The best of British carpets have been made in the beautiful Devon town of Axminster since way back in 1755. Each one is made using wonderful wool from sheep grazing the rolling hills of Britain, spun and dyed in the UK and woven right here in Devon. It’s a guarantee of quality and it’s the way we work, even to this day.
Axminster are proud of their heritage, their people and their designs. Quality in design and craftsmanship is guaranteed with every Axminster Carpet each one is made using our traditional methods and is individually inspected.
Today Axminster Carpets is still a family run business based in the heart of Axminster, the Devon town that gave the carpets their name. The history of carpet making in the town dates back to 1755 when Thomas Whitty made carpets using what became known as the Axminster method of weaving.
Weaving is a skill that is still an intrinsic part of the towns history and present, a skill passed from generation to generation.
What makes an Axminster from Axminster Carpets different to one from other manufacturers of Axminster weaves?
THE IMPORTANCE OF THE BACKING AND YARN
It’s in the way we weave our Axminsters and the raw materials we use. The most important difference is our specialist backing which allows us to use incredibly high-quality yarns. Our backing is made from jute and cotton that are woven together in straight lines to leave little holes for the carpet yarn to be woven through. This ensures that the carpet itself is woven in lines that are straight and true.
The quality of a woven carpet is affected by the number of holes per square inch, known as the “pitch” of the carpet, and the way the holes are arranged, either as perfect squares or rectangles. The size of these holes dictates the thickness of the thread to be used. A thicker yarn produces a more intense texture underfoot.
THE BEST CARPET PITCH IN THE WORLD
At Axminster we make our carpets using a range of pitches. Our highest domestic pitch is an 8 x 10 used for our super luxury Royal Axminster collection. This means the backing has 8 columns across and 10 rows down per square inch, with a staggering 80 tiny holes per square inch to weave the yarn through.
WHY THE YARN CAN AFFECT THE PITCH
The type of yarn makes a difference to the feel of the carpet. The very fine yarns used in our Royal Axminsters such as Royal Clovelly and Royal Dartmouth give a very soft feel to the carpet and depict detail very clearly in the weave, just as your television does if you have a high definition screen. A more chunky yarn, such as that used for our Dartmoor and Exmoor weaves, will allow you to sink your toes into the carpet, which will give under foot when you walk on it.
HOW PITCH AFFECTS THE TYPE OF DESIGN
Our most popular pitch for a designed carpet is our unique 8 x 8 pitch, which has 64 tiny holes per square inch. Because it is a perfect square, the designs can include perfect circles or squares where all the lines are the same thickness and diagonal lines that flow smoothly and are not fractured. This kind of precision is impossible with a rectangular pitch like the 7 x 9 used by most other manufacturers.
WHY WOOL IS BEST FOR CARPETS
Wool is nature’s own high performance fibre, offering durability, warmth, flexibility and reliability. The majority of the wool we use comes from British sheep, which we combine into specialist blends to suit each particular type of carpet.
Wool is a great natural insulator and also helps reduce noise which adds cosiness and warmth to a room. It’s naturally flame retardant and doesn’t melt like man-made fibres do. It’s also sustainable, renewable and biodegradable this is as important to us as it is to our customers. It is highly absorbent meaning that it can hold 33% of its own weight in water before it feels wet. This enables a wool carpet to help control the humidity of a room.
For allergy sufferers, a wool carpet or rug will actually help to cleanse the air of dust, airborne allergens and Volatile Organic Chemicals (VOCs). It is a common misconception that hard floors are better for allergy sufferers. This means allergens and dust can travel in the air which can make symptoms more pronounced. A 100% wool rug or carpet in a room will help limit the impact of living with an allergy.
Thanks to H Dawson wool suppliers for this information.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF WOOL IN CARPET?
- It is flame retardant and will not melt like man made fibres do
- Wool releases heat slowly helping to insulate your room
- As well as being cost effective performance-wise compared to synthetic fibres wool offers great durability benefits
- Wool is high wicking and will hold 33 per cent of its weight in water before it feels wet
- It is natural humidistat which means it can control the humidity of its surroundings
- Wool is absorbent and can absorb Volatile Organic Chemicals whilst reducing formaldehyde present in the atmosphere from other materials
- Wool carpets should purify indoor air for up to 30 years, great if you have airborne allergies. Carpet is better in homes where people suffer from airborne allergies than bare wood or hard floors, which cannot absorb dust and allergens
- Wool has excellent acoustic performance making a cosier atmosphere in any room
- Wool makes an excellent compost and soil conditioner
- Wool is an environmentally friendly choice: 100 per cent renewable, 100 per cent biodegradable, 100 per cent sustainable
BESPOKE DESIGN SERVICE AVAILABLE
If you have your own vision of what you want on the floor we also offer a bespoke design service on request.