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Carpet | How It's Made

Okanagan Hardwood Flooring carries some of the most beautiful carpets in the world, from some of the finest manufacturers.  In addition to installing wall-to-wall carpet, we can inlay carpet with wood and tile surrounds, as well as having the carpet cut and bound for a one-of-a-kind area rug.

It's lovely and soft underfoot, but do you know how carpet is made?  Here’s a brief overview:

Step 1: FIBRE

  • Loose strands of fibres, or “staples”, are collected and put into a hopper
  • Heated, lubricated and formed into slivers and then wound into a long fibre spool


  • Needles push the fibres through the underside of the carpet backing
  • A looper hook holds the fibres in place while the needle goes down into the backing, forming a loop
  • The manufacturing machines measure 3.65 metres wide and have between 800 to 1200 needles
  • For tufted carpet, the manufacturing process ends here.
  • For cut pile carpet, it goes through another step where the tufted carpet loops are cut into individual strands.

Step 3: DYEING

  • Depending on the desired look, many different varieties of dyeing are used.
  • The Beck process - the carpet is put into a vat of water after processing, and is boiled while the dyes are mixed in.
  • Continuous dyeing rolls and sprayed the dye onto the finished carpet.
  • Pre-dyeing is done before the carpet is processed, dyeing the yarn before it is tufted, allowing for a uniform colour.


  • The carpet is then washed, dried and vacuumed.
  • Loose piles are trimmed before being put on a conveyor belt, where it is inspected for any bare areas, which are filled in with a pile gun.

While there are many different fibres on the market, these are the most common:

  • Nylon – very durable fibre with good resiliency, abrasion resistance and yarn memory.  Good cleaning efficacy and stain resistance.  Continuous filament fibres minimize shedding and pilling, and most nylon carpet manufacturers use an anti-static treatment to minimize static.
  • Polypropylene or olefin – very popular due to its cost efficiency, it has superior stain resistance and is solution-dyed, so the colour is continuous throughout the fibre.  It can crush easier than other fibres, and the selection of colours is limited.  For use in areas that are not subject to heavy foot traffic.
  • Polyester – an abundance of colour variations available, this fibre is extremely fade resistant and is an excellent stain resister.  Look for high density, tight twisted fibres when choosing polyester, as low density will result in a flattened look after use.
  • PET | Polyethylene Terephthalate – the newest polyester fibre, made from PET chips which come from recycled plastic containers.  Naturally stain resistant, this fibre is stronger than regular polyester and has a better abrasion resistance.  Most forms are solution dyed and continuous filament. 


  • Wool - the premiere fibre, it has excellent resilience and durability and a range of beautiful colours to choose from.  The fibres are naturally stable, but care must be taken when cleaning to avoid wearing down the pile.  The most expensive of the carpet fibres.


  • Pile height is the length of the tuft measured from the primary backing to the yarn tips, shown as a fraction, or decimal equivalent
  • Shorter pile is more durable than longer pile.
  • The stitch rate measures how close the yarns are together.  Measured in penetrations, or tufts, in a given length of carpet, usually an inch. The rate is controlled by the speed the carpet is moved through the tufting machine, a good rate is from seven to eight tufts per inch.
  • Face weight is the actual amount of fibre per square yard, measured in ounces. A typical carpet may have a face weight of 35 to 45 oz.
  • The density is how tightly the yarn is stitched into the primary backing; the higher the density, the better it will wear.