For those visiting carpet stores and looking for good carpets in Toronto, Barrie,
Collingwood or Wasaga Beach it’s difficult to go wrong with berber. The construction of berber carpets actually goes back several thousand years. This speaks to not only the enduring beauty
of this style of carpet but also to its durability. That said, like any other type of carpeting, berber comes with its share of challenges. If you’re in the market for new floor coverings, it
pays to study up on what berber is and how it might benefit your home before you buy as well as what its challenges are.
Berber carpeting gets its name from the peoples who originated the style of knot that
figures prominently in berber construction. The berber knot is a specific kind of looped knot. Originally, this type of rug was made from the sheep’s coat. Berber carpet took on a flecked
appearance due to the irregularities in the sheep’s wool.
The knot of the berber carpet is sewn into a flexible backing. The loops that are created from this process are not cut like they are in shag carpets. Rather, the piece retains its bubbled
appearance. The patterns on the loops can vary as well. Some loops get knotted so that they’re a uniform height. Others are slightly uneven. Incidentally, all carpets start out as looped
Additionally, berber is also the way that flecks in the carpet are described. In this respect, the actual construction of the rug in question is irrelevant. It doesn’t have to be looped at
Finally, the Berber peoples used the berber weave to create more than just rugs and carpets. This looped material also formed the base material for cloaks and other items. The Berber tribes still
make berber carpets. They get sold at markets to tourists and locals alike.
Modern berber carpets are constructed with the same loop-tying techniques as the
traditional berber. However, these rugs and carpets are often constructed from materials like nylon or olefin (polypropylene.) It’s not that carpet makers don’t use wool to make these rugs. They
do. It’s just that olefin and nylon are cheaper to produce and therefore, cheaper to buy. Of the three types of materials that these carpets are constructed from olefin is the least expensive,
followed by nylon, then wool.
Modern berber rugs and carpets still do very often have that flecked look that’s one of the earmarks of the traditional berber. However, modern berbers also feature bright colors and patterns
instead of just the sand or light brown colors of the traditional berber. And the carpets can be just a solid color as well. The quality of the materials determines the quality and the durability
of the rugs or carpets.
Homeowners like olefin because of its price and it durable nature. It’s moisture and
mildew resistant, making it a good choice for screened-in outdoor rooms, basements, or any space that could develop mold and mildew due to moisture. However, it does also fade in direct sunlight,
which means that the rugs or carpets made from this material lose their visual vibrancy over the course of time. This responds best to steam cleaning.
Nylon is non-allergenic and easy to clean. This makes this material the perfect material for floor coverings in high traffic rooms like the den or living room. Most carpets are made from nylon.
It can get static-y, though. It should be vacuumed often and dry cleaned when necessary.
Wool is the high-end material that carpets are made from. It is a natural fiber, making non-toxic. It cleans easily and lends an air of beauty and sophistication to a room. It costs the most of
all the materials that carpets are made from. Use the same cleaning methods as for the nylon berber, but take good care of it between cleanings due to the more expensive nature of the wool
The looped material holds up to the demands of traffic. It doesn’t get that “crushed” look
as easily as other types of plush carpets. (This happens when you place furniture on it for a long time. It develops an indented look.) This makes it a wise choice for the office as well as
playrooms, dens, and kids’ rooms.
Berber carpet holds up against moisture, allergens, bacteria, and other harmful substances. This is due in part to how dense the carpets are due to their looped construction. This also means that
the berber carpet is easier to clean when you spill drinks and/ or food on it. It also resists dirt.
Its flecked pattern often allows you to go for longer periods of time without washing or vacuuming. This makes it a good choice for when your schedule gets crazy and you can’t clean it as often
as you like.
It can be an inexpensive prospect for floor coverings.
The looped design makes them prone to snags from high heels, animal claws, and other sharp
objects. If the snags get bad enough, they’ll unravel. This holds especially true if the carpets/ rugs are made from a cheaper material.
Although these carpets do resists stains in general, they don’t hold up as well to oil-based stains. Those are nearly impossible to get out. Additionally (and ironically), the thing that makes
them resistant to dirt makes them hard to clean. The weave of the carpet is dense so once dirt and particular sink it, that’s often where they stay.
Installation can prove to be challenging.
If you’re in the market for new floor covering, a berber weave makes a great deal of
sense. This material is durable and holds up against the wear-and-tear of traffic and the weight of furniture. It holds up against moisture and helps to prevent conditions like mildew and mold.
It’s a good choice for home, office, and even schools due to its construction. However, despite its advantages, it does have some drawbacks, too. Oil stains are difficult to remove and the looped
pattern makes it prone to snags and unraveling. Wool berbers can cost a great deal.
Finally, berbers are a nice choice for those who like to go with a traditional design. Many modern berbers are made to look similar to the handmade berbers made by the Berber peoples.