There’s carpet. And then there’s Berber carpet. If you’ve ever heard someone talk about Berber, you might assume it’s in a class of its own.
You’d be correct.
If you trace Berber back in history, you’ll find that Berber comes from native North Africa. Thousands of years ago, these native “Berbers” had a unique weave they used when handcrafting textiles. This weave created multi-colored flecks and loops or knots of various sizes. This was the original Berber weave used in the rugs they produced.
Today, this is one of the defining features of Berber carpet. It consists of looped construction where the loops are sewn or tufted into the carpet’s backing. They are crafted into a rugged looped pile, though they can range in size from tight to loose. You’ll find Berber carpet created from one of three fibers:
What fiber you choose will ultimately determine the price you pay, the carpet’s durability, and stain resistance over time. Olefin may be the most common fiber found in Berber, but you’ll often find blends between the three as well.
Olefin is popular because it’s resistant to moisture and mildew. Berber is often used in busy places such as the family room or basement, which gives it an added bonus of standing up to all your family can dish out. It looks and feels like wool carpet, but is a more cost-effective option. It’s colorfast, meaning the fibers are dyed before the carpet is made. It can fade in direct sunlight.
Nylon is one of the most common fibers used in the carpet industry because it’s strong and easy to clean. It’s also non-allergenic, and both soil and mildew-resistant. It’s a great choice for high-traffic areas. Keep in mind that nylon can be prone to static, and piles easily. If you’re setting up a home office, it’s something to consider before installing.
Wool may be the hardest to find, but it does create a sophisticated look. Many homeowners search it out because it’s an environmentally friendly option. It’s naturally hypoallergenic, non-toxic, easy to clean, and has natural stain resistance. It will also be the most expensive option.
Why do people love Berber carpet so much? Glad you asked. There are many benefits that will move Berber high up on your list.
The advantages and disadvantages of Berber carpet
The unique knotted weave of Berber carpet can be a distinct advantage in durability. Its unique look is also something homeowners often search out. If you’re thinking about installing Berber in your home, here are a few reasons why it’s a great choice.
If you want a durable carpet, you won’t have to think twice about installing Berber. That’s why you’ll see Berber in a lot of commercial applications. The main reason for durability is that the fibers are woven directly into the backing rather than having exposed ends. Berber will never unravel because it won’t leave the ends exposed.
However, what gives it its unique texture can also put it at risk. If you’re active on Berber, drag furniture across, or somehow catch the loop, it can tear away from the backing, leaving a snag in its place. This can be a problem if you have active pets that love to run and play. You should also ensure a high-quality vacuum that won’t catch the fibers as it performs.
While stain resistance isn’t necessarily built into Berber, and is impacted more by the fiber material you select, it is worth mentioning that Berber’s tight weave does bring stain resistance to another level. Instead of settling into the fibers, potential stains sit on top longer, allowing you to fully clean the area before it settles in.
The drawback comes if you don’t know the spill occurs. Once it settles into the tight weave, it can be more difficult to remove. Be conscious of your weekly cleaning habits, clean spills immediately, and you’ll love your Berber carpets for years to come.
Because Berber carpet is more in demand today than ever before, you’ll find prices all over the board. Set your budget before you come in, and we’ll easily be able to direct you to product lines that meet your criteria.
Just be aware that some Berber carpets require special carpet pads to perform well over time. Be sure to consider that as you’re making your final decision.
Does it pay to look for brand names you recognize?
Occasionally you’ll find flyers and ads come into your home offering you “good” deals. They often tout Berber carpet because it’s a popular choice.
What they fail to mention is who created the Berber carpet. By using a recognizable brand name – Stainmaster, Shaw, just to name a few – you’re assured all that comes from working with a reputable brand. Likewise, by working with a reputable dealer, you’re assured the installation process will move smoothly from beginning to end.
Without a brand name, you may be impacted by products that don’t come with warranties, or installation processes that don’t stand the test of time. If your carpet pulls away, buckles, or snags from the beginning, without recourse, you’ll be left contemplating full replacement in a very short time frame.
How do Berber carpets compare to other types?
If you’ve researched carpets, you know they are often lumped into several categories to make it easier to understand and shop for.
Berber is known for its durability and functionality. Its unique look gives it away. But if you’re still not sure if it’s right for you, here’s how it compares to several other popular categories.
Berber or plush carpet? Plush carpet is soft and luxurious. If you want to dig your toes into softness, this might be the way to go. It’s a great carpet to lie on, snuggle on, and create a warm feeling. It will show footprints easier, and won’t last as long as other choices. If you have a busy household with kids and pets, Berber is the better choice.
Berber or frieze carpet? Friese provides a looser or shaggy appearance, while Berber provides the tight weave. It tends to be a bit softer, and is excellent at hiding foot traffic. It is a cut pile carpet, so that it won’t wear as well over time.
Berber or saxony carpet? Saxony is known for its softness. It’s a great choice in the bedrooms, where warmth and luxury are at the top of the list. But it’s not known for durability. In high traffic situations, you’ll be replacing saxony carpets more frequently than Berber.
What’s the right choice for you?
Many homeowners love Berber carpet. It’s a durable option for every room in your home.
If you’re ready to consider installing Berber, stop by today and see your many options.
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