Your Abridged Carpet Guide

It’s not a an exaggeration to say that the world of carpets and flooring can get a tad complicated, what with so many variations and styles out there. Taking on carpet as a whole, to break down the many types, materials and styles available, we have put together a concise carpet guide which will take you through the basics.

Carpets consist of pile and backing. The pile is made up of the fibres and materials you can see on the surface, which are attached through various techniques and methods, like weaving, tufting and knotting, to the back/base. We’ll look into some styles which take on these methods below…





Cut pile carpet gets its name from the cutting of the fibre loops to make an even, straight pile that tends to be softer and more luxurious than loop types. See some cut pile types below…


A woven cut pile carpet named after the town in which it was and still is manufactured. The pile and backing yarns are woven together for a very sturdy result. These carpets tend to be on the high-quality, luxurious side.


Ulster Carpets Boho Hamilton in Tea Rose – an example of a woven axminster carpet


This pile type consists of yarn formed from two or more yarn strands twisted together.


A frieze carpet is formed from strands of yarn woven so tightly that they begin to curl or wave, creating a nice pattern and texture. This one is particularly great for hiding wear and tear – footprints in particular.


Shag carpets and rugs have a jagged appearance, as the fibre strands are so long that they don’t stand up or in a uniform shape; making them fall or lean over in various directions, creating a dishevelled appearance and texture. Great for a retro, 1970’s feel in the home and are hard-wearing underfoot.

Cascade Rug in Mink – an example of shag pile


This carpet’s defining characteristic is that the individual tips of each piece of yarn are visible on the surface, cut at a slight angle.


An incredibly soft feel and even exterior created from perfectly cut fibres gives plush/velvet carpet its tidy, sumptuous appearance.



As the name suggests, loop carpet is formed from yarns and fibres that are uncut, the loops left rounded, as they were when initially woven into the base. Because of the curved strands, this tends to a very durable surface, often preferred for public places and hotels.


Cormar Carpets Living Naturals – an example of a wool twist carpet


Often used interchangeably to describe loop pile carpets as a whole, a traditional Berber consists of heavy fibres that have specks of colour in the surface material, woven against another base colour.


Cormar Carpets Natural Berber Twist – an example of a berber carpet



This type of carpet combined loops and cut loops to create its texture and finish. This technique is great for creating decorative patterns and textures surfaces.




A high-end woven carpet constructed on a loom that results in tight-knit, even patterns, this textile can be cut pile, looped or a mix.

Brintons Majestic Carpet in Polished Silver – an example of a woven wilton


By interlacing fibres in connected loops, this technique results in the back and pile being created in one go via careful needlework.





Twist refers to how tightly the carpet fibres have been twisted. A high level would be between 6-9 twists per inch, whereas a regular level would be between 3-6. The twist count is important for cut pile carpets, because if the fibres are loosely twisted they will unravel easily, which will show as wear and tear or flattening on the surface.

Abingdon Flooring Aqua ProTec Classic Twist in Satin Silver – an example of a twist carpet



Self-explanatory, this refers to how many fibres exist in the carpet and how close together they are placed. The more there are, the more luxurious the feel; the tighter they sit together, the more durable the surface.



Generally speaking, most carpets will be made up of fibres crafted from the materials below, whether these be synthetic or natural. However there are more unusual materials like jute – a type of plant – available for those seeking alternatives to traditional textiles.

  • Wool
  • Silk
  • Polyester
  • Polypropylene
  • Nylon
  • Linen
  • Acrylic
  • Olefin


Though some fabrics have a natural level of stain-resistance, you can opt for a carpet treated with anti-spill technology, ensuring that even if you spill red wine or coffee, it sits on the surface where you can mop it up and doesn’t sink or soak into the material.


Abingdon Flooring Stainfree Carpet