Denier? What do tights have to do with carpets? A simple enough question and a simple answer. When buying hosiery, the denier has a straightforward job to do. It tells you how thick the individual threads of yarn used to make the hosiery are. The higher the denier, the more robust and opaque the fabric. High denier fabrics are warm and durable, while lower denier fabrics are more delicate and fine. It’s simple enough, but when you’re on a quest for cheap carpet and flooring, how do you decide which denier is best suited to your needs?
The Development of Denier
The origin of the concept of denier is entwined with the history of carpet. The source of the scale of measurement is the silkworm. In the days of the Silk Road and the dawn of the international trade in luxury fabrics, merchants needed to find a way to assess the quality of the yarns they were buying. A single strand of silk 9,000 metres long weighs one gram, and that defines the value of one denier. Typical carpet deniers range from 900 to 2,400. In other words, each strand of fibre used in these carpets is 900 – 2,400 times thicker than a single strand of natural silk.
In turn, the fibre used in carpets is also made up of many filaments. In the latest soft-fibre carpets, it is the thinness of the filaments that make up the fibre that most affects the end quality and luxe feel. This is often described as DPF (denier per filament). Bulkier fibres, those of around 1,500-2,000 denier, feel rougher to the touch than higher deniers, although a greater DPF can offset this. A soft-fibre carpet can claim the durability and strength of a higher denier carpet while still keeping a soft feeling under foot, thanks to the use of multiple filaments.
These new soft-fibre carpets have been increasingly popular in recent years, due in part to the increasing trend for hardwood floors through most of the home and the desire for ultra-soft carpeting in bedrooms as a contrast. In bedrooms, wear and tear is less of an issue, so a high denier or DPF carpet can be a suitable choice. In higher traffic areas, however, you are likely to prefer a coarser higher denier carpet which has stronger stain and matting resistance.
Designing With Density
When considering denier, you also need to think about density. It is the denier combined with the density that has the biggest impact on the quality of your carpet. Not unlike the thread counts in bed linen, the density of a carpet tells you how close together the strands of yarn are. Generally, the denser the carpet is woven, the more durable it is going to be.
Come into our carpet and rugs store in Melbourne, look at the great range we have in stock and speak to our knowledgeable staff for advice. We have stores in Bayswater and Blackburn, or call us on 9761 4256.