What is the difference between cut, loop, low, and high piles?

The pile of a rug refers to the raised surface of fibers, consisting of upright strands or loops of yarn. 

Cut-pile rugs feature a dense pile that exposes the end of the fibers. This is achieved with a cut-pile tufting machine, like the AK-I, which automatically cuts the yarn as you tuft using small mechanical scissors.  

Loop-pile rugs have a nubby, “looped” texture because of the way in which loop-pile tufting machines punch through the tufting cloth in a continuous cycle. This means that yarn must be cut by hand when the machine is moved away from the cloth. 

Low pile refers to a shallow cut or loop pile in which the fibers are relatively short, between .275 and .70 inches (or 7 - 18 mm). Low-pile rugs are created using electric tufting machines, including the AK-I Cut-Pile, AK-II Loop-Pile, and KRD-I Cut- & Loop-Pile.This is the most common pile for rug tufting. 

High pile, alternatively, refers to a deeper rug pile, in which fibers are relatively long, between .78 - 2.36 inches (or 20 and 60 mm) and have a “shaggy” look. All pneumatic tufting machines (those that require an air compressor) are capable of creating high piles. The only high-pile machine we sell is the AK-II Cut- & Loop-Pile.

Check out this video to see close-ups of cut and loop-piles!


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