Bedroom with Frieze style carpet floors

Frieze carpeting upcloseOver the past 20 years, Frieze carpet has been among the most popular styles of carpet. Frieze carpet and Berber carpet are still the two top-selling styles in today’s market. One of the main reasons why both of those styles of carpet are still popular is due to the fact of both of them being trackless carpet styles.

Berber carpet and Frieze carpet hide vacuum cleaner sweeper marks and footprints. That doesn’t mean every Frieze carpet is free of footprints. All it means is that they can “hide” footprints much better than a cut pile or traditional Saxony styles do.

Real Frieze

There are many individuals who get confused between “actual” frieze styles of carpet and trackless or textured carpet styles that are sold as styles of frieze carpet. To completely understand what the differences are, please review our section on carpet construction.

However, there is a good chance you are just shopping for a trackless or textured carpet style instead of a real style of Frieze carpet. A majority of carpet wholesalers make the assumption that consumers want trackless or textured carpet when a customer requests Frieze.

There is a very high level of carpet twist with a correct Frieze. Each carpet tuft is comprised of two ply’s yarn that has been twisted together. A majority of carpet styles come with 3.5 to 5 twists (or turns) per inch.

By contrast, a frieze might have 7 to 9 turns per inch. This high level of carpet twist causes the carpet tuft to turn back on itself or kink which gives it a curled look.

A trackless carpet or textured carpet uses a different approach for achieving a similar appearance. A “stuffer box” yarn is used with these styles. It wads or pushes yarn inside a stuffer box and then steam is injected into the box, that results in a crimp being set into the yarn.

The twist level on a textured style might be 3.5 turns per inch. Once the yarn is wadded inside the stuffer box (into a wadded, tight ball) and hot steam in injected, the yarn gets forced out. A curled effect is produced. Once the yarn gets tufted into the form of a blanket, the yarn tips are oriented in various directions or lay over.

Light reflectance is reduced by the directional difference and amount of vacuum cleaner sweeper marks and footprints are reduced as well due to the light reflectance.

With cut pile carpet, yarns with no added texture, or straight set yarns, you can run your hand over the carpet pile, and the pile direction will change.

The pile direction change may give the perception that the color has changed due to light reflectance changes in the pile direction change.

Bedroom with Frieze style carpet floorsEven in the case of stuffer box yarns, there may be some amount of color change that is noticeable when there is a change in pile direction. Typically, you will tend to notice more color change with higher carpet densities on the stuffer box style.

Although Frieze carpet and trackless carpet have a similar appearance, the true frieze is a lot more expensive, and frieze carpet also has significantly better performance.

There is a greater tendency for stuffer box styles to lose their texture from foot traffic, compared to the high twist level (texture) that real frieze styles are made of. Although nylon fiber does have a good memory, wear and tear from foot traffic has a tendency to place a high burden on stuffer box yarns.

The Frieze that I have in my house is in its 14th year. By contrast, the textured carpet styles in my home are closing in on their second replacement. When you compare the costs per year, actually the prices are quite similar, except for my wife’s monthly claims that we need to change the color of the carpet in our bedroom.

The typical carpet retailer might have 20 trackless styles of carpet on display on their showroom floors for each frieze carpet style. Also, many carpet retailers might not have any actual Frieze styles of carpet on display since a majority of consumers don’t care for their dense textured, nubby appearance.

Although many consumers might use the name Frieze carpet for describing trackless carpet, they might need to specifically request a “correct frieze” whenever they are asking carpet retailers for Frieze carpet styles. A majority of carpet retailers have become used to consumers incorrectly seeking Frieze carpet instead of textured carpet.

tight woven berber carpeted floor

tight woven berber carpeted floorIn the global marketplace for carpets, some options remain ancient and popular. While genuine Oriental rugs remain rare and the province of the very wealthy, industrializing the process has allowed more and more people to own carpets that once would have been the exclusive territory of the rich.

Further, advances in materials technology have transformed these once fine carpets into cleaner, more colorful and more versatile home furnishings.

Though some of these rugs do use the ancient methods of carpet making, most people in the industrialized world use the more mass manufactured carpets made of stain resistant materials in less elaborate patterns as a mere matter of convenience of laying down and ease of cleaning, as well as being sold at a price most people can rather easily afford.

One such option for carpeting is Berber carpet. Berber carpets have a long and ancient history of the Berber ethnic group of North Africa.

While many people in the rural areas of Tunisia and Morocco and nearby areas that host Berber peoples still use the construction of handmade Berber carpets their primary source of income, these carpets are increasingly difficult to find in the industrialized world.

Though many people in North Africa and nearby regions have relatively uncomplicated access to genuine Berber carpets, though further afield have to make do with mass produced Berber carpets.

Berber style rugsBut there are some Berber carpets out in the world, whether hand made or constructed in a factory and each of those carpets has their ups and down for those willing to do the research into them.

Most of the differences in Berber carpets come from the variety of fabric textures, dyed colors and knotting patterns. Each of these factors can make a different type of carpet.

For instance, there are sand colored carpets with thick knots to create a coarse texture, elaborately patterned, multicolored carpets with small knots for a smoother texture and a seemingly unlimited variety of options in between these extremes.

Traditional Berber carpet made in historically Berber regions of North Africa and the Sahara is known as Mergoum which uses the ancient weaving methods that are exclusively wool based and watched closely by government inspectors to maintain the local cultural identity.

More modern industrial produced Berber carpets use a loop pile construction method to create an appearance quite similar to the distinctive knot style patterns of a traditional Berber rug.

The most frequently used forms of Berber carpet are nylon, olefin fiber, and wool. While nylon and olefin fibers are the least expensive, many people with the funds to do so acquire genuine wool carpeting. The downside of wool is that it is harder to clean and has a hard time incorporating modern methods of resisting staining.

Staining aside, it is a very durable carpet that is typically used in high traffic areas of buildings, such as offices and schools. It needs to be cleaned in a very specific way, but many cleaning companies are more than ready to use the right methods of cleaning Berber carpet.