Primary Carpet Backing

Primary Backing of cut pile carpetTufting of loop pile carpet

Definition of Carpet Backing: Obviously, this is the back or underside of the carpet, which can be divided into two parts: primary and secondary backing. Primary backing provides the structure for the tufts of carpet. The primary backing is the foundation of the tufted carpet, providing long-term structural stability and form retention. The secondary backing provides a barrier from the carpet padding and floor. You may also hear the term “unitary backing,” which is a heavy application of coating applied directly to the carpet’s back without using a secondary backing.

The primary backing into which the tufts are inserted may be made of jute, kraftcord, cotton, woven or non-woven synthetics, but normally woven polypropylene.

There are several ways to make carpet from yarn: Tufting, weaving, knitting, needle punching, fusion bonding and flocking.

Over 95% of the carpet manufactured in the United States is tufted. A tufting machine is essentially a huge sewing machine with hundreds of needles that insert loops of yarn into the primary backing. Yarn is fed from a creel, one tube of yarn for each needle, and threaded through the needles. The tufting machine is set up to produce level loop, multi-level loop, cut pile, and cut and loop pile structures. The tufting machine's needles punch the yarn through the primary backing, which is fed into the machine from the rear. The looper forms the pile and determines the pile height. Loopers with a cutting knife attached are used to produce cut-pile or plush carpet. The carpet is manufactured “fuzzy side down”. A loop-pile machine does not have those knives, leaving the loops uncut.

The newly formed tufts are held into place by the stitch holding capacity of the primary carpet backing material. Stitch holding is the force required to remove a loop from a greige carpet from the back side. It determines how strong the interaction is between the primary carpet backing and the tufting yarn. The primary carpet backing should exhibit good tuft holding characteristics.

Related Carpet Manufacturing and Fibers Information:

VIDEO: Chemistry of Carpet Fibers by Bane-Clene’s Chemist

The starting point of carpet is the fiber.

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