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glossary

Glossary

Navigating and understanding the world of custom rugs and carpet can seem daunting. Our glossary of common terms found on our site is here to help. If you still have questions, please don't hesitate to reach out to our Customer Service Team.

Anywhere Weaves: Our Anywhere weaves are made from synthetic, durable materials and do not have a backing, making them perfect for indoor or outdoor use. When used indoors, the use of a rug pad is recommended. You can view our selection of synthetic Anywhere woven rugs and carpet here.

Backing: The backing of a rug or carpet is the material on the underside of the pile, which provides structural stability, durability, and shape retention. It plays a crucial role in the overall performance and longevity of the carpet or rug. There are typically two types of backings:

  • Primary Backing is the first layer where the yarns are tufted, woven, or bonded to create the surface design of the carpet. The primary backing material needs to be strong enough to hold the yarns in place while allowing for the penetration of the tufting needles during manufacturing. It is usually made from woven or non-woven synthetic fabrics, such as polypropylene or polyester.

  • The Secondary Backing is attached to the primary backing to add strength, dimensional stability, and to help the carpet maintain its shape over time. The secondary backing is often made from a sturdier material than the primary backing and can be made from jute, polypropylene, or a synthetic latex.

Binding: The process of placing cloth material around the edges of a rug and stitching the material on with a binding or commercial sewing machine so that your area rug does not unravel or become frayed. Also referred to as an applied border, a binding or border will enhance your rug’s appearance, prolong the life of your rug, and is necessary for most of our rugs. To see our options, including cloth borders, corner options, and serged edges, please see our Rug Border & Binding Guide resource page.

Binding Width: Refers to the amount of cloth binding that will show on the face of your rug. This does not add any "width" to the rug because the binding is adhered to and wrapped around the edge of the rug. The on-face reveal is often determined by style and taste. Your rug binding width will be determined when ordering

Border: Also referred to as binding, is a cloth material that is applied to the edges of an area rug so that your area rug does not unravel or become frayed. A border will enhance your rug’s appearance, prolong the life of your rug, and is necessary for most of our rugs. To see our options, including cloth borders, corner options, and serged edges, please see our Rug Border & Binding Guide resource page.

Broadloom: Broadloom or wall-to-wall is carpet that has been woven on a wide loom and usually refers to buying raw material off the roll. The standard width for broadloom is 13 feet but can range between 6 feet and 16 feet wide. For broadloom that is wider than the standard 13', browse our collection of Extra-Wide weaves. Broadloom is versatile and can be used in wall-to-wall installations (think bedrooms or living rooms), stair installations, or large gathering spaces.

Coir: Also known as coco fiber, is taken from the fibrous husk that surrounds the common coconut. This is the stuff you see used for welcome mats and it is very durable. Our coir collection includes walk-off or welcome mats as well as coir-sisal blends that make beautiful and durable rugs and carpet. 

Curl Stop: A unique anti-rug curling product that attaches to the underside of your rug corners (not your floor) and keeps the rug corners flat. Installation is quick and easy.

Custom Rug: An area rug that you create from one of our hundreds of weaves. Many rug vendors sell only standard-sized rugs. We let you decide the dimensions, style, and finishings so that your new purchase will blend beautifully with your decor and space. Read our "What Size Rug Do I Need" resource to learn more about custom rugs.

Delamination: Delamination refers to the separation of a rug or carpet's layers, typically between the primary backing (to which the fibers are tufted or woven) and the secondary backing (usually a sturdier material added for strength and dimensional stability). This results in issues like ripples, bulges, or wrinkles in the carpet, making it look unsightly and potentially creating tripping hazards. It can also lead to the carpet's accelerated deterioration, as the structural integrity and dimensional stability of the carpet are compromised. This issue can occur due to various factors, including poor quality adhesive, excessive moisture, improper installation, or wear and tear over time.

Dimensional Stability: When a carpet is called "dimensionally stable," it means it is less likely to stretch, shrink, ripple or distort over time, maintaining its shape and size even under varying conditions such as changes in temperature, humidity, foot traffic, and cleaning processes. Carpets with high dimensional stability contribute to a safer and more durable flooring option, reducing the need for frequent re-stretching or adjustments and extending the overall life of the carpet.

Dry Carpet Cleaning Kit: A product designed to clean and help maintain the life of your wool or sisal carpet. These kits are available through retailers on the internet. Click here to read more about dry carpet cleaning kits.

Fusion Bonded: Fusion bonding is a carpet construction process in which the pile yarns or fibers are directly bound to a backing material using heat and adhesives. A fusion bonded carpet is highly durable, resistant to wear and tear, dimensionally stable and resists delamination. Fusion bonding allows for complex and detailed patterns that can be more precisely controlled than in tufted or woven carpets.

Jute: The jute fiber is obtained from the stalks of several species of plants from the corchorus genus that are grown in hot, humid climates. Jute is sustainably grown and completely biodegradable. Our jute is selected for fiber length, flexibility, strength, and luster, and is carefully spun to produce strong, consistent yarns that feel soft underfoot. Recommended for light-traffic residential applications, our jute weaves are thick and can withstand the weight of most furniture without causing indentations. Click here to see our Jute selection. 

Lapped Corner: The style of a finished corner on a rug bound with cloth where the cloth binding lays over each other in the corner at a 90-degree angle. To see corner options, please see our Rug Border & Binding Guide resource page.

Mitered Corner: The style of a finished corner on a rug bound with cloth where the cloth binding is joined and finished (sewn) in the corner at a 45-degree angle, similar to a picture frame. This is the most formal finish to a floor covering. To see corner options, please see our Rug Border & Binding Guide resource page.

No Binding: The no binding or cut edge option will appear on select products, especially modern vinyl. This means the product will have a cut, raw edge that will not unravel and has a clean look. No additional binding or border is needed.

Rug Pad: A rug pad or underlay is a cushion that is placed underneath a carpet or an area rug that increases comfort, and provides sound and heat insulation as well as safety by helping prevent slipping. Rug pads are recommended with most of our weaves. When placing your order for a custom rug, you will have the opportunity to add a rug pad to your order.

Self-Bound: Self-bound or self-edge is where the face of the fabric is tucked under along the edge and sewn or attached underneath to the backing. This provides a clean, finished look and prevents the mat from fuzzing. This is primarily done with synthetic and vinyl products.

Serged Edge: A continuous wrap of yarn around the edges of your rug that binds the fibers and keeps your rug from unraveling. To see our binding options, including cloth borders and serged edges, please see our Rug Border & Binding Guide resource page.

Sisal: A rugged fiber harvested from the mature leaves of the agave sisalana plant and makes durable and beautiful sisal rugs and carpet. Although the plant is indigenous to the Americas, much of the sisal produced in the world now comes from East Africa. The African fiber is longer, finer, and white, making it possible to dye clear, even colors and to spin a consistently smoother yarn. Many of our premium sisal weaves come from Kenya and Tanzania and are dyed, spun, and woven in Belgium. Others are produced and woven in Brazil or Mexico. No pesticides or chemical fertilizers are used in the production of sisal.

Sisal Guard: A product used to help protect and enhance the life of your sisal carpet. Click here to read more about Sisal Guard.

SISALplus: Our collection of stain-resistant sisal floor coverings. Bring the beauty of sisal into your home without the worry of staining.

Stair Runner: A stair runner is a rug or carpet that is installed on your stairs and usually runs the full length of your staircase and may extend the full width of each step. A stair runner is a wonderful way to add a design element and increase safety on staircases. Read more about stair runners and discover our options here.

Tufted: A tufted rug or carpet is manufactured by the tufting process in which tufts of yarn are inserted into a pre-woven backing fabric via a tufting machine (similar to a large sewing machine).

  • The needles push the yarn through the backing fabric, where a loop is formed. These loops can be left intact, resulting in a loop pile carpet, or they can be cut to form a cut pile carpet. The density and length of these tufts can be adjusted to create various textures, pile heights, and patterns.

  • After the tufting process, a secondary backing is often applied to the carpet to add strength and stability, and to help the carpet maintain its shape. This secondary backing is typically bonded to the primary backing with latex or another type of adhesive.

  • Tufted carpets are the most common type of carpeting due to their versatility, affordability, and the wide variety of styles and textures available. The tufting process allows for rapid production and is less labor-intensive than traditional woven methods.

Wall-to-Wall: Please see Broadloom.

Wall-to-wall Installation: Wall-to-wall installation is covering an entire room or space with one material. We recommend selecting an installer who can advise you on installation padding, seaming, raising or lowering floorboards, and the quantity of material required for the project.

Woven: A woven rug or carpet refers to a traditional method of carpet manufacturing where the pile and backing are interlaced together on a loom. In this process, yarns are woven through a warp (vertical yarns) and weft (horizontal yarns) to create the carpet's structure. There are three main types of woven carpets:

  • Axminster: This type of carpet is known for its ability to incorporate a wide range of colors and intricate patterns. The yarns are individually woven into place, allowing for detailed designs and a plush texture. Axminster carpets are typically made from wool or a blend of wool and synthetic fibers, making them durable and suited for areas with heavy foot traffic.

  • Wilton: Wilton weaving allows for a variety of textures and patterns, including loop pile, cut pile, or a combination of both. The versatility in textures makes Wilton carpets popular for both residential and commercial settings. They can be made from different materials, including wool, nylon, and polypropylene.

  • Flat Weave: As the name suggests, flat weave carpets do not have a pile, resulting in a flat surface. These carpets generally have a tight construction, dimensional stability, and are easy to clean. They are used in any kind of setting, as wall-to-wall carpet, runners, or area rugs. Depending on the material, many flat weave rugs are appropriate for outdoor settings.