By Vision Research, Inc.
Take a look down at the floor - if it's carpeted, it's safe to say that your feet are resting on tufted carpet. It's currently estimated that over 95% of the carpet manufactured in the United States is tufted. Tufting is a highly-reliable manufacturing process which utilizes specially treated yarn and large, multi-needle sewing machines to create a carpet surface. Threaded with yarn, each needle punctures a woven fabric backing where a hook holds the yarn in place forming a tuft, or loop, as the needle is removed. Once the needle is extracted and begins to move to the next stitch, the hook releases the loop and the machine pulls the yarn back to create the correct sized loop for the desired pattern. This process takes place at extremely fast speeds and has a proven track record for producing high-quality floor coverings.
Tufting is also used to manufacture carpet tiles, which are a much-welcomed alternative to wall-to-wall carpeting and the flooring option of choice for today's "do-it-yourself" consumer. Carpet tile installed cost is less expensive, completely modular and is ideal for a myriad of applications. Furthermore, they can easily be replaced, cleaned and repaired, a significant benefit should only a portion of floor be damaged due to stain or wear. However, as simple and routine as carpet tile may seem to the average person, these tufted squares are actually quite high-tech, with a significant amount of R&D and engineering devoted to their unique designs and manufacture.