All our carpets are designed with your real life in mind -- they’re stain-resistant, durable, and come with no-nonsense warranties and your satisfaction guaranteed.
Now that you know everything there is to know about what makes carpet soft, you can make your cozy carpeting dreams come true from the comfort of your couch.Start shopping now!
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