The texture of the carpet determines the style of the room where it is used. With a cut-out pile Saxony-style carpet or a Berber carpet having a warm look at the first glance, you can create different atmospheres.
Carpet textures are directly related to the pile type of the carpet. The machine carpets have three basic carpet weaves, the cut pile, the loop pile and the combination of these two.
In cut pile carpets, the fibers are collected at the top of the carpet surface. Pile depth varies from short and straight, to long and shaggy. If hard bending fibers are used, a tight and hard texture occurs on the carpet. Cutting the fibers can result in a carved appearance. Cut pile is used in Axminster, Wilton or tufted carpets.
In loop pile carpets, the fiber is left uncut and a loose and shaggy or hard and tight surface can be obtained depending on the length and type of the fiber. It is usually used in Wilton type and tufted carpets. Such carpets are produced to prevent the formation of footprints. The presence of different lengths of fiber loops provides a carved appearance.
In the case of cut and loop pile carpets with a carved appearance, only certain loops are cut and a smooth carpet surface can be obtained. In order to achieve full performance in areas with heavy traffic, the carpet pile must be flexible and sufficiently dense. The quality of the carpet is determined by the density of the fiber and the loop.
Table of Contents
- Carpet Texture Types
- Pile Height: Building Block of Carpet Textures
- Formation of Carpet Textures: Carpet Weaving Techniques
- Carpet Texture Designs: Carpet Patterns
- From Past to Present: Anatolian Carpet Designs, Patterns, and Motifs
Carpet Texture Types
There are mainly 3 carpet texture types classified based on the pile type of the carpet, named as cut-pile, loop-pile, and cut & loop pile carpets. However, beyond these 3 models, there are some other carpet texture subtypes as well. Most common ones are Shaggy, Saxony, Frieze, Velour and Berber type carpets.
Cut Pile Carpets
Cut pile is a carpet texture with a surface consisting of cut pile yarns. One of the most popular production techniques of today, the cut pile carpet is very durable due to the factors such as the type of yarn used in the construction, the density of the clusters and the number of knots.
The cut pile carpet consists of yarn cut from the ends. The reason for the differences in the cutting pile varieties is due to the amount of twist in the yarns. There are four kinds of cut piles: velvet or plush, frize (thin hair), saxony (fine wool fabric), shaggy (coarse-haired).
Plush texture; consist of both formal and luxurious yarns which is cut at the same height. Plush can either be long or short plush. Long haired plush shows footprints in dense areas and mat over time. Short-haired plush is more resistant to matting than long-haired plush. Shading may occur where the carpet’s direction changes, as well as where different coloring appears.
Shading, which can be seen on all machine-woven cut pile carpets, is not a manufacturing error. Unevenness on the floor often leads to (optical) shading as a result of different reflections of light on the surface of the carpet. It would be useful to examine the booklet titled “Shading in Carpets” prepared by an international research group.
Tufted cut pile carpets are woven with tufting method using polyamide, polyester, acrylic and wool yarns. Made of ready-made fiber, the yarns are cut with a knife to produce a soft and flexible surface. The back surface of the material that is woven at a specific pile height is covered with glue (latex, calcite) and then the textile base, also called the second base used as the protective coating, is laminated.
Different from the loop pile carpet weaving, after the needle enters and exits the surface to which it touches, the yarns are cut with machine blades. Thus, a soft surface is formed. To keep the cut stitches fixed, the tufting carpets are coated with latex and suchlike materials. Today, this type of carpets are very common. Plush, Shaggy and recently developed 3D textured carpets are produced with this technology.
Tufting carpet features are can be listed as follow: The carpets woven in this way are generally shorter in pile length. The reason for this is to emphasize the pattern. Tufting carpets can be cleaned easily. They reinforce comfort and warmth feelings.
Loop Pile Carpets
Loop pile carpets are carpets which are woven by needling using yarns such as polypropylene, soft nylon, or polyamide. The most important feature of these carpets is their round pile. The surface weaving of the carpet is not cut. The loops appear aesthetically pleasing because of their symmetrical arrangement. There are varieties such as flat curls, patterned curls, scrool curls, and printed curls. After weaving the carpets, the bases are covered with a latex or textile base. The disadvantage of these carpets is that they are quickly deformed due to the roundness of the pile.
Carpet yarn is woven in rings and is left like that. Those whose rings (loops) are thick are called Berber loops. Standard loop pile carpets are often considered to be the lowest quality products. However, the stitches of such carpets are of the same length. This type of carpets, which have a comfortable appearance, can be used in parts of your home that do not need a luxury view, are subject to heavy traffic and require high durability because of their high strength. They are especially suitable for stair steps.
Loop pile includes threaded and uncut yarns. During the production of many carpets, the process starts with loop piles. Major types of loops are the flat-loop pile and the multi-flat loop pile. Both are durable in high traffic areas.
The flat-loop pile is of the same height and uncut, which makes the surface of the carpet both smooth and flat. The multi-flat loop is composed of loops of different heights, with two or three elevations being common. Because these height differences form a carved pattern, the carpet surface appears to be carved. Carved surface texture is often used in semi-formal environments.
The most important feature of these carpets is their round pile. The surface weaving of the carpet is not cut. They are aesthetically pleasing since they have symmetrical patterns. The advantage of these carpets is that they are very durable due to the roundness of the pile. All models belonging to Loop Pile Carpets are Antistatic, Antibacterial and Antiallergic.
Cut and loop carpets (relief carpets), with their dominant texture of high-cut piles (Saxony), have low loop pile islands creating different patterns by forming contrasts. They have a very modern and assertive look. They are ideal for bedrooms and lounges.
At the same time, there are many different surface textures, which are combinations of cut pile and loop pile. For example; the cut pile carpet is made by cutting the high stitches up to the lower stitch level. This type requires both densely structured and heat-stabilized yarns to resist matting in high-use areas.
In the production stage of cut and loop carpets, cut-end yarns and uncut-end yarns are used on the same surface. Polyester, polypropylene and polyamide yarns, which are prepared by computerized machines, used to weave carpets which provide pattern formation by needling method. When the needles come in and out on the woven cloth, the cut and uncut ends are woven at different pile heights.
The difference between the trimmed surface and the untrimmed yarn tone adds a different feel to the carpet. The back surface of the woven product is coated with an adhesive (latex, calcite mixture), then the protective coating (such as the backing or the textile base) is laminated. The high pile section is named as cut pile tufted and the low pile is named as the uncut loop.
Relief carpets are formed by cutting some of the pile surfaces that are woven in the machine and leaving the others uncut. They have soft and textured surfaces. The most important reason for the long-lasting softness and hairy appearance is that some loops are longer and the others are shorter. Even if the long ones are deformed over time, short loops can stay as new as the first day since no one steps on them.
The advantages of this texture are:
– Warm transitions can be created with different shades of a color.
– You can add movement to the place with this type of carpet having a textured surface.
– Thanks to the color of the surface, you can easily hide dirt and stains.
According to their general appearance, long, thick, hairy and fur like carpets can be called as shaggy carpets. The pile length of the shaggy carpets is generally between 3 and 5 cm.
Their yawns are thick and optionally twisted or straight. When selecting the fiber used, it is important to ensure that the yarn is soft and provides a comfortable contact with the carpet.
Shaggy carpets at first glance resemble the appearance of a fur but can be made to any size. The yarns used in these carpets do not cause any allergies and do not contain any harmful substances to human and environmental health.
Shaggy carpets are a completely different type of carpets that differ from the usual classic carpet style. Patterns are produced in two groups as modern and geometric lines and, of course, there is an exotic color combination of long hairs. The first group is the carpet group consisting of bright vibrant colors and the second group consists of dark, pastel colors.
Shaggy carpets can meet your demands if you want a carpet that protects your room directly from the concrete flooring. They are woven in the same way as Frieze carpets. However, the hair is looped too much to create a curly appearance. In addition, a softer texture is obtained since they are woven more loosely. In recent years, it has become one of the most popular carpet textures in the world.
Shaggy carpets have a coarse hairy carpet surface texture which is made of long twisted yarns cut to the same length. The longer the coarse hair, the greater the tendency towards matting. Rough hairy carpets are more suitable for low traffic places and informal environments.
The carpet piles of Saxony carpets are firstly woven as ring-shaped and then cut into a vertical shape. It has a smooth and luxurious surface. It is one of the most common and most widely used carpet textures in the world. It is also very durable. You can use it anywhere in your home.
In Saxony-level textures, densely cut heavy yarns are specially processed to be separate feather-like, while plush yarns are blended together.
Like the Saxony type carpets, the piles are first formed into a ring shape and then cut. However, the surface of the carpet is roughened by slightly twisting the pile at a low level. The main purpose here is to hide footprints. These carpets, produced at a fairly high frequency, are suitable for high traffic areas. They are usually preferred in living rooms and hallways.
Frieze is composed of tightly twisted ropes and gives a lumpy appearance. Frieze yarns are more twisted than plush and are not always upwards. Frieze carpets are highly reinforced rugs, so they don’t wear out easily in high traffic places.
One of the most important features of the carpet is the comfort felt. The velour carpets are similar to the velvety in a structural manner, with their soft structure where thin flement yarns are clustered to form a texture.
The carpet surfaces having certain length cut ends and a smooth weave type is called velour carpets. Carpets with velvety texture, produced with the tight touch of thin capillary fiber yarns, are also called velur carpets.
Velur carpets are thinner and often woven quite thick using a single layer of yarn. They have smooth surfaces. Generally, they are very easy to clean because their piles are short. They can be used anywhere in your home. In particular, they are ideal for children’s rooms.
Berber carpets are loop pile carpets clustered with thick yarns such as wool, nylon or olefin. They usually consist of a contrasting random color point and has a relaxing surface.
However, they create an informal image. Today, Berber pile term is used to describe multilayered loop carpet styles.
Pile Height: Building Block of Carpet Textures
The pile is the height of the loop that is connected to the warp (the length of the loop). The pile surface of the carpet should be cut properly. The carpets are generally cut with a sequential shear cutter. When cutting, care is taken to make the base of the scissors contact the warp yarns. Thus, the pile height of each row will be the same.
The process of shearing the carpet should be done by the same person with the same scissors until the carpet weaving is finished. Silk and wool-silk carpets should be cut more carefully. Because the piles of these carpets are not sheared later, it is necessary to do a nice cut.
It should be kept in mind that cost is as important as the quality of the carpets produced. Considering material prices and carpet costs, the carpet pile (loop length) is important for avoiding waste. According to the characteristics of the carpet, the length of the loop should be adjusted as it should not be too long. Pile height is often short in quality carpets where the number of loops increases.
If the cut loops are lengthened by the thickness of the blade in each row, the amount of the yarn thread is increased. For this purpose, the loops need to be cut in two rows in wool carpets. According to the quality and type of carpet to be produced, the appropriate scissor selection should be made.
The scissors must be sharp, made of quality steel, the sharpening angle should be between 70-75 °. The scissors must be ground with a round felt prepared with sandpaper powder.
Formation of Carpet Textures: Carpet Weaving Techniques
There is a wide range of carpet textures and structures like cut pile carpets (single rapier, double repier, three rapier weaving structures), loop pile carpets, loop + cut pile carpets, sisal looking carpets and so on as I mentioned before. All types of carpets have their own properties and application areas.
Face to Face Weaving
Cut pile carpets are woven with this technique. Cut pile carpets are the most popular carpet type. The patterns are characterized by color types. In addition to new styles, the old style carpets can be woven with this method as well.
In face to face carpet weaving technique, two carpets are woven simultaneously as one upper and one lower carpet. In order to achieve this, the yarns forming the two separate bases and the yarns forming the pile surface are simultaneously woven and this produced structure is cut again with the cutting device on the machine and the top carpet and the lower carpet are obtained.
Sisal Look Carpet Weaving
Sisal look carpets are carpets with cut pile and ground effect combination. In this type of carpets, pile-forming yarns float on the ground and create effects by connecting at certain intervals.
Sisal-looking carpets are natural-looking rugs having natural colors (beige, brown, black, white) started to be produced following a growing interest and tendency towards nature. Sisal carpets mostly have a surface made of polypropylene and wool, but these materials appear as sisal. They can be used as a wall to wall or as a piece carpet.
Sisal-looking carpets generally have a small variety of colors. The surface consists of loops formed on one or more thick weft yarns. These thick wefts give the carpet a relief image. Pile yarns used can be polypropylene, acrylic or wool. Top and bottom carpets are not connected to each other and therefore there is no need for a cutting device.
This is a well-known weaving technique. It is used for wall-to-wall carpet weaving with high-quality loop piles, cut piles, or combinations of both. In this weaving technique, the loops or pile are formed on the metal bars which are removed after. (In both cycles, the weft is inserted into the opening of the mouthpiece. During the removal of the rods, if there is a knife on the rod, the appearance of a cut pile, if there is not, the appearance of a loop pile is obtained. The wire carpets are one-sided.
Loop Pile Weaving
This technique is a recently developed weaving technique for weaving loop pile carpets at high speeds. It is produced as a piece of carpet as well as a wall to wall carpet.
Carpet Texture Designs: Carpet Patterns
The carpets, which are artworks made of yarn, sometimes appear to be an insignificant detail, but they are the most important decorative material that changes your house completely. You can easily choose what you want among hundreds of carpets that will reflect your lifestyle to your home.
Different carpet patterns are one of the easiest ways to reflect your style. You can choose the carpet suitable for you among patternless carpets, carpets with patchwork patterns, shaggy carpets, summer carpets etc based on several factors, most importantly the usage area of the carpet.
The symmetrical carpet patterns that you will use on flat floors add movement to the environment. Smoother carpet patterns are also suitable for simplifying vigorous floors. To catch the popular decoration trends in your home, you can also enjoy the combination of soft-colored carpets with pretty floral patterns.
In smaller areas in size, choosing one of the small-sized carpets among the patterned carpet models helps you to get people’s attention on a single point. In larger areas, preferring larger carpets softens the appearance of the room. The choice of patternless carpets in small areas creates a more intimate and warm atmosphere. In large areas, small patterned carpets collect all the attention to the section you want to emphasize.
Language of Carpet Motifs
Motifs can be examined in four different topics according to the purposes they serve:
- Motifs describing birth and reproduction
- Motifs representing life (motifs of life, the foundations of life and protection of life)
- Motifs about immortality and family
- Motifs of death
The person who weaves the carpet starts with the motifs related to the birth, continues by involving the motifs that symbolize life and ends the weaving with the death motifs. Looking at the carpet, it is possible to see every detail of life.
The occurrence of the motifs is all about communication. The language of the carpet motifs arose based on their psychological effects rather than aesthetic purposes.
Motifs About Reproduction and Birth
- Hands on the hips: This motif represents motherhood and fertility. Located in Ankara, Turkey near Ahlatlıbel, the Goddess Queen statue of 3000 BC is thought to be the source of this motif.
- Cleat: This motif symbolizes masculinity, courage, and power. Horned ram figure is used in different variations in many different regions. The bronze cleat is a symbol of Phrygia. The tombstones built in the form of ram also represent eternity. When these symbols were adapted to the carpets, this motif arose.
- Fertility: This motif symbolizes the relationship between women and men and the process of reproduction. Barley, melon, watermelon, grape and pomegranate motifs are other motifs that represent fertility.
- Human figure: This motif was used to keep the memories of certain people alive. The oldest human figure was seen in Pazyryk carpets. Some human figures symbolize children, reflecting the wish to have children. Sometimes this figure is used to commemorate a child who died.
- Hairband: This motif represents marriage. A small hair motif added to the woven carpet reflects the desire for immortality.
- Earrings: Earrings are an unchanging marriage gift for many years. A woman who adds an earring motif to the carpet she weaves gives her family the message that she is willing to marry.
- Shackles: The motif of the shackles symbolizes the willingness, loyalty, and the commitment of lovers to each other for the continuity of love.
- Chest: This chest represents the dowry chest given to a woman before marriage. Since the items collected in the dowry will be used in the women’s house in the future, this motif shows the expectations of the future and the desire to have a child.
- Love and unity: This motif, an ancient symbol of the Far East, represents homosexuality. In Anatolia, this motif was applied by using contrast colors in the sense of day and night. The use of contrasting colors symbolizes that nothing is simple in nature. Double numbers, especially 2, symbolize fertility in Anatolia.
- Star: The star is the symbol of happiness and does not symbolize the stars in the sky. In the expression of the sky, dragons, phoenix, cloud figures are used.
Motifs of Life
- Flowing water motif: Water is one of the basic needs of life and has always been used. This motif has been used to represent the longing for water in the drought areas.
- Wolf’s mouth, wolf, monster, scorpion, snake: In prehistoric times, people living in caves were afraid of wild animals and felt safe using each animal as a motif.
- Talismans and amulets: It is believed that there is a force in the eyes of some people, and their eyeshots are believed to cause evil, harm, misfortune and even death. Amulets and talismans are various objects that reduce the effect of these evil eyes.
Motifs of Immortality and Family
- The tree of life: This motif was believed to protect life and property. Tree motifs are generally encountered in cultures that believe in monotheistic religions. They represent belief in the afterlife. There is also a bird motif commonly used in carpets. It is believed to fly over the tree of life when the time of death comes.
- Family: In many cultures, families, nomad families, tribes and nations are explained with symbols. These motifs can be found in many places, from gravestones to carpets.
Motifs of Death
- Bird motifs: Bird motifs have many distinctive meanings in different cultures. Owl and raven are often regarded as evil signs, while birds such as pigeons, nightingales and sparrows are signs of goodness. Though they represent love, pleasure, and happiness, birds also represent the soul of the dead. Bird motif can also be used as a religious symbol which represents the desire to have information about the future.
From Past to Present: Anatolian Carpet Designs, Patterns and Motifs
Old carpets have gained importance with their messages beyond their intended use. These carpets, rugs, saddlebags, etc. are full of symbolic messages that reflect the expectations, mental states, aspirations, sufferings, beliefs, and memories of the weavers.
There is a need for extensive studies to reveal the categorical understanding of the individual meanings and pattern characteristics of each of these patterns and motifs.
Anatolian Carpet Motifs
Motifs are one of the elements of composition seen on carpets and rugs. This varies from the smallest and the simplest to the most perfect shape, like a medallion. Motifs come together to form patterns. Patterns and motifs emerge in various forms and become traditional.
Motifs inspired by natural environment are lakes and rivers, plant motifs are trees, leaves, branches, flowers, cones, motifs of living beings seen in the environment are bird species, snakes, centipedes, scorpions, frogs, turtles, sheep, dogs, cows, etc., motifs of tools are combs, pitchers, crates, beads, mirrors, etc., motifs inspired by the environment are tent, house, posts, road, human body, hands, head.
It is possible to categorize the most commonly used motifs in Anatolian textiles as follows:
The most commonly used animal motif is the bird motif. Dragon, scorpion, snake, wolf mouth, wolf and insect motifs are also used.
Tree, leaf, flower and fruit motifs are used.
They are the most preferred motif types due to their ease of weaving. The most common shapes are triangle, quadrangle, rectangle, and rhombus.
Medallion, badge, hook, column font, letter, stamp etc. are used.
They are the motifs that symbolize the nature forces, feelings and emotions of the weaver. This group consists of birds, the tree of life, hand, comb, ewer, oil lamp and so on.