Berber carpet – for many, this name conjures up feelings of luxury and posh décor. Indeed, this style of carpet is often thought of as one of the softest and most elegant types of carpet. However, there are a few factors to consider and things to know before you spring for this type of carpeting.
Berber carpets can be made from a variety of materials.
It's a common misconception that the word "Berber" refers to the material from which the carpets are made. Actually, "Berber" refers to the weave style of the carpet; they're made with a distinctive knotting pattern that gives them a softer texture than carpets made with other weaving patterns. Today's Berber carpets can be made from olefin, nylon and even wool, so read the label carefully before choosing one. Different materials have different cleaning requirements to be aware of. For instance, wool carpets must be cleaned carefully with minimal water to avoid shrinking, whether they are Berber wool carpets or another style.
There are "traditional" Berber carpets and mass-manufactured ones.
The name "Berber" actually comes from the name of a group of people who lived in North Africa during the Paleolithic area and used this style of weaving to create textiles. Today, most Berber carpets are mass-manufactured in factories and sold for reasonable prices. However, there are some hand-woven Berber carpets made by specialty artists and designers. These sell for very high prices. If you are considering a high-priced Berber rug or carpet, be sure to verify whether or not it is hand woven, so you don't end up overpaying for what's really a mass-manufactured product.
You have to use caution when cleaning and vacuuming your Berber carpet.
When you first get your brand new Berber carpet, you will probably want to jump straight into caring for it properly, so you can extend its life and keep it looking its best. However, there are a few precautions that you'll need to take when vacuuming and cleaning a Berber carpet:
- Do not set the brushes on the vacuum too low, or they may fray the fibers. They should just touch the top of the carpet fibers.
- Have your Berber carpets professionally cleaned, rather than shampooing them yourself. The tight weave of Berber causes it to hold onto water and mold if it's not dried thoroughly and quickly. Your carpet cleaning professional can ensure quick drying with powerful suction equipment.
- Soak up spills quickly. Due to the dense weave of Berber carpets, the spills will blot up almost completely if you catch them quickly, but they become tough to remove when allowed to sit.
Now that you know a bit more about Berber carpets, you're prepared to make a more informed decision as to whether or not this is the right carpet for your home.