tufted carpet


Tufted Carpet

Tufted carpet accounts for about 90 percent of all the carpet produced in the United States. Dalton Georgia is considered the tufted carpet capital of the world. Due to limited design possibilities, this type of carpet is usually plain or made up of two interwoven colors or a series of dots or crude shapes. Designs can, however, be printed on the surface.

In tufted carpet the pile material is stitched into an existing backing material, usually a synthetic product, and held in place with a latex adhesive, before a second layer of backing material is fixed to the latex for greater structural strength. The backing can be either a natural product, which will require a felt, or rubber, padding (also called underlay) which can be fitted directly over the floor. Although tufted carpet is not as strong as traditional types of carpet, the construction of tufted carpet is effective and inexpensive to produce. 

Tufted Carpet Features:

  • Tufted carpet is the most prevalent method for carpet fabric production (more than 90%)
  • A textural flexibility that is achieved with varying colors, surface textures, using various type of yarns, etc.
  • Tufted carpet allows for custom tufting and is available for specially designed carpet orders
  • Tufted carpet comes in various constructions: cut pile, level loop pile, cut and loop pile

Tufted Carpet Process

This is the process of creating textiles, especially carpet, using specialized multi-needle sewing machines. The machines push yams through a primary backing fabric and hold them in place to form clusters, or tufts, as the needles are withdrawn.

A. Loop pile - After the needle is withdrawn from the primary backing, the looper rocks back and leaves a loop.

B. Cut Pile - After the needle is withdrawn, the hook holds several loops while the knife cuts another loop against the sharpened edge of the hook.

C. Cut and loop - A cut and loop effect can be achieved by having separate cutting and looping systems under the machine. Precision cut/uncut and Velva loop carpets are examples. Another method uses a cut/loop machine with a spring-loaded hook.


This is the material into which carpet yam is tufted. The function of primary backing is to hold tufts in place during processing.

  • Woven backing - A fabric made from interlacing yams. Most primary backing used with Shaw carpets is woven. Yam that runs in the machine direction (see diagram) is called the warp; and yam running across the machine direction is called the pick, fill, or weft. When we refer to a backing as 24x 1 3, we mean 24 warp ends per inch and 13 pick ends per inch. The number of tufted stitches per inch dictates which pick backing is used.
  • Nonwoven backing - An assembly of textile fibers held together by chemical, thermal, or mechanical bonding. Nonwovens have an advantage over wovens in that they do not bow and skew easily. However, because they are so rigid, they tend to wrinkle easily.

See Also: Tufted Carpet Guide 

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