Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Book Review: All About Carpets

Glenn Revere

Everything you need to know: a consumer guide

Someone I know wrote, "An entire book about carpets. They said it couldn't be done, but here it is!"

Well, I suppose it depends upon your situation in life. When you own a home, the roof is the most important. For your daily life, however, choosing bare floors, hardwood over carpets, is another big decision. I've been lobbying to get rid of our living room carpet. My daughter is allergic to cats, and the carpet we have is a magnet for cat dander, plus 4 cats. I feel so badly! (Most of our bungalow is hardwood or tile, but the bedrooms are carpeted.)

Do you know your level loop pile from your frieze, saxony, plush or sculptured textures? From Berber, to high-low loop, corduroy, tip shear, or plush. Many, many choices.

Personally, I've gone through all the fazes Revere has written about. Fads in carpets. Who knew? Are you old enough to remember shag carpets? That was the 70s, but they are back!

History of carpets

Sadie & Oliver play under the carpets
He writes of the history and development of carpets through the years. Carpet is a word from the Latin verb, 'to card wool.' He explains how they switched from wools to synthetics. Rug weaving mechanical looms greatly increased the speed of production for carpets, making them less expensive to purchase. Weaving was perfected in China and India between Common Era (C.E.) 500 and 1200, but there is evidence of carpets being used B.C.E. 2500.

 Using cotton, flax, and wool fibers, was for the common folks, the royal families had carpets of gold, silk, and jewels. Pioneers with money brought hand-woven carpets from Europe, and those without money used deer and beer hides. Others invented the first recycled carpets using discarded clothing or textiles. You can see examples of these in the Smithsonian's American History Museum! They even have student learning activities regarding carpets!

It's one of the areas where patents came onto the scene, and well-documented at the Smithsonian!
Carpet Patent Model, Patent No. 1,028, issued December 10, 1838
John Humphries of New York, New York
Humphries’s innovation was the addition of a supplementary layer to the bottom of a carpet to provide an extra cushion and to strengthen the overall structure. The added stuffer weft is a stout, loosely twisted cord, woven into the underside of the carpet and interlaced with the ground warp. These samples of carpeting are important because they are the earliest known examples of patented carpeting in the United States.

Synthetic carpet

cats prefer carpet to tiles!
Twenty-five years ago synthetic carpet fiber (nylon, acrylic, polyester, polypropylene) was made only from petroleum-based oil. Today some nylon fiber is made from recycled soda bottles, and soybean oil, and bottle caps. Some underlays are made from soy-based oils, too. Cool!

Then, there are the different carpet yarns and styles.  He includes illustrations, a glossary, and an index, but also:
  • How to buy it
  • How to install it or use pros
  • Carpet padding –why or why not
  • Maintenance –this is really important: vacuum cleaners, spot removers, do-it-yourself vs. the pros
  • Characteristics and Managing defects –shedding, pilling, matting, snags, buckling.

About The Author

She played hard today.
On the carpet
Ohio raised, carpet expert, and independent carpet inspector Glenn Revere graduated from Ohio State University with a B.A. in Anthropology in 1969. His first post-graduate job was with The May Company-Cleveland as an Assistant Buyer in the carpeting department. After receiving his training from a National carpet inspection company, Glenn moved to Denver, Colorado and began his career as a nationally recognized Carpet Inspector. As the flooring field matured and changed, Glenn became a Certified Flooring Inspector with specialties in carpet, laminate, hardwood, and engineered flooring. He owned a carpet cleaning company for twenty years and is trained in carpet installation and repair. Glenn consults for individuals, manufacturers, and installers. Glenn lives in San Diego, California. In addition to consulting, he enjoys skiing, swimming, tennis, and fishing.
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@Barrie Summy


DeniseinVA said...

Fascinating and this is why I enjoy blogging, you learn such a lot.

pattinase (abbott) said...

What an unusual choice. Very interesting. Carpets themselves come and go. So many bare floors in houses now. I think the allergy factor is part of it.

Sarah Laurence said...

I have to say I've never thought much about carpeting beyond installing a runner on our wood stairs for safety. We have a few old throw rugs but I prefer raw hardwood floors since they are easier to keep clean and fresh with a dog in the house. Still, interesting details that you shared.

William Kendall said...

My parents bought a place that had been built around the time shag carpets were coming into being, and the carpets extended onto some of the walls in the basement. Over time Dad took it all out, and there were hardwood floors instead.

Red said...

The big question is , why would anybody read a book like this? Okay, apologies to you before you stop following me. We still have some shag carpet but that's another story that could probably fill another book.

Linda McLaughlin said...

Unusual choice, but I can see that it's a useful book, and I'm sure I would find the section on the history of carpets interesting. And no, I don't know the various types of carpet. Adding this to the wish list for when we're ready to upgrade out floor coverings. Should be soon - they're long overdue!

Rose said...

You've certainly added some variety to our Book Club choices this month, Jenn:) I certainly do remember shag carpeting, which is why when I replaced our carpet in the front rooms a couple of years ago, I didn't want what was currently in style, I wanted something that would still be in style 10 years from now! I should check this book out for tips on cleaning--mine are definitely overdue for this.

Barrie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Barrie said...

I was curious to read your review. Who woulda thunk? An entire book about carpets?! It doesn't sound interesting ON THE SURFACE. Get it?! Ha, ha! But the book is full of all kinds of interesting facts and trivia. I'd like to feel a carpet made from recycled soda bottles and plastic caps, for example. Just to see if there's a difference. I wonder where the term broadloom comes from? Thanks for reviewing, Jenn!

Jennifer A. Jilks said...

Oh, Barrie, You writer, you!
carpet made wider than 54". Used to indicate high quality, but these days they are made in 12', 13, 15' widths.
The wide widths allow fewer seams in large rooms.