BREIF HISTORY OF CARPETS
In Latin the word Carpet, meaning too pluck or seize, evolved into Carpet, originally made of wool, these wool floor coverings date back into the Neolithic area. Introduced in India as far back as the 11th century, the Mughal emperors brought along with them Persian artisans.
Since then carpets in India have evolved in many designs, various sizes, from small rugs to wall to wall carpet covered flooring, with a variety of colours and materials.
Carpeting with its acoustical and insulating properties brought about a quiet and warmth to any setting. Carpeted floors keep rooms warmer in winter and cooler in summer, while they can be suitable for any climate, the types of materials vary with the climates
A lot has changed in the carpet world, they surround us everywhere, from office buildings, shopping malls, to small and large commercial installations and nothing pulls a living room together than the right rug.
The first thing to consider while shopping for a new carpet/rug is a budget, the price varies with material, style and size. Generally lowest quality and least expensive are also the most common, while they hold up well in guest room, they won’t hold up in a family/living room with the added foot traffic.
Many carpets are made in good-better-best qualities. The same style might be sold in different weights or qualities. This way, one can install the same colour and pattern in different weights throughout your home, depending on the amount of traffic each area receives.
Overall, you’ll save money, by putting the heaviest quality (best) on the stairs and in the family room. The medium quality (better) might go in the hallways, living and dining rooms. And you could put the lightest quality (good) in the bedrooms. It all looks the same to one’s eye, but each area in your home gets the “right” carpet.
The second thing most people decide on is the general colour scheme of the carpet. Colour is important when you consider that what’s on your floor will influence the other colour choices for that room or your entire home.
While choosing the right colour is a personal decision. choosing the right fiber type for your home, depends on the location of the carpet in your home, an example of a carpet in the kitchen exposing it to moisture, while some fibres tolerate moisture, some don’t.
Carpets are made using four main types of fiber: wool, nylon, polyester. Each has advantages and disadvantages.
Used in rugs and clothing for centuries, it still remains the only natural fiber used in wall to wall carpeting today. Wool used in clothing and that used in carpets come vastly different sheep breeds.
Being a scarce material, wool is expensive, and usually blended with other fibres like nylon or acrylic. Allowing you to get the characteristics of a wool carpet but the cost is lower. While soft and luxurious, wool also wears and cleans well. Its fiber structure hides dirt, it is also hypo-allergenic material, and comes in a wide variety of styles and colours.
But, in addition to its cost, wool stains easily. Also, it must be made in heavier weights as compared to the synthetic fibres to wear equally as well.
Chemists have formulated synthetic carpet fibres from petroleum for decades. Nylon was the first commercially successful synthetic carpet fiber. It wore extremely well. Earlier generations of nylon fiber also stained badly. Chemists spent years figuring out how to make nylon fiber more stain resistant. Stain master brand nylon hit the market in the late ‘80’s and changed the carpet industry. You can now, put light colours of carpet in heavily used rooms and maintain it much more easily.
Today, virtually all synthetic fibres are stain resistant, but none of these fibres claims to be stain proof.
Nylon carpet comes in a wide variety of colours and styles. It is very resilient. This means that when you walk on it, the fibres “bounce back”. The trend is towards ultra-soft fibres. Nylon is tough- it wears well, cleans easily. And has low static levels. You can use it in any type of home and anywhere in the home — low traffic rooms, high traffic areas, budget homes as well as fancy homes.
Polyester (PET) has a green story. Most of the polyester used in carpets is made from recycled bottles. In fact, billions of bottles each year are diverted from landfills, melted, and turned into carpet fiber!
Polyester fiber is solution dyed (dyeing while still in a melted state) this process puts the colour in the molecular structure of the fibre. Solution dyed fibres are extremely colourfast even in strong sunlight. This fibre is very stain resistant to almost all household spills and cleans well. Generally, polyester carpet costs less than nylon carpet.
Polyester carpets have few drawbacks. It lacks in resilience in comparison to nylon. Once badly crushed, it will not “bounce back” like nylon.
Furniture marks are much more difficult to remove. Polyester carpets must be made in heavier weights to perform as well as nylon carpet. While water-based spills come right out, oil-based spills are more difficult to remove.
Once you have understood the items to consider, purchasing a carpet should be an enjoyable overall experience, that lasts for the decades.