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Carpet Construction: Creating and Coloring the Face Yarn
A single strand of carpet fiber is called a filament. Filaments are often crimped to add bulk and body, and are then spun together to create a yarn. One yarn is called a “single” and can be used just like it is, or combined with other single yarns and twisted together into a plied or multi-plied yarn. The number of filaments, yarn singles, the number of twists per inch of yarn and the finishing process all determine the quality of the plied yarn.

One step of finishing is a high heat setting process that slightly melts the filaments and plied yarn singles into position. The process gives the yarns memory that aids in retaining twist and shape.

In the velvet plush face pile style, the face yarns are not plied, twisted, or heat set, so the pile remains more pliable and softer to the touch. The style sets these single, untwisted yarns as close as possible to one another, which results in a dense pile with an elegant and rich appearance.

Coloring the Face Yarn

A variety of methods are available to provide color to carpet fibers. Some synthetic fibers, such as olefin, nylon, triexta, acrylic, polyester, are “pre-dyed”. With this dyeing method, dye is added to the liquid polymer before the extrusion process. This process is called the solution dyed method. 

The majority of residential carpet is dyed using a post-dyeing method. The carpet is produced from tufted, partially constructed, undyed carpet or “greige goods” (pronounced “grayzh”). For solid colors, the greige goods are immersed in a dye bath or are spray-dyed. Dyes can be applied in patterns as well. This process is called print dyeing, which is similar to silk screening of garments. Print dyeing is commonly found in commercial applications such as hotels, casinos, schools, and chain restaurants. Cleaning technicians should be aware that these “hospitality style” carpets are made with low viscosity or low pH dyes which are easily faded by highly alkaline cleaning products.