While tufted and woven carpets may look similar at first glance, their manufacture is quite different and so too are performance and design capability. Therefore, knowing exactly what the differences are is not just carpet geekery, it’s essential information for anyone involved in specifying carpet.
Carpet weaving is the most traditional way to make carpet; To make a woven carpet, a loom interlaces face yarns (generally a blend of wool) and jute or synthetic backing yarns to create the carpet. Once the carpet is removed from the loom, a thin coating of latex is applied to the back to lock the tufts in place. There are two types of carpet weaving, Wilton and Axminster, each a variation on the weaving process.
With the axminster method, each individually coloured yarn is selected by the loom, cut and inserted as a ‘U’ shaped tuft wherever needed, often creating intricate patterns. Most of the yarn is on the surface with relatively little in the back.
Wilton weaving generally involves fewer colours with the yarn running continuously, either at the surface or in the back. Whichever weaving method is used, the result is much the same; a beautiful, high-quality and dimensionally stable carpet suitable for heavy-wear applications.
While following a similar manufacturing principle, axminster and wilton weaving methods offer differing design and performance attributes that should be considered before making your selection.
Axminster carpet is best for producing more complex designs, using up to 12 colours, and with an unlimited pattern repeat size. The density, and therefore longevity of the carpet, can be changed according by varying the number of weft ‘shots’ (normally expressed as rows-per-inch) to provide improved wear-resistance, making it the perfect choice carpet for public areas in hotels and hospitality venues. The quality, or row count, begins at 6-row and rises as high as 12-row. 10-row plus is most suited to the most demanding areas and when exceptional design definition is required. It is quite usual for axminster carpet to be used throughout high-end hotels, amending the quality to provide tailored wear performance in different areas of the hotel, with, for example 7-row in bedrooms or guestrooms, 9-row in corridors with function rooms and reception areas in 10-row.
Wilton weave carpet, by contrast, can be created in different textures and so is the preferred weaving method where a loop pile (known as ‘Brussels’ weave), or cut-and-loop texture is preferred. Using fewer colours, and with restrictions on pattern repeat size, designs tend to be simpler or even plain. Like axminster weaving, the quality of a wilton carpet can be adjusted by altering the number of rows, again from 6-row to 12-row.
At Wilton Carpets, we’re pretty certain that British wool can’t be beaten and that’s why you’ll find it at the heart of our woven wool carpets coming from our Wiltshire factory. Whether you are looking for Axminster carpets or Wilton weave carpets, as standard we use an 80% wool 20% nylon mix to for very best in quality and durability. We can also offer 100% wool carpets with our Bespoke carpet solution. If you would like to learn more about why British wool is perfect for wool carpets. You can read the full article Why British Wool makes sense in British Carpet here,
Though originally a woven wilton carpet manufacturer, at Wilton Carpets, we now design and manufacture both woven Axminster and Wilton carpet right here in the UK, for clients around the world in the hospitality and leisure sectors. In the recent past over 80% of the carpets we produce are Axminster weave.
We offer a complete range of woven carpet solutions:
Ready to Go, stock carpet options available for dispatch within 14 days with no minimum order quantity;
Ready to Weave carpets featuring a choice of a library or custom design utilising colours from within one of our three standard colour palettes, offering outstanding value and a quick turnround;
Bespoke carpet solution whereby we can create carpet to you exact requirements utilising any colour and design.
Through our different carpet solution, we can deliver a specification that meets a design brief and performance expectation within budget. Our sales and design teams are experienced in working with all sizes of business to ensure a first-rate carpet specification, as demonstrated by our record of projects that range from five-star, boutique and country house hotels through to public houses, theatres and conference venues. Our team of Regional Business Area Manager and partners are spread around the country and the world and we would be more than happy to help you.