Les Farrington of Carpeteria talks about a few innovations in carpet technology that have taken place over the years.

Sam Gulesserian is president of Carpeteria. To reach Sam Gulesserian call (510) 431-2589, (650) 469-3939.
Video: Innovations in Carpet Manufacturing
Complete Video Transcription:

SAN LEANDRO – Host, Sarah Rutan: Carpet has come a long way over the years in terms of performance and durability. To learn about some of the most recent developments, we’re in San Leandro with Les Farrington of Carpeteria, speaking on behalf of Diamond Certified Expert Contributor Sam Gulessarian.

Les Farrington: Yes. So, today I wanted to talk about the transitioning of the different types of yarn systems from the past up into today’s modern yarn systems. Back in the late 50s and so forth there was a big transition from wool to nylon and then 50s to 60s and into the mid-60s and so forth there was a transition from nylon into polyesters, and they’ve been coexisting now for a long, long time. Now, a lot of people think, “Well, the quality of a carpet is based on how dense it is and how thick it is and so forth.” That has a great deal to do with the way that it feels, but it has not as much importance in overall performance. You can have a very thick yarn system, but it can be made of a very weak yarn and you don’t get the performance that you would with a stronger yarn system in a looser pile. So, there’s some misconception there, and I just wanted to clear that up.

The backing of the products also has changed over the years. It used to be that wool was woven into jute and a lot of times it still is, but there’s a primary and secondary backing on the products and that transitioned in the 60s into a polypropylene backing is generally used in today’s market. Polypropylene is used in the primary and secondary backing. Primary backing is where the yarn is woven into, and the secondary backing is what protects the primary backing. Basically they come in all different weights and densities as does the carpet yarn itself.

What we’ve come to now is a new type of yarn system in that it is inherently soil and stain repellent in some cases. In some cases the yarn system has to be treated internally to become soil and stain repellent. The new Anso yarn systems are some of the very best on the market and also the most stain repellent on the market. There are others of course, but it’s one of the only yarn systems that can be recycled. So, it is a great advancement in technology for the carpet industry.

Another great advancement is actually in the backing of the product. I’m going to demonstrate that. This is actually the polypropylene backing, primary and secondary backing of pretty much I’d say 70 to 80 percent of the carpets manufactured today. The thing about that is, and this might take a little bit of time, but when you have spillage on the surface of the yarn, a lot of times it might take a little bit of time for it to leak through but the homeowner might not be on the site at the time that this happens. Pet damage, kids do spill when we’re not looking. So, a lot of times with the standard application of primary and secondary backing the moisture will eventually leak through into the padding and can create mildew and can stay down in that surface. Then from the padding it can transfer into your actual substrate, and once it gets into the substrate it’s really hard to get out. Even with cleaning you can’t bring 100 percent of that back up through and clean the carpet.

What happens is, and you’ll see it start dripping here eventually, is that the water is going through the primary backing, through the yarn system actually, through the primary backing, into the secondary backing, and then has to go someplace. It’s going to go into the padding. Now, the new pads that have been introduced into the market lately also have a moisture barrier on the surface which is great. The problem with the new padding systems, even though they are what they call moisture barrier or moisture proof, is that when you put padding underneath the carpet, the padding is only in a six foot width. The carpet might come 12 or 15 feet wide, in some cases 13 too, but the padding is only six feet wide. So, every six feet you have a seam where moisture can get in.

They might tape those seams off but the moisture can still get in, and also a lot of people don’t understand but when you purchase carpet and padding, generally in an effort to help the customer out cost effectively they will cut back on the padding a little bit because the padding, how it looks doesn’t really play on the overall effect of the complete job. The padding can be put into more pieces than the carpet can. Therefore, you have more seams and more spillage. As you can see, it’s happening right here. So, with the spillage coming through, getting into the backing and so forth, maybe it leaks through the padding or it goes to a seam and leaks through the seam on the padding and then goes into your subfloors. Now, with the new lifeguard type of product they have a membrane in the actual primary secondary level of the backing, and it actually won’t leak through into the padding.

Host, Sarah Rutan: To learn more from local, top rated companies, visit our Diamond Certified Expert Reports at experts.diamondcertified.org.

Sam Gulesserian is a 43-year veteran of the flooring industry and president of Carpeteria, a Diamond Certified company. He can be reached at (510) 431-2589 or by email.

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