Carpets are manufactured in large factories. Beaulieu of Australia and Northstate carpets are two large carpet cleaning factories located in south east Queensland. These factories are huge and either make or store the raw products that are used to manufacture carpet flooring. The products used to make carpet are – yarn or carpet fibre, primary backing known as poly, secondary backing (either natural jute backing or synthetic action bac) and latex polymers which are used to adhere the secondary backing to the griege carpet. Griege carpet is the term used for carpet that hasn’t had the secondary backing (jute or action bac) applied.
Yarn used for manufacturing carpet flooring can be made up of many materials. Wool, nylon and polypropylene are the major yarn materials that get used to make carpet products. These yarns are spun onto cones or tubes made from either plastic or cardboard, and when completely wound onto these cones are then called bobbins or bobbins of yarn. Bobbins of yarn are either placed onto large creels which feed the carpet tufters directly or onto smaller creels which feed up to 150 individual yarns onto larger yarn holding object called a beam or beam of yarn. Between eight and 12 beams of yarn are used on a typical tufting machine. Beaming carpet yarns allow for smaller production on the tufting machines, less room needed in the factory for the tufting machines to be placed and easier storage of yarn.
Carpet tufters are large machines that create what is known as greige carpet. Most carpet tufting machines work similar to ordinary sewing machines, just on larger scale. These machines make carpet between 3.66 metres and 4.00 metres wide and can have anywhere between 800 and 1500 needles depending on the thickness of the yarn fibres. Some carpet tufters have two needle bars which allows them to produce patterned and sculptured carpets.
These needle bars are controlled by large cams and even some carpet tufters are controlled by computers, which allows for easy adjustment of yarn feed (pile height of the carpet being produced), primary backing speed (thickness or density of carpet) and needle bar cam movements(carpet patterns) . Cut pile or plush pile carpet tufters have knife blocks as well as the needles that slice the yarn fibres as they are hooked around the carpet tufters yarn holding hooks. These machines run at great speeds and can even make the ground shake as they are operating.
The finishing line or backing line is where the end product is made. This is where the secondary backing which may be either jute or action bac/soft bac is applied. Two types of latex adhesive compounds are used to finish the carpet on the final backing line. Pre coat latex is the first to be used and its purpose is to lock in the carpet fibres so they can’t be pulled out. To exceed the Australian standards there are two quality control issues that need to be met at this stage. This would be the amount of strength needed to pull a tufted loop out of the carpet and the amount of latex wrapped around the tufted loop.
Once the pre-coat latex is applied, the griege carpet then travels further down the production line to where the latex glue known as jute-loc is applied and the secondary backing meet. The two products are then squeezed together through rollers known as nip rollers to ensure a permanent bond. The carpet then travels through the continuous drying ovens to be cured and then into series of dancing rollers that allow the final inspection process to be completed. Through the inspection stage all faults with the finished carpet will be inspected and fixed before the carpet gets rolled up into either ordered size rolls or stock fifty metre length rolls. These rolls of finished carpet are then taken away to be stored in the warehouse until needed by the dispatch area.