Berber carpet is a common term when shopping for carpet, but what does it mean? There is a bit of division on that topic. Fortunately, there is a consensus on where to put Berber carpet. This easy to clean, easy to use, hard to define carpet can go anywhere.
What is a Berber Carpet, and where should you use it? A Berber carpet can mean either that the carpet is flecked with colors or that it is a weave composed of looped knots. Either way, it is the ideal carpet for heavily trafficked areas.
Whether because of its speckled pattern, weave, or material, Berber carpets are amongst the most versatile and durable soft floorings around. In the rest of this article, we’ll cover some of the Berber carpet basics: what it is, where the name came from, where to put it, and why to choose it.
What is a Berber Carpet?
As stated above, a Berber carpet can mean a variety of things. It can be a bit of a catch-all term for carpets that don’t easily fit into another category. (Not a lot of debates exist about whether something is or isn’t a shag carpet, for example).
There are two reasons that something might be called a Berber carpet. Who uses the term for which changes a bit. You’ll be understood either way, though, so, while it might seem confusing that there are two definitions, it likely won’t be an issue.
Berber Carpet: Color
A carpet can be considered a Berber carpet if it has a flecked pattern. This is the older of the two definitions. Any carpet that shows a mix of multiple colors, especially neutrals, can be considered a Berber carpet. To avoid confusion, some people will call these carpets Berber pattern carpets.
Berber Carpet: Weave
A carpet that is composed of loops is also considered a Berber carpet. This type of carpet is similar to a tufted carpet. Both have the carpet strands punched through a base “loom” material. The only difference is that the loops have been cut in a tufted carpet.
The term “Berber carpet” refers to this type of carpet regardless of color. This is also the most common usage of this term. If you are concerned about clarity, however, you can also call this style a “loop carpet.” Both terms are common and used interchangeably.
Where Did the Name “Berber Carpet from?
The “Berber” in Berber carpet is a reference to the style’s origin. The Berbers are the pre-Islamic tribes of North Africa. The local tribes in this region have a rich history of being expert carpet makers. Rugs, carpets, and other weavings were essential items of trade for the Berbers.
Carpets in the region were traditionally made out of wool, which is naturally flecked. This meant that the carpets had a flecked pattern as well. They also, however, were made with the traditional looping technique. Thus, both terms are equally applicable to the traditional meaning of the term “Berber carpet.”
North Africa still has many Berber people who practice the ancient art of weaving in the traditional way. Check out Berber wedding blankets for more examples of exquisite Berber craftsmanship.
Where to Use a Berber Carpet
Regardless of whether your Berber carpet is a Berber pattern carpet or a loop carpet, it will be useful in the same types of spaces.
Berber carpets are great in areas of high traffic. Anywhere there is a lot of dirt and general wear-and-tear, a Berber carpet would be ideal. The style of the weave lets you clean the carpet without much hassle. It is easy to vacuum a Berber carpet because the loops are generally not too long, so the carpet itself isn’t very thick.
The flecked pattern of Berber carpets also lends well to high traffic areas. The natural differences in color will help hide bits of dust, dirt, and debris until you can clean it up.
While it is always a good idea to shampoo carpets occasionally, you will not need to wash a Berber carpet as much as some other types of carpeting because it is so easy to clean regularly. Thanks to this easy cleaning, you can put Berber carpeting anywhere. Here are some of the best places to use it, though:
- Rec rooms
These areas are well suited for Berber carpeting because they are the areas in your home that are most prone to spills, dirt, and heavy foot traffic. In these areas, it is nice to have a carpet that will be resilient and hide any dirt or stains.
Some rooms, such as bedrooms, are also great spots for Berber carpeting. In the bedroom, however, some people prefer a thicker, plusher feel to their carpet. Since bedrooms do not get the same traffic as other areas, you can use something a little softer that is harder to clean.
The main complaint about Berber carpeting is that it is not as soft as alternatives. Any room where comfort is your main concern, consider choosing a more expensive but luxurious type of carpeting. Anywhere else, Berber carpeting is a wise choice as it will last longer and be easier to deal with during its life.
Benefits of Berber Carpeting
As mentioned above, Berber carpeting is easy to clean. It has a number of other advantages. Most notably, Berber carpeting is both durable and affordable. Berber carpeting is thus a smart choice for anyone that wants something that is easy to care for and simple to buy.
Traditionally, Berber carpets might have been made out of wool. Today, however, many are a blend of synthetic and (sometimes) natural fibers. This makes Berber carpets very resilient. They will not only be easy to clean, but can repel spills a bit more than other, thicker, and more natural carpeting.
The idea of a loop carpet might seem to undermine this durability claim. It is true that if you pull one loop hard enough, the others will be thrown out of alignment. Berber carpets, however, are very tightly knotted. It would be hard to pull one loop hard enough for this to become an issue.
The only time people report this problem is when a cat decided that this type of carpeting is great for claw sharpening. In the event your cat has a vendetta against your carpets, some of the loops might start to pull. This is generally not an issue though and, speaking from personal experience, if your cat is going to try to destroy your carpet, it matters very little what type of carpet it is.
Berber carpets are also an affordable choice when decorating. Not only is the upfront price low, but the easy maintenance and durability will mean that you do not have to replace it frequently and won’t have to shampoo it often.
Berber carpeting can cost anywhere from $1.50 to $15 a square foot. The material of the carpet will impact the price significantly. Anything made out of a polyester blend will be more affordable than wool or other natural fiber blends.
Regardless of what type of Berber carpet you choose, it will likely be more affordable than carpets of similar materials but of different styles. The same material in a plush carpet, for instance, will be vastly more expensive