Basically there are two types of carpets: Loop weaved carpets and cut pile carpets. Today, both weaves are used together to create carpets with unique characteristics. The use of these weaves will determine the feel, softness and look of each carpet.
Loop piles have individual strands or fibers pulled through the carpet backing twice thus creating small loops which is what you will be walking on. Cut piles use a similar weave which is cut at the top, leaving tufts of fibers standing up.
Modern carpets may use several types creating a variety of geometric patterns, sculpted effects, color combinations and textures.
Cut Pile Carpets
Carpets using cut piles often have better durability. The loops can be sheared differently thereby creating a different look and feel. Cut pile carpets come in five varieties: plush, textured, shag, frieze and Saxony carpets.
Plush carpets (typically used in living rooms) are cut several times which produces a luxurious, soft carpet that shows people's footprints.
Saxony Carpets are similar to plush carpets but without the smoothness. Their softness is produced with tightly twisted fibers which are then straightened with heat.
Textured Carpets are very popular. They are produced by twisted and crimping the fibers to create a multi-color effect that won't show footprints. It is often used in moderate to high traffic areas such as living rooms.
Shag carpets used to be very popular and their casual appearance is desirable to many shoppers today. Shag carpets use a longer tuft and thicker yarn.
Frieze is a tightly twisted carpet with short, curly fibers often used to create stylized carpet patterns. They are a good choice for heavy traffic areas.
Loop Pile Carpets
These types of carpets use a short, dense pile which helps block dirt and are well suited for high traffic areas. They may employ a longer loop which gives the carpet a more luxurious look. Loop pile carpets are used in the following construction:
Berber carpets use thick yarn fibers and have a flecked look which can help hide traffic marks. They are available in many tones and patterns, in either wool or synthetic yarns.
Sisal is another popular carpet type that has a tough, tighter and grassy weave. They have a stiff, rugged feel.
Cable Carpet style offers a casual look that uses many soft, twisted fibers.