What design is your carpet and will it affect your dry time?

We all love a beautiful clean carpet, but do you know what design your carpet really is and will the design affect the dry time?

Let’s discuss how to identify your carpet design type, and how that type will translate to dry times using steam cleaning with a proper truck mounted steam cleaning system.

The visible portion of your carpet is referred to as the pile. There are several pile designs but most will fall within one of three:




CUT-PILE DESIGNS are the most common and have a few categories:

  • Saxony Pile

  • Plush or Velvet Pile

  • Shag Pile

  • Short Shag

  • Frieze (fré-zay)

LOOP-PILE DESIGNS are the second most common and have a few categories:

  • Level Loop Pile

  • Multi-Level Loop Pile

CUT AND LOOP PILE DESIGNS are less common than the former and have a couple of types:

  • Sculptured Saxony

  • Sculptured Shag (not pictured) is similar to sculptures saxony though is composed of higher, less dense cut-pile yarns in a shag config, contrasted by lower loops which remain uncut.

  • Level Cut-Loop

The pile type, pitch(distance between pile yarns), density(proximity of pile yarns) and twist(number of twists in the pile yarn) will determine dry times (under the same conditions). This applies to steam cleaning and sole methods of ”dry cleaning“ such as bonnet cleaning.

CUT PILE DESIGNS will generally dry faster as the moisture can readily evaporate from the bottom of the fibre through the top of the carpet face.

LOOP-PILE DESIGNS dry time has a stark contrast as the moisture does not evaporate as easily through the continuous loop design. The moisture has to evaporate through a closed fibre(loop) which slows evaporation.

CUT AND LOOP PILE DESIGNS dry time is faster than loop-pile designs, but slower than a cut pile design as the cut pile portion readily evaporates from the face of the carpet while the moisture evaporation is slowed by the loop portion of the carpet.

The above list will give you an idea how to identify what pile design your carpet is and which one dries the fastest work steam cleaning. steam cleaning is the considered the gold standard for cleaning carpets.


Bridgepoint Systems, Inc, 2007, Professional Carpet Cleaning Manual

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