From Humble Beginnings to a Global Industry
The art of rug making has been around for centuries. It is a popular art which is well known in Middle East countries. From Middle East countries you will access Persian carpets, Turkish rugs among other fine rugs. Originally the rugs where laid on the floors, but in the twentieth century people began to add rug pads under their carpets. The pad was added for insulation proposes as well as a form of trying to make the carpets more comfortable. The use of carpet pads expanded as many people realized the benefit of having a rug pad in place. Early pads were made from cattle hair. The hair was obtained from leather making industry where it was released as a byproduct after leather tanning. The durability and resilience of the cattle hair made it the right choice for carpet padding. Due to an increase in tufted carpet sales, which occurred in the 1930s and 50s, the cattle hair which was used in making rug pads became scarce. In order to compensate for the scarcity, rug pad manufacturers turned to jute plant as a raw material for making the rug pad. This is due to the similarities between the jute plant and the cattle hair.
Towards the end of World War II, the manufacturer of rug pads turned to sponge rubber as a way of trying to meet the ever increasing need for tufted carpet. The rug pad was made out of synthetic rubber. The rubber was developed by rubber companies during the World War II period. The sponge rubber is manufactured as an elastic mass which contain interconnecting cells. The sponge effect is achieved through combining rubber and blowing agents. The two components are then subjected to intense heat.
Although synthetic fiber carpet has seen a tremendous increase in the recent past, it only consists of 5% of the carpet industry. Synthetic fiber carpets are made out of recycled carpet fibers. The fibers include polypropylene, nylon and polyester. The fibers are needle punched. This is the same process by which fibers made out of synthetic materials are punched together with needles to form a scrim after which they are intertwined till they form mat like fibers.
Nowadays most carpet padding is made out of rebond polyurethane foam. Around the world it is approximated that 700 million pounds of polyurethane is collected from different manufacturers. The trim which is collected from the manufacturers is them shipped to carpet pad manufacturers in the US. The US companies use the collected foam trim to make the carpets. This makes the rebond polyurethane among the widely recycled materials in the world.
Between 1990s and 2000s, the process of carpet pad making has become more sophisticated. The sophistications have allowed performance to improve. This is due to use of innovative processes such as Dura plush, rubber XD and micro blend technologies. The innovations not only make homes with carpets more comfortable, they also insulate the home hence making your home more energy efficient. They also play a great role in reducing noise when walking on the floors. The antimicrobial technology helps in inhibiting the development of odor causing bacteria and mold.