Sam Presnell of the Rug Gallery discusses different types of carpet texture and how you can choose the best type of carpet texture for your unique needs.
John Maher: Welcome to The Rug Gallery with Sam Presnell. The Rug Gallery is an Oriental rug company and carpet store in Cincinnati, Ohio. I'm John Maher, and I'm here with the owner of the Rug Gallery Sam Presnell. Hi, Sam.
Sam Presnell: Hi John.
John: Today we're talking about the different types of carpet texture. What are some of the different types of carpet textures that are available now?
Loop and Cut Carpet
Sam: Texture is a pretty broad scope and can be anything as far as how it looks or [how it] feels. When you find a loop carpet, will be totally different than something that's got [what is called] a cut pile or a level carpet or a velvet or plush carpet. It has a different feel and has a more formal, dressier [look] than a loop carpet, [which] has a more casual, more relaxed type of a look. Then today we'll also take loop [carpet] and we'll cut part of the loop in order to create a design into it, and that's very popular. Usually, you'll see the mosaics or the Turkish or Moroccan designs by cutting the loops and putting [in] designs. That's all one-colored, but it looks like it's two-colored because the way light perceives off the loop, and then as you cut it, it absorbs the light and looks darker. That's very common for as far as texture.
Other types of [carpet texture include] shag of course. Shag has many different looks to it. You can mix so many different [types of yarn] together. You can mix really skinny filaments which [put a] shine into with really heavy filaments that produce a special look to it. We can use carpet fiber, [which] looks like ribbon. You have a really whole different look to the feeling of that carpet and the way it appears. There are so many types of shags. You can go real thick shags [or] you can go thin shags. Patterned carpets like Oriental rugs, you’re seeing where they're basically taking out some of the pile. You're seeing some of the design exposed from the pile and then the rest of it's almost all the way down to the back. We call that a vintage look and that's very popular today in very high-end rugs today. Basically, that's done by chemically treating the wool and makes it get eaten up. Then the silk or viscose or whatever's on top will stay up.
John: Does that create a bit of a pattern and a certain shape on the rug?
Sam: Yes. You definitely can weave any pattern with that as long as you're weaving. Whether it's machine made or handmade, you can do that, but the big thing is there's a chemical that's applied that really oxidizes, that takes the wool out. Basically, it eats up the protein.
Most Popular Types of Carpet Texture
John: Okay. Is one type of carpet texture more preferable than another?
Sam: As far as rugs go, [vintage] is very popular. I'm seeing a lot of looped with pattern that is also very popular. A lot times, it looks like there's almost an embroidery over the top of the loop, which gives the pattern some designs. It's usually two to three colors and [is] very attractive and very cool looking. We're also seeing some products that are basically even carved by hand, which gives that high, low type effect to the pile, and that's also a really cool texture. It's very expensive, but very nice looking.
How to Choose the Right Carpet Texture for Your Home
John: What should a customer keep in mind when they're choosing a carpet texture? What are some of the reasons that you might choose one over another?
Sam: Definitely performance. I think you're right, you want to pick different carpet for different rooms [that] you're expecting different performance out of. That's always my big key thing, is making sure that you get enough information from the consumer. [You want to know] how much traffic [they have] and what are they expecting out of it. Do they want something that basically looks good for [a] reasonable [price], but not really worried about performance? Are they looking for something that's going to be bulletproof? Definitely loop products, very pulled down type products are going to perform better than something that's very plush or something that's shaggy or something that's got texture to it. It feels almost like a shag, but maybe it isn't.
John: Right. It's going to depend on, like you said, the customer's needs. You might have an area of your house that doesn't get a lot of traffic and you might look for one type of texture. In another room that's going to be higher traffic or maybe you have your kids [that] are going to be crawling around and laying on the floor and you want to have a certain texture because of that. Really trying to find out what the customer wants and choose the carpet that best suits them is probably the most important thing.
John: Yes, the big thing today is the softness of carpet. You can see a lot of soft carpets out there that people love to feel, but then they're not going to perform in those traffic's lanes where they expect. You need some help in that area.
John: Okay. That's great information, Sam. Thanks again for speaking with me today.
Sam: You're welcome John. Thank you.
John: For more information about Sam, The Rug Gallery and Oriental Rugs and Carpets, visit ruggallerycincy.com or call (513) 793-9505. Make sure you catch the latest episodes of this podcast by subscribing on iTunes. If you could take the time to give us a review as well, we'd appreciate that. I'm John Maher. See you next time on The Rug Gallery.