What is Berber Carpet?
The most traditional and widespread use of the term berber is when it is used to describe loop carpets. A loop carpet is a type of construction that is created when the yarn is sewn or tufted into the backing and left uncut (cut pile carpets are created when these loops are cut). There are some variations in loop carpeting as well, such as level loops, meaning that the loops are all one height, and patterned loops, which are created when the loops are varying heights. Some patterns are created with cut-and-loop construction, meaning some loops are cut and other are not.
The origin of Berber carpet has been traced back to the Paleolithic era (also known as the Stone Age) and is actually named after the “Berber Tribe” of North Africa. The tribe crafted hand-woven rugs and clothing with cloth and natural fabrics. Their rugs featured a distinctive knot texture that is still used today and gives the now-industrialized carpet the appearance of a hand-crafted carpet.
BERBER CARPET IS RELATIVELY LOW COST
The first reason is that many Berbers are made from olefin fiber. Olefin is much less costly than other fibers such as nylon or wool.
It is generally less expensive than traditional pile carpet styles and is often seen as a great value. This means you can add a beautiful, aesthetic look to your home without having to put a significant dent in the bank account. However, it is important to note that the price range can still vary when looking at the different types of materials the Berber carpet is constructed with.
BERBER IS A LOW MAINTENANCE CARPET
In addition to the relatively low cost, a big advantage of Berber carpet is that it is fairly easy to clean spills and stains. Because of the looped construction, spills tend to sit on the surface of the carpet, so if you can get to them early, you will likely be able to prevent them from sinking into the fiber.
As with any carpet, it is recommended that you use a low-moisture or dry cleaning process every 6-12 months to keep it clean, and to ensure furniture and foot traffic do not cause permanent indentations.
One disadvantage of Berber is the possibility of snagging and/or running. With a loop construction, and is possible for things to get caught in the loop and pull it out. It does require a lot of force to actually snag a Berber. It could happen by dragging a piece of furniture across the carpet; it is not likely to happen by driving a toy car on the carpet. One instance in which a run could actually happen is the use of a power head or beater bar vacuum on a Berber carpet. If there is already a snag in the carpet, the power head could easily get hold of the loose strand and wrap it around the rotating bar and is powerful enough to cause the strand to unravel. For this reason, beater bar attachments should not be used when vacuuming Berbers.
Berber and Pets
The biggest concern we hear is whether pets’ claws will damage the carpet, or whether the carpet will hurt the pet by catching its claws. I wouldn’t worry about the carpet hurting the pet; it is highly improbable that an animal running across the carpet will snag its claw in a loop. However, if you have a cat that loves to sharpen its claws, it may find the Berber texture appealing, and can very definitely cause some damage by repeatedly kneading the carpet. If your cat tends to look for places to scratch and doesn’t use a scratching post or board reliably, you may want to reconsider a Berber.