What is a Frieze Carpet?

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Frieze carpet is a type of cut pile carpet which is made from twisted fibers. The individual curling fibers in the carpet create a slightly informal look which hides a multitude of sins. For this reason, this type of carpet is sometimes recommended for high traffic areas, as it will not show footprints and dirt as readily as some other styles of carpet.

Frieze carpeting is contructed from twisted fibers.
Frieze carpeting is contructed from twisted fibers.

This type of carpeting is made by knotting the pile through a stiff, resilient backing and then shearing it to ensure that it is all the same length. The fibers used in frieze carpeting are lightly twisted so that they are resilient and springy, and they are typically made from very soft textiles so that the carpet will feel pleasant on bare feet. This carpet can be installed as wall to wall flooring, and it is also possible to find area rugs in a frieze pile design.

Frieze carpet is better for high traffic areas of a house.
Frieze carpet is better for high traffic areas of a house.

Because the fibers of this carpet twist slightly, complex patterns cannot be executed in frieze carpeting, but very simple, basic patterns can be. Some designers also use variegated yarn to add more texture and color to the carpet; for example, an oatmeal colored pile could be flecked with darker brown and black specks to make it more visually interesting. Nylon is the typical fiber of choice for this style of carpeting, although other fibers are available as well, including fibers which are treated to be fire resistant.

Because the fibers are bent and twisted to begin with, when they are crushed by feet and other objects, they do not acquire a flattened, dull look like some other carpets do. A periodic vacuuming is recommended for frieze carpet to remove dirt and debris and to fluff up the pile, but constant vacuuming is not necessary. The pile can be permanently crushed by things like heavy furniture, which is something to consider when installing frieze carpet and decorating a room.

In residential applications, frieze carpet became quite popular in the 1990s. Many people liked the extreme softness of the carpet, along with the casual look and easy care directions. Numerous carpet manufacturers rose to the demand for frieze carpet, ensuring that a wide range of styles are available, from plain carpets with a relatively short pile to carpets with a more luxurious long pile.

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a wiseGEEK researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

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Discussion Comments


There are so many variables when buying a frieze carpet. I prefer nylon with at least 6,6 carbon bonds, higher if you can find it. The tightness of the twist in the yarn and the correct density of the carpet will allow the individual double tufts room to actually be used as they should be. Get the firm pad, not too thick (half inch max.)


Is frieze carpet a cheap carpet?


You must keep the direction the same, the slight angles the yarn comes through will be enough to show the difference at the seam, you can however turn it at a doorway or in another room.


In response to "i'm installing frieze carpet it has no pattern do i still need to consider the direction of the run..", yes.


im installing frieze carpet it has no pattern do i still need to consider the direction of the run or can i run the carpet adjacent to the seem in order to maximize my carpet usage? do you think it would show because it has such twisted fibers? thanx

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