Want to build your knowledge or just understand a specific term? Utilize our easy-to-read, basic reference to the most common terminology in the fiber, carpet and flooring industry.
AATCC (American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists)
A widely recognized association whose work focuses on development of standards of testing dyed and chemically treated fibers and fabrics.
Abrasive wear
Wear or texture change to an area of carpet that has been damaged by friction caused by rubbing or foot traffic.
Abridged Life Cycle Assessment (ALCA)
A simplified methodology to evaluate the environmental effects of a product or activity holistically, by analyzing the most significant environmental impacts in the life cycle of a particular product, process, or activity. The abridged life cycle assessment consists of three complimentary components, restricted inventory analysis, abridged impact assessment, and improvement analysis, together with an integrative procedure known as "Scoping."
Process by which a substance or particle is drawn into the structure of another.
See "Air Changes Per Hour."
Acid Deposition
The deposition of acid constituents to a surface. This occurs not only through precipitation, but also by the deposition of atmospheric particulate matter and the incorporation of soluble gases.
Acid dyeable nylon
Nylon polymer that has been modified chemically to make the fiber receive acid dyes. Acid dyeable yarns are available in different dye levels (light, medium and deep).
Acid Rain
The precipitation of dilute solutions of strong mineral acids, formed by the mixing in the atmosphere of various industrial pollutants (primarily sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides) with naturally occurring oxygen and water vapor.
Active Solar Techniques
Mechanisms, such as flat-plate collectors, which are designed to actively collect the energy of sunlight and use it; for example, to heat a building or to heat water.
Acute Exposure
A short-term exposure to a substance or material (typically less than one day).
Acute Toxicity
In toxicology, an effect that is manifested rapidly (i.e., minutes, hours, or even a few days) after the exposure to a hazard; either the exposure that generates the response, or the response itself, can be called acute (compare with "Chronic").
Adaptive Reuse
Renovation of a building or site to include elements that allow a particular use or uses to occupy a space that originally was intended for a different use.
Adipic acid
A base ingredient in the production of Type 6,6 nylon. Adipic acid has a chain of six carbon atoms. It is reacted with hexamethylene diamine (HMD), which also has six carbon atoms, to polymerize Type 6,6 nylon.
Also known as AND. A key ingredient for nylon 6,6 fibers and a raw ingredient used to make hexamethylene diamine (HMD).
Material that is capable of the binding and collection of substances or particles on its surface without chemically altering them.
Exposing water to the air; often results in the release into the atmosphere of gaseous impurities found in polluted water.
Aerobic Treatment
Process by which microbes decompose complex organic compounds in the presence of oxygen and use the liberated energy for reproduction and growth.
Suspended droplets of liquid or liquid dispersions in air.
Properties perceived by touch and sight, color, luster and texture of carpet.
The tendency for two elements or substances to combine chemically. An example is the affinity of acid dyes for nylon fiber.
Agenda 21
A comprehensive blueprint for global action drafted by the 172 governments present at the 1992 Earth Summit organized by the United Nations in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Air Changes Per Hour (ACH)
Number of times per hour a volume of air, equivalent to the volume of space, enters that space.
Air Exchange Rate
The rate at which outside air replaces indoor air in a given space. Also see "Air Changes Per Hour."
Air Handling Unit
Equipment that includes a fan or blower, heating and/or cooling coils, regulator controls, condensate drain pans, and air filters.
Air Plenum
Any space used to convey air in a building, furnace or structure. The space above a suspended ceiling is often used as an air plenum.
Air Pollutant
Any substance in air that could, in high enough concentration, harm man, other animals, vegetation or material. Pollutants may include almost any natural or artificial composition of matter capable of being airborne. They may be in the form of solid particles, liquid droplets, gases or any combination thereof. Air pollutants are often grouped in categories for ease in classification. Some of these categories are solids, sulfur compounds, volatile organic chemicals, particulate matter, nitrogen compounds, oxygen compounds, halogen compounds, radioactive compounds and odors.
Air Pollution
The presence of contaminants or pollutant substances in the air that interfere with human health or welfare, or produce other harmful environmental effects.
Air Toxics
Any air pollutant for which a National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) does not exist that may reasonably be anticipated to cause serious or irreversible chronic or acute health effects in humans.
Air Twist
Blending 2, 3, or more singles into one yarn bundle - Alternates between S and Z twist direction - with tack point at reversal points. Less heathered than Air Entangling.
Air-entangling (also known as intermingling commingling or heathered)
A method of producing yarn by combining two or more BCF fibers together. Fibers are "locked" together via air jets at regular or irregular intervals. The process is used to obtain special effect yarn (i.e., mixing dye variants to get heather effects upon subsequent dyeing or combining different colors of solution dyed fiber). Various air-entangling processes exist making it possible to produce a wide range of aesthetics in finished yarns, from highly blended, near solid looks to yarns where individual colors are accented and color separation mimics that of plied yarns.
Airborne Particulates
Total suspended particulate matter found in the atmosphere as solid particles or liquid droplets. Chemical composition of particulates varies widely, depending on location and time of year. Sources of airborne particulates include dust, emissions from industrial processes, combustion products from the burning of wood and coal, combustion products associated with motor vehicle or non-road engine exhausts, and reactions to gases in the atmosphere.
Alternative Energy
Energy from a source other than the conventional fossil-fuel sources of oil, natural gas and coal (i.e. wind, running water, and the sun). Also referred to as "Alternative Fuel."
Alternative Energy Sources
Energy sources, which can be substituted for fossil fuels, nuclear power, and large-scale hydroelectric power; e.g., solar, wind, geothermal, biomass.
Ambient Air
The surrounding air.
Amine end groups
The terminating (-NH2) group of a nylon polymer chain. Amine end groups provide dye sites for nylon (polyamide) fibers.
Derived from human activities.
An agent that kills microbes.
Antistatic properties
Resisting the tendency to produce annoying static electric shocks in situations where friction of the foot tread builds up static in low-humidity conditions. Some nylon fibers introduce a conductive filament in the yarn bundle to conduct or dissipate static charges from the human body. Olefin fiber is inherently static-resistant, as it is similar to the surface of most shoe soles (only dissimilar surfaces rub to create a static charge). There are two basic methods for controlling the buildup of static in nylon carpets:
Antron® Legacy™ nylon
The best-performing white dyeable fiber for most commercial applications, with all the qualities of Antron® Type 6,6 nylon fiber. Brings exceptional soil resistance to the largest and most specified range of commercial carpets. See "Antron® nylon."
Antron® Lumena™ solution dyed nylon
The best-performing solution dyed fiber for many demanding commercial applications, with all the qualities of Antron® Type 6,6 nylon fiber. Antron Lumena™ nylon gives carpets unsurpassed stain cleanability. Most stains can be removed without the use of harsh cleaning agents. See "Antron® nylon".
Antron® nylon
The most specified brand of commercial carpet fiber. Antron® nylon combines a superior Type 6,6 polymer substrate, fiber engineering, DuraTech™ advanced soil resistance technology, and INVISTA performance testing and construction standards, resulting in carpet fibers that perform well in the most demanding commercial environments.
Any underground water-bearing rock formation or group of formations, that supplies ground water, wells, or springs.
American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers.
ASTM (The American Society for Testing and Materials)
One of the largest voluntary standards development organizations in the world. ASTM is a not-for-profit organization that provides a forum for the development and publication of voluntary consensus standards for materials, products, systems and services.
Atmospheric fading test
A test that indicates a change of shade or hue of dyed fabric caused by a chemical reaction between certain dyes and acid gases. Recommended test methods for carpets (AATCC 129
(1) An oven-like apparatus for use in yarn heatsetting operations. Under pressure in a superheated steam atmosphere, yarn is given a "memory" of its twist. Autoclave heatsetting is a batch, not a continuous, method. (2) An apparatus for making polymer under heat and pressure.
Average pile density
The weight of pile yarn in a unit volume of carpet. It is expressed in ounces per cubic yard in the formula: Density = pile yarn Weight (in ounces per square yard) times 36 divided by pile Thickness or pile Height (in inches). Average pile density factors for commercial carpets range from 4200 to 8000.
Average carpet pile density
A weaving method that originated in the 18th century in Axminster, England. In this method, individual pile tufts are inserted from spools of colored yarns, making possible an almost endless variety of colors and geometric or floral patterns.
Axminster carpet weaving
Back coating
An adhesive compound applied for the purpose of locking pile yarn tufts into a carpet backing, bonding a secondary backing to a primary backing, increasing the fabric body or stiffness, and increasing dimensional stability.
Materials comprising the back of the carpet, as opposed to the carpet pile or face.
Backing fabric
A fabric into which a pile yarn is inserted, or a reinforcing layer that is adhered to the reverse side of a fabric.
Backing systems
Conventional backing: Carpet with a primary and secondary latex-laminated woven or nonwoven fabric. Sometimes referred to as ActionBac®
An emission limitation based on the maximum degree of emission reduction (considering energy, environmental and economic impacts) achievable through application of production processes and available methods, systems and techniques. BACT does not permit emissions in excess of those allowed under any applicable Clean Air Act provisions. Use of the BACT concept is allowable on a case-by-case basis for major new or modified emissions sources in attainment areas and applies to each regulated pollutant.
Process by which a building is heated in an attempt to accelerate VOC emissions from furniture and materials.
A container of approximately 650 pounds of staple fibers, wrapped and ready to be shipped to the yarn spinner or carpet mill with yarn spinning capacity.
Two different colors of yarn twisted together to form a two-ply yarn.
Barber pole yarn
BCF yarn
An abbreviation for Bulked Continuous Filament yarn, referring to synthetic fibers in a continuous form. BCF yarn can be used in cut or loop pile construction.
A large cylinder on which carpet yarns, usually predyed, are wound prior to feeding onto tufting, weaving or fusion bonding equipment.
Beck dye
Dyeing of tufted greige carpet in a large vat of dye liquor. In this process, the carpet roll is sewn into a loop and then is continuously rotated and immersed in the heated vat for several hours. Most commonly used for cut pile carpet, it offers good custom color flexibility. See "Dye methods."
See "Building for Environmental and Economic Sustainability."
Benefit/Cost Analysis
An economic method for assessing the benefits and costs of achieving alternative health-based standards at given levels of health protection.
Big Five Energy Sources
Coal, oil, natural gas, large-scale hydroelectric, and nuclear power.
Substances that increase in concentration in living organisms as they take in contaminated air, water or food because the substances are very slowly metabolized or excreted.
Diverse sets of analytical methodologies, which utilize living organisms _ applications range from assessment of water pollutants to screening pharmaceuticals.
Product typically used to kill microorganisms.
A material which can serve as a nutrient source for bacteria or fungi, and in the process is decomposed into basic molecular building blocks (e.g. carbon dioxide, water, and nitrogen oxides).
Biodegradable Product Claims
"Reliable scientific evidence that the entire product or package will completely break down" (by living organisms) "and return to nature, i.e., decompose into elements found in nature within a reasonably short period of time after customary disposal" (16 C.F.R. _ 260.7 (b))."
The totality of living animals, plants, fungi and microorganisms in a region. According to the World Conservation Union (IUCN), it is "the variety of life in all forms, levels and combinations. Includes ecosystem diversity, species diversity, and genetic diversity."
Creation of new organisms with specific attributes through the insertion of the appropriate genetic material into the original organisms genome.
Biological Contamination
Contamination caused by bacteria, molds and their spores, pollen, viruses, and other biological debris. Indoor biological contamination can be the result of high levels of moisture intrusion (either through leaks, condensation on surfaces or poor relative humidity control). Poor cleaning practices and HVAC maintenance can also be a source of human exposure. People exposed to biologically contaminated environments may display allergic-type responses or physical symptoms such as coughing, muscle aches and respiratory congestion.
Biological Impoverishment
The loss of variety in the biosphere (even when species have not gone completely extinct).
Biological Oxygen Demand (BOD)
A measure of the amount of oxygen consumed in the biological processes that break down organic matter in water. BOD is used as an indirect measure of the concentration of biologically degradable material present in organic wastes. It usually reflects the amount of oxygen consumed in five days by biological processes breaking down organic waste. BOD can also be used as an indicator of pollutant level, where the greater the BOD, the greater the degree of pollution. Also referred to as "biochemical oxygen demand."
The increasing concentration of a substance as it passes into higher trophic levels of a food web. Many bioaccumulants are also biomagnified.
Plant matter such as trees, grasses, agricultural crops or other biological material. It can provide a renewable source of electrical power, fuel, or chemical feedstocks. All material of recent plant or animal origin.
A large-scale category that includes many communities of a similar nature.
The use of bacteria and other small organisms (such as single-celled and multicellular microbes and fungi) to clean up or reduce unwanted concentrations of certain substances: also known as biotreatment.
(1) The part of the earth and its atmosphere in which living organisms exist or that is capable of supporting life. (2) The ecosystem composed of the earth and the living organisms inhabiting it.
Black Water
Wastewater from toilets and urinals, which contains pathogens that must be neutralized before the water can be safely reused. After neutralization, black water is typically used for non-potable purposes, such as flushing or irrigation.
Loss of color by a fabric or yarn when immersed in water or a solvent, as a result of improper dyeing or the use of dyes of poor quality. Fabrics that bleed will stain white or lightly shaded fabrics that come in contact with them when wet.
A mixture of two or more fibers or yarns.
The mixing of staple fibers before they are carded, drafted and spun into yarn. Blending is done for consistency in the final yarn and is a critical step to avoid "streaks" in a carpet.
Bottom-Up Approach
The development and encouragement of sustainable uses of biodiversity that provides incentives to save species while also respecting the right of all people to support their families and have a decent quality of life.
(1) An uneven yarn of three plies, one of which forms loops at intervals. (2) A fabric made of boucle yarns and having a looped or knotted surface.
Bow occurs when seams or patterns are stretched out of alignment, causing the pattern to curve in an arc or bow.
Branded fiber
Synthetic fiber produced by a fiber manufacturer who also produces the raw ingredients and polymer and who has quality control of the entire process. Branded fiber is warranted by the fiber manufacturer.
The opposite of dull or matte when describing luster.
Denotes carpet tufted or woven in widths greater than six feet.
Abandoned, idled or underused industrial and commercial facilities where expansion or redevelopment is complicated by real or perceived environmental contamination.
Building Envelope
The exterior surface of a building.
Building for Environmental and Economic Sustainability (BEES)
Software program developed by the NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology). It is aimed at designers, builders, and product manufacturers. It provides a way to balance the environmental and economic performance of building products. BEES measures the environmental performance of building products by using an environmental life-cycle assessment approach specified in the latest versions of ISO 14000 draft standards. All stages in the life of a product line are analyzed: raw material acquisition, manufacture, transportation, installation, use, and recycling and waste management. Economic performance is measured using the ASTM standard life cycle cost method, which covers the costs of initial investment, replacement, operation, maintenance and repair, and disposal. Environmental and economic performance are combined into an overall performance measure using the ASTM standard for Multi-Attribute Decision Analysis. The BEES methodology is being refined and expanded under sponsorship of the EPA
Building Life Cycle
The amortized annual cost of a building, including capital costs, installation costs, operating costs, maintenance costs and disposal costs discounted over the lifetime of the building.
Building-related Illness
Diagnosable illness whose cause and symptoms can be directly attributed to a specific pollutant source within building.
Buildings Reborn
The adaptation of old buildings for uses different from their original purpose.
Bulk development
The process of a textured or latent crimp yarn to achieve maximum bulk. Carpet fibers develop maximum bulk during wet processing such as dyeing.
Also known as crimping or texturizing. Bulking imparts texture/fullness to the fiber or yarn during production. Bulking is done to increase the coverage and bloom the yarn will have in the carpet face. Bulking also adds to fiber resiliency ("spring back"). See "Texturizing."
Material, other than the principal product, generated as a consequence of an industrial process or as a breakdown product in a living system.
Cabled yarn
A yarn formed by twisting together two or more plied yarns.
Cabled yarn
The single basic ingredient in the production of Type 6 nylon. Caprolactam has a chain of six carbon atoms. It is a petrochemical.
Carbon Dioxide
Odorless gas commonly sourced by respiration, and has been widely used as a measure of the ventilation adequacy of a space. A principle greenhouse gas. It is the result of the oxidation (including active combustion and respiration) of carbon based substances.
Carbon Footprint
total amount of greehouse gas emissions caused by a product.
Carbon Monoxide
A colorless, odorless and highly toxic gas commonly created during combustion.
Carbon Tax
A charge on fossil fuels (coal, oil, natural gas) based on their carbon content. When burned, the carbon in these fuels becomes carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, the chief greenhouse gas.
Any substance capable of causing or aggravating cancer.
The step after blending in the staple spinning process which combs out the loose fibers and arranges them in orderly strands called sliver. Sliver is drawn and blended, then twisted and further drawn into yarns.
Carpet tile
See "Modular carpet."
Carrying Capacity
The maximum population size of a given species that an area can support without reducing its ability to support the same species in the future.
Cationic dyeable nylon
Nylon polymer that has been modified chemically to make the fiber receptive to cationic (basic) dyes. Cationic dyeable yarns are used in conjunction with acid dyeable yarns to produce multicolors in piece dye methods.
See "Cubic ft./min."
Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD)
A measure of the oxygen required to oxidize all compounds, both organic and inorganic, in water.
Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs)
Chlorofluorocarbons, a very stable family of organic chemical compounds, are comprised of carbon, chlorine, and fluorine. Because of their stability, these compounds can migrate to the stratosphere, where they are broken down by more intense short wavelength UV light into fragments that destroy ozone. These compounds are also greenhouse gases.
An exposure which spans long time periods _ typically years. In toxicology, a chronic health effect is the result of a long term exposure; e.g., emphysema as a result of smoking.
Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service) provides lists of endangered species of timber and other natural products.
Clean Air Act
A federal statute enacted in 1963 that was the first of a series of acts and amendments that exerted increasing federal pressure on air polluters to clean up their emissions.
Clean Design
The systematic incorporation of life cycle environmental considerations into product design.
Clean Water Act
A federal statute enacted in 1972 that has been successful in improving the water quality of lakes and rivers.
The ability or degree that a stain is removed from a carpet.
The temperature, humidity, precipitation, winds, radiation, and other meteorological conditions characteristic of a locality or region over an extended period of time.
Climate Change
Refers to a change in average weather conditions.
Closed-loop Process
Part of an industrial production process; not part of a waste management process. Materials reclaimed and returned in a closed-loop process are neither classified as, defined as, nor operate as, a waste, i.e., any discarded material. Materials in a closed-loop process are treated as commodities in a manner designed to avoid loss or release to the environment (See Electronic Code of Federal Regulations (e-CFR), 40 C.F.R. _ 261.4(a)(8)).
Closed-loop Recycling
A recycling system that uses a "closed-loop process." See "closed-loop process" Not to be confused with "horizontal recycling". See "horizontal recycling."
The simultaneous production of electrical or mechanical energy (power) and useful thermal energy from the same fuel/energy source such as oil, coal, gas, biomass or solar.
Color matching
The proper coordination of color and shade. Critical to color matching are: (1) The light under which the colors are compared. (The light source being used in the real conditions of the commercial environment should be used to match colors.) (2) The surface texture of the object being matched (cut pile carpet can appear darker than loop made of the same yarn). (3) The surface luster of the object being matched (higher yarn luster can look darker than lower luster fibers).
A specific tufting machine developed by Card-Monroe Corp. that yields the look of a printed carpet in tufted manufacturing methods.
The ability of a fiber or carpet to retain color when exposed to (1) ultraviolet light, (2) crocking (wet or dry) , (3) atmospheric conditions, and (4) washing.
Commercial matching
Matching of colors within acceptable tolerances, or with a color variation that is barely detectable to the naked eye.
Commingled yarn
See "Air-entangled."
Process by which the operating systems of a building are tested and adjusted prior to occupancy.
Comparative Risk Analysis
An environmental decision-making tool used to systematically measure, compare and rank environmental problems or issue areas. The process typically focuses on the risks a problem poses to human health, the natural environment and quality of life, and results in a list (or lists) of issue areas ranked in terms of relative risk.
Competitive Exclusion
A situation where niche overlap is very great and competition is so intense that one species eliminates another from a particular area.
Process whereby organic wastes, including food wastes, paper and yard wastes, decompose naturally, resulting in a product rich in minerals and ideal for gardening and farming as a soil conditioner, mulch, resurfacing material or landfill cover.
Compostable Product Claims
"Competent and reliable scientific evidence that all materials in the product or package will break down into, or otherwise become part of, usable compost (e.g., soil conditioning material, mulch) in a safe and timely manner in an appropriate composting program or facility, or in a home compost pile or device (16 C.F.R _ 260.7 (c))."
Amount of a material per unit volume (i.e. milligrams per liter).
Preserving and renewing, when possible, human and natural resources. The use, protection and improvement of natural resources according to principles that will ensure their highest economic or social benefits.
Conservation Easements
A preservation tool that may be used by a land trust or conservation group to limit development.
Constructed Wetland
A human-made habitat for waterfowl and other life, often using greywater or rainwater catchment overflow.
(1) The carpet manufacturing method, usually tufted, woven or bonded. See also "Fusion Bonding." (2) The term also can refer to the specific details of a particular carpet.
Construction carpet method
Construction Administration (CA)
The representation of the owner relative to the integrity of the design.
Construction and Demolition (C&D) Debris
Nonhazardous materials such as asphalt, concrete, brick, lumber, wallboard, roofing materials, ceramics, and plastics resulting from construction, deconstruction, remodeling, repair, cleanup, or demolition operations.
The use of goods and services, materials and energy, by humans.
Any physical, chemical, biological or radiological substance or matter that has an adverse effect on air, water or soil.
Introduction into water, air and soil of microorganisms, chemicals, toxic substances, wastes or wastewater in a concentration that makes the medium unfit for its next intended use. Also applies to surfaces of objects, buildings, and various household and agricultural use products.
Contingent Valuation Method (CVM)
A method that attempts to "objectively" measure the dollar value of changes in environmental quality; often uses questionnaires and other surveys that ask people what they would pay for various environmental improvements.
Continuous Commissioning
An on-going program of structured commissioning throughout the lifetime of a building.
Continuous dyeing
Dyeing of carpet (greige) while it travels continuously through a dye range. The process is frequently referred to by the name of one of the prime machinery manufacturers, Eduard Kuster (pronounced "Kooster"). Continuous dyeing can produce multicolored or solid-colored carpet. Multicolored carpet is achieved by using yarns of varied dye affinity, or with various accessories that can give a pattern or overprint. Advantages include large dye lots, relatively low cost and color flexibility. However, this method is more critical than beck dyeing or yarn dyeing for side-to-side matching consistency (the carpet must be installed in roll sequence).
Continuous filament
Unbroken strand of synthetic fiber, such as filament nylon or olefin. Nylon and olefin are made by extruding molten polymer through a spinnerette (similar to a showerhead). The fibers are cooled, then stretched and textured into bundles referred to as yarn. This yarn can be plied or commingled with other yarn and then tufted.
Continuous filament fiber
Continuous heatsetting
The process of applying heat to yarns to "set" or retain bulk, twist and spring introduced by spinning and/or twisting. Continuous heatsetting can be applied to staple or continuous filament yarns. The two primary types of continuous heatsetting equipment are the Superba, which uses steam and pressure, and the Suessen, which uses dry heat. See "Heatsetting."
Conventional Power
Power produced from non-renewable fuels such as coal, oil, nuclear and gas, also known as traditional power.
An intermediate that usually buys raw fiber, processes it to a carpet manufacturer.
A marketable by-product from a process. This includes materials that may be traditionally defined as wastes such as industrial scrap that is subsequently used as a raw material in a different manufacturing process.
Cotton count
The yarn numbering system based on length and weight originally used for cotton yarns and now employed for most staple yarns. It is based on a unit length of 840 yards, and the count of the yarn is equal to the number of 840-yard skeins required to weigh one pound. Under this system, the higher the number, the finer the yarn. A typical carpet yarn might be a three cotton count two-plied, written as 3.0/2c.c.
Term used to describe how well the fiber covers/hides the primary backing in tufted carpet construction.
Derived from the "Cradle-to-Grave" design methodology but ensures that end-of-life will result in materials that will become nutrients or feedstock for recycling into other valuable products.
Design methodology that takes into account all stages of the life cycle (raw material extraction through end-of-life disposal) of a product, service, or building early in the design process.
The rack or frame located behind a tufting machine which holds the cones of pile yarn that feed into the needles of a tufting machine.
CRI (The Carpet and Rug Institute)
A national trade association representing the carpet and rug industry.
In fiber, a nonlinear configuration, such as a sawtooth, zigzag or random curl relative to the fiber axis. Most synthetic fibers, both staple and filament, used in carpets are crimped. Fiber crimp increases bulk and cover and facilitates interlocking of staple fibers in spun yarns. See "Texturizing."
Crimp fiber
Criteria Pollutants
A list of air pollutants identified in the 1970 Clean Air Act Amendments deemed to be critical in controlling air pollution and for which National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) were established. Criteria pollutants include: sulfur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), particulate matter, carbon monoxide (CO), and lead (Pb).
The resistance of transfer of colorant from the surface of a colored yarn or fabric to another surface, or to an adjacent area of the same fabric, principally by rubbing.
The removal of dye from a fabric by rubbing. Crocking can be caused by insufficient dye penetration or fixation, the use of improper dyes or dyeing methods, or insufficient washing and treatment after the dyeing operation. Crocking can occur under dry or wet conditions.
Cross section
The shape of a fiber when cut perpendicularly to its axis. Man-made fiber cross sections vary to produce a wide variety of physical effects such as soil-hiding characteristics, soil releasing, luster, and fineness or coarseness. Hollow filament fiber shapes are highly engineered and are among the most advanced filament cross sections. The delta is among the most advanced staple cross section.
Cross section fiber
The collapsing of pile yarns, resulting in carpet matting and loss of resilience. This form of carpet failure usually occurs in the areas of heaviest traffic. It is also called "matting" and "walking out." It can be minimized by the use of more resilient fibers, denser construction, and somewhat higher weight, and (in cut pile) higher tuft twist and proper heatsetting.
Cubic ft./min. (CFM)
Cubic feet per minute, a common measure of airflow.
Curvilinear crimp
The three-dimensional crimp patented by INVISTA for its BCF yarn. This texture is added to the yarn by a series of air jets. See "Texturizing." Curvilinear crimp gives consistency, bulk and spring-back memory that is needed in the manufacture of cut pile filament carpets and streak-free loop carpets.
Crimp fiber
Cushion-backed carpet
Carpet having a cushion, padding or underlay material as an integral part of its backing.
Cut and loop pile
Carpet whose face shows a pattern, either geometric or floral, made up of a combination of loop pile tufts and cut pile tufts. The carpet can be dyed solid or multicolored.
Cut pile
A pile surface created by cutting the loops of yarn in a tufted, woven or fusion-bonded carpet.
Cut pile carpet
CYP / Computer Yarn Placement
A tufted carpet alternative to woven carpets developed by Tapistron; It allows color to be applied in specific areas of the pattern similar to what is achieved with Axminster carpet designs.
Decay Rate
Math function that reflects the declining emissions of a product over time.
The metric equivalent to denier; equals the total weight in grams of 10,000 meters. Decitex is used in Canada and Europe.
A process to carefully dismantle or remove useable materials from structures, as an alternative to demolition. It maximizes the recovery of valuable building materials for reuse and recycling and minimizes the amount of waste land-filled. Deconstruction options may include: Reusing the entire building by remodeling, moving the structure to a new location or taking the building apart to reuse lumber, windows, doors, and other materials.
Deep-dyeing fibers
Fibers made from polymers that have been chemically modified to increase their dyeability. Carpets made of deep dye fibers can be dyed more easily to a darker color depth.
Deep-well Injection
Deposition of raw or treated, filtered hazardous waste by pumping it into deep wells, where it is contained in the pores of permeable subsurface rock.
The removal of forest cover from an area.
A form of deterioration of tufted carpet in which the primary back and face yarns separate from the secondary back.
Delisted Species
Species that are removed from the endangered species list either because it is no longer endangered or threatened, or because it has gone extinct.
To subdue or dull the natural luster of a textile material by chemical or physical means. The term often refers to the use of titanium dioxide or other white pigments used in textile materials.
Synthetic fibers with polymer additives and/or cross section design modifications that limit its natural brightness or reflectivity. Delustering improves soil-hiding characteristics, as it limits the soil magnification that would occur with clear or shiny fiber.
Demand-side Waste Management
Process whereby consumers use purchasing decisions to communicate to product manufacturers that they prefer environmentally sound products packaged with the least amount of waste, made from recycled or recyclable materials, and containing no hazardous substances.
The reduction of the size of products, particularly as a way to conserve mineral resources.
A weight-per-unit-length measure of filament fibers or yarns. Denier is numerically equal to the weight in grams of 9,000 meters of fiber. Denier is a direct numbering system in which the lower numbers represent the finer sizes and the higher numbers the coarser sizes. In the U.S., the denier system is used for numbering filament yarns and man-made fiber staple (but not spun yarns). The following denier terms are in use:
See "Average pile density."
The spread of desert-like conditions due to human exploitation and misuse of the land.
Design for Environment
An engineering perspective in which the environmentally related characteristics of a product, process, or facility design are optimized.
Differential dyeability
Fibers that have different dye affinities combined together to produce multicolor carpet from a single dyeing.
Dimensional stability
The ability of carpet to retain its size and shape once installed. Typically, dimensional stability is obtained in tufted carpet by the application of a secondary back. In woven carpet, dimensional stability is normally provided by choosing stable backing yarns, especially the stuffer and filling, as well as by application of latex to the completed carpet.
Typically defined as a class of similar chlorinated compounds that are persistent, bioaccumulative, and very toxic. Predominantly related to human activities _ manufacturing and incineration.
Final placement or destruction of toxic, radioactive or other wastes; surplus or banned pesticides or other chemicals; polluted soils; and drums containing hazardous materials from removal actions or accidental releases. Disposal may be accomplished through use of approved secure landfills, surface impoundments, land farming, deep-well injection, ocean dumping or incineration.
Relationship between exposure levels and biological effects _ effects can be positive or negative.
A term coined to disparagingly describe creation of a product of lesser intrinsic value manufactured from a material at the end of its service life, which had higher initial end use value; it is important to note that as the term downcycle has historically been used, it does not provide insight into environmental benefit (e.g. there may actually be more environmental benefit from extending the life of a complex polymer prior to energy recovery or taking it apart into its respective building blocks).
Downstream Impacts
Environmental impacts caused by consumer use and product disposal.
Drawing (third stage of nylon production)
(1) The process of fiber stretching to align molecules after extrusion. This process gives fibers greater tensile strength. This is done in synthetic fiber production after the molten fiber strands harden. (2) The process of pulling and thinning of sliver (combed staple fiber strands) in the spinning of staple yarn. Multiple ends of sliver are blended by feeding them through rollers at a slower speed than their uptake. This causes the fibers to be pulled or drawn and parallelized. The resultant finished sliver is ready to be spun into yarn.
Drop match
A drop match is a pattern that continues across the carpet diagonally or at a 45-degree angle to the edge of the seam.
Drop match carpet pattern
A term applied to manufactured fibers that have been chemically or physically modified to reduce the brightness of the fiber.
DuraTech® soil resistant treatment
DuraTech™ soil resistant treatment is a durable fluorochemical-free soil release product and is only available on carpets of Antron Legacy™ nylon. DuraTech™ is applied during the final step of the carpet manufacturing process. The high temperature to which the carpet is exposed during this final step helps the DuraTech™ physically bond with Antron® nylon. As part of INVISTA performance testing, the amount of DuraTech™ soil resistant treatment applied is evaluated for Antron® Legacy™ nylon.
Dye lot
A quantity of carpet dyed at one time or made from yarn dyed at one time which is consistent in color throughout the fabric.
Dye methods
Dye sites
Functional groups within a fiber that provide sites for chemical binding with the dye molecule. Dye sites may be either in the polymer chain or in chemical additives included in the fiber.
Dynamic Environmental Chamber
Well-controlled system (including temperature, relative humidity (RH) and air quality/purity) that utilizes realistic air flows for the assessment of chemical emissions from products and materials.
Earth Summit
The United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), held an international meeting in Rio de Janeiro in June 1992 to discuss environmental and development issues.
A design process that considers the environmental impacts associated with a product throughout its entire life: from acquisition of raw materials through production/ manufacturing and use to end of life. Ecodesign seeks to improve the aesthetic and functional aspects of the product with due consideration to social and ethical needs while simultaneously reducing environmental impacts.
A branch of science concerned with the interrelationship of organisms and their environment.
An interconnected and symbiotic grouping of animals, plants, fungi and micro-organisms that sustains life through biological, geological and chemical activity.
Embodied Energy
Energy that is used during the entire life cycle of the commodity for manufacturing, transporting and disposing of the commodity as well as the inherent energy captured within the product itself. This term does not always correlate to life cycle environmental impact.
Emission Controls
Any measure that reduces emissions into air, water or soil. The most effective emission controls involve the redesign of the process so less waste is produced at the source. Common emission controls are wastewater treatment plants, stack scrubbers and in-plant, and solid waste reduction programs.
Emission Factor
Quantity of a substance or substances released from a given area or mass of a material at a set point in time (i.e. milligrams per square meter per hour).
The release of gases, liquids and/or solids from any process or industry. Liquid emissions are commonly referred to as effluents.
Emissions Offsets
An approach to local emissions control by reduction of existing sources to allow for the addition of new sources.
(1) An individual fiber making up a yarn to be tufted into carpet (2) An individual pile yarn in a tufted carpet or a roll. (3) An end or short length of carpet or remnant.
Endangered Species Act of 1973
An act that directs the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to maintain a list of species that are endangered (in immediate danger of extinction) or threatened (likely to be endangered soon).
When a s single end or multiple ends are missing on the face of the carpet which is usually caused by yarn breaking when tufted.  This can be repaired with mending.
Energy Conservation
Decreasing the demand for use of energy.
Energy Efficiency
The ratio of energy output of a conversion process or a system to its energy input.
Energy Recovery
Obtaining usable energy by consuming waste through a variety of processes.
Environmental Footprint
Or ecological footprint, is the land (and water) area that would be required to support a defined human population and material standard indefinitely.
Environmental Impact
Any change to the environment, whether adverse or beneficial, wholly or partially resulting from human activity, industry or natural disasters.
Environmental Preference
To revise product specifications, policies, and/or purchasing contract terms to request or give preference to products or services that minimize impacts on the environment throughout the process of manufacture, distribution, use, reuse and recycling, and disposal.
Environmental Restoration
The act of repairing damage to a site caused by human activity, industry or natural disasters. The ideal environmental restoration, though rarely achieved, is to restore the site as closely as possible to its natural condition before it was disturbed.
Environmental Tobacco Smoke (ETS)
Secondhand tobacco smoke exposure.
Environmental Wisdom
The ability to sort through facts and information about the environment and make correct decisions and plan long-term strategies.
Environmentally Preferable Products
Established by Executive Order 13101, Environmentally Preferable Products are products identified as having a lesser or reduced effect on health and the environment when compared with competing products that serve the same purpose. Antron® uses Scientific Certification Systems (SCS) to ensure Antron® fiber meets EPP criteria.
Environmentally Preferable Purchasing
Environmentally Preferable Purchasing is a United States federal-wide program (Executive Order 13101) that encourages and assists Executive agencies in the purchasing of Environmentally Preferable Products and services.
See "Environmentally Preferable Products."
The process of soil and nutrient loss, which leads to a decline in biological productivity of an area. Can also be used metaphorically to refer to depletion.
A bay or inlet, often at the mouth of a river, in which large quantities of freshwater and seawater mix together. These unique habitats are necessary nursery grounds for many marine fish and shellfish.
Relating to cause, such as disease or disorder.
See "Environmental Tobacco Smoke."
Executive Order 13101
An executive order signed in 1998, by then President Clinton, directing federal agencies to purchase Environmentally Preferable products and services.
Exotic Species
A nonnative species that is artificially introduced to an area.
Quantity of a substance or material that a living organism could ingest, inhale, or absorb from a given environment.
The complete loss of an entire species.
Extinction Vortex
Term describing the rapid decline and eventual extinction of a species.
Extra-heavy traffic
More than 10,000 traffics per day or more than 2,000,000 traffics for the life of the carpet. Could also include some directional, nondirectional, pivoting and rolling traffic, as well as tracked-in dirt. See "Foot traffic units."
Extrusion (second stage of nylon production)
The process of forcing molten material through a spinnerette (similar to a showerhead). Once exposed to air cooling, the fiber strands harden. It is at the extrusion stage that many of the fiber engineering improvements take place: cross section design, shape, size and uniformity to give better soil hiding, soil releasing, and strength. All synthetic carpet fibers are extruded.
Face weight
The total weight of the face (above the backing) yarns in the carpet.
A standard laboratory testing machine, which uses gas, light or ozone to conduct fading tests.
Loss of color caused by sunlight or artificial light, atmospheric gases including ozone, nitrogen dioxide and hydrogen sulphide, cleaning and bleaching chemicals such as sodium hypochlorite, and other household and industrial products. Commercial installations in areas where such exposures occur require care in selection of colorfast carpet.
Fading tests
Laboratory tests designed to predict the likelihood of carpet fading under actual use conditions. Fading is usually caused either by ultraviolet light or by exposure to ozone or nitrogen oxide gas. Carpet can be tested in laboratory for results against fading agents. Dye stuff, hue or fiber can affect fading. A specific carpet being considered for a critical installation should be tested prior to final selection.
A substance, often an artificial chemical mixture, which is spread on or through the soil to make it more fertile.
A unit of matter, either natural or man-made, that forms the basic element of fabrics. The term refers to units that can be spun into a yarn or felting and can be processed by weaving, tufting, knitting or fusion bonding. Important properties include elasticity, fineness, uniformity, durability, soil resistance, luster, and denier.
Fiber engineering
Refers to improvements to the fiber including: (1) Polymer characteristics. (2) Polymer additives (delusterant or solution dye pigments). (3) Cross section design. (4) Fiber finishes (low surface energy fluorochemical coatings for soil release).
Fiber shape
Refers to the cross section and size of individual filaments. Fiber shape impacts soil hiding and soil release (cleanability). See "Cross section" and "Extrusion."
Fiber size
Refers to the denier per filament (dpf) or thickness of a filament. Fiber size impacts soil-trapping and soil-releasing capabilities.
Fiber which has been extruded and is then converted into yarn fiber, staple or tow.
Filament count
The number of individual filaments that make up an extruded yarn fiber, staple or tow.
The percolation of water through sand and other settled sediment to remove suspended particles.
Processing of carpets after tufting (weaving) and dyeing is called finishing. Processes include application of secondary backing, application of attached foam cushion, application of soil-resistant treatment, shearing, brushing, dyeing, printing and others.
Five E
The five potential values of environmental resources: esthetic (aesthetic), emotional, economic, environmental services, and ethical.
Flame resistance tests (also called 'flammability tests')
Procedures that have been developed for assessing the flame resistance of carpets. The most commonly accepted are:
A term used to describe a material that burns slowly or is self-extinguishing after removal of an external source of ignition. A fabric or yarn can be flame-resistant because of the innate properties of the fiber, the twist level of the yarn, the fabric construction, the presence of flame retardants or a combination of these factors.
Fluorine analysis
A measurement of the amount of soil resistance chemical (fluoro-chemical) applied to the fiber during the carpet manufacturing process. This can be performed for the initial application of the fluorochemical as well as for the durability of the chemical to remain after hot water extraction cleaning.
Chemical compound containing fluorine and frequently used as a soil resistance treatment for carpet. Antron® removed this chemical of concern from topical treatments in 2017.
Fly Ash
The solid residue derived from incineration processes. Fly ash can be used as a substitute for portland cement in concrete.
Foot traffic units
One foot traffic unit is described as a pedestrian walking across a measured section of carpet, one time. Foot traffic is classified as follows:
Fossil Fuel
A fuel, such as coal, crude oil and natural gas, produced by the decomposition of ancient (fossilized) plants and animals; compare to "Alternative Energy."
Fossil Resources
Electric generation using natural gas, oil, coal, or petroleum coke or other petroleum-based fuels.
Racks at back of a Wilton loom that hold spools from which yarns are fed into the loom. Each frame holds separate colors; e.g., a three-frame Wilton has three colors in the design.
A yarn that has been very tightly twisted to give a rough or nubby appearance to the finished carpet pile.
Fugitive Emissions
Emissions from valves or leaks in process equipment or material storage areas that are difficult to measure and do not flow through pollution-control devices.
Full-Cost Accounting
An accounting system in which environmental costs are built directly into the prices of products and services.
Fundamental Building Systems Commissioning
Verification by an outside source that the fundamental building elements and systems are designed, installed and calibrated to operate as intended.
Pesticides that are used to control, deter or destroy fungi.
Fungus (Fungi)
Molds, mildews, yeasts, mushrooms and puffballs; a group of organisms that are lacking in chlorophyll and usually non-mobile, filamentous and multicellular. Some grow in soil; others attach themselves to decaying trees and other plants to obtain nutrients. Some are pathogens; others stabilize sewage and digest composted waste.
Fusion bonding
Fabrication of carpet for tiles or modules by a thermoplastic process in which yarns are implanted in a liquid vinyl compound in a sandwich configuration between two backing materials.
Fusion bonding carpet tiles
Future Costs
Environmental costs of a product which are not paid now, but rather are passed on to future generations.
A hairy effect on the carpet surface caused by fibers working loose under foot traffic or by slack yarn twist. This can be caused by poor latex penetration, poor yarn spinning, poor twisting and heatsetting, or improper maintenance. Not to be confused with initial shedding, a normal phenomenon associated with spun cut pile construction.
Gas Chromatography
Analytical process by which chemical mixtures are separated into individual components for quantitative and perhaps qualitative analysis.
The number of ends of surface yarn counting across the width of carpet. In tufted carpet, gauge is the number of ends of surface yarn per inch counting across the carpet; e.g., 1/8 gauge = 8 ends per inch. In woven carpet, pitch is the number of ends of yarn in 27 inches of width; e.g., 216 pitch divided by 27 = 8 ends per inch. To convert gauge to pitch, multiply ends per inch by 27; e.g., 1/10 gauge is equivalent to 270 pitch, or 10 ends per inch.
Gauge surface yarn
Energy (heat) originating from deep within the Earth.
Global Economy
The emerging international economy characterized by free trade in goods and services, unrestricted capital flows and weakened national powers to control domestic economies.
Global Warming
A process that raises the air temperature in the lower atmosphere due to heat trapped by greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, CFCs and ozone. It can occur as the result of natural influences, but the term is most often applied to the warming predicted to occur as a result of human activities (i.e. emissions of greenhouse gases).
Graphics machine
A form of tufting machine capable of producing patterns, usually by the use of shifting needle bars that may be individually controlled or by individually controlled needles or a combination of the two. Major refinements using computer technology have been engineered into "graphics machines." Each new machine improvement brings tufting patterns nearer to those of woven capability.
Gray Water
Untreated or partially treated wastewater that is used for such purposes as watering lawns or flushing toilets (rather than using cleaner water of drinkable quality).
A practice that works with nature instead of against it.
Green Accounting
An informal term referring to management accounting systems that specifically delineate the environmental costs of business activities rather than including those costs in overhead accounts.
Green Buildings
Buildings in which environmental considerations are given to design, construction and operation.
Green Design
A design, usually architectural, conforming to environmentally sound principles of building, material and energy use. A green building, for example, might make use of solar panels, skylights and recycled building materials.
Green Roof
A garden roof with lightweight medium to support low growing plants. It provides evaporative cooling, converts carbon dioxide to oxygen and reduces storm water runoff. Green roofs can also include reflective roofs (cool roofs).
Green Technologies
Environmentally friendly technologies including technologies that promote sustainability via efficiency improvements, reuse/recycling, and substitution.
Greenbelt Zones
Zones or areas in or around a city where the removal of native vegetation is prohibited and/or parks and other open, undeveloped, and vegetated space is protected.
Greenfield Site
Land on which no urban development has previously taken place; usually understood to be on the periphery of an existing built-up area.
Greenhouse Effect
The process by which radiation, from a planet's atmosphere, warms the planet's surface to a temperature above what it would be without its atmosphere.
Greenhouse Gases
Gases such as carbon dioxide, methane, and CFCs, that are relatively transparent to the higher-energy sunlight, but trap lower-energy infrared radiation.
When companies threaten to close or relocate (often to another country) if they are forced to comply with environmental laws.
Disinformation disseminated by an organization so as to present an environmentally responsible public image.
Greige goods
(Pronounced "gray" goods.) Term designating carpet in an undyed or unfinished state.
A term used to describe the network of 16 wires and cables which transport electricity from a power plant.
Grinning or Grin Through
The appearance of primary backing fabric through the face of the carpet as a result of not enough yan coverage; can be caused by lack of bulk in the tufted yarn, pile heights that are too low, or not enough stitches.   
A general term for the water beneath the Earth.
(1) The natural home of an animal or plant. (2) The sum of the environmental conditions that determine the existence of a community in a specific place.
Habitat Fragmentation
Habitat disruption where natural habitat is broken into small, relatively isolated sections.
Effective fire suppressants, which leave no residue and are of relatively low toxicity. Historically, they have been used in applications where conventional extinguishing agents (e.g., water) would be dangerous or result in significant peripheral damage _ (e.g., electronics, electrical, and HVAC.) Note, Halons adversely affect stratos- pheric ozone and are being phased out.
How the carpet feels to the touch. Factors determining how the carpet feels include weight, stiffness, fiber type, dpf, density and backing.
A material or condition that may cause damage, injury, or other harm, frequently established through standardized assays performed on biological systems or organisms. The confluence of hazard and exposure create a risk.
Hazardous Waste
Wastes that are particularly dangerous or destructive; specifically characterized by one or more of the following properties: ignitable, corrosive, reactive, or toxic.
Heat Recovery Ventilation
A system that reclaims the heat from warm exhaust air exiting a building and uses it to pre-heat entering fresh air.
A subtle multicolored effect produced by commingling (intermingling) yarns or spinning blended fibers of different colors together.
Process for stabilization and setting a memory of twist in plied yarns. "Autoclave" treats skeins with pressurized steam in a batch operation. "Superba" uses conditions similar to the autoclave but it is a continuous process. "Suessen" is a continuous dry heatsetting method used most commonly for spun yarn heatsetting. See "Continuous heatsetting."
Heatsetting yarn
Heavy Metals
Elements such as lead, mercury, zinc, copper, cadmium, and so forth, that may be required in trace amounts by organisms, but can cause damage when ingested in larger quantities.
Heavy traffic
1,000 to 10,000 traffics per day or up to 2,000,000 traffics for the life of the carpet. Could also include some directional, nondirectional and rolling traffic, as well as tracked-in dirt. See "Foot traffic units."
A frame of parallel wires (like needles) through which warp yarns are threaded. The heddle is raised and lowered to interlace face yarns.
A chemical substance used to kill plants.
Hexamethylene diamine
Also known as HMD. A chemical compound, with a chain of six carbon atoms, that is reacted with adipic acid to make Type 6,6 nylon. It is a petrochemical.
Hexapod drum test
An instrument to test pile floor coverings to produce changes in appearance and color due to changes in surface structure by mechanical action. This accelerated test, primarily used in Canada, provides a specific rating of the ability of the carpet to withstand crushing and matting.
High Performance Building
A green or sustainable building often with an emphasis on the use of advanced technology, or "smart infrastructure," and its impact on tenant ability to control key building comfort measures such as temperature and light levels to increase performance.
Historic Image Restoration
The renovation of a building or community that saves and restores the historic image of that place.
A wide-reaching approach to a theory, a task, or a problem that encompasses all the elements of the system because of the interdependency of those elements.
Hollow filament fibers
Refers to filaments with interior voids. Hollow-core fibers improve the soil-hiding ability of nylon by diffusing light passing through the fiber. The diagram shown is one of the fiber shapes used for Antron® type 6,6 nylon.
Hollow filament fibers
Horizontal Recycling
A recycling system that turns a majority of the original product back into a similar product as the original.
Hot Spot
An area of exceptionally high species richness, especially concentrations of localized rare species that occur nowhere else.
Hybrid carpet
A carpet in which two or more different yarn types are combined in the carpet construction.
Hydrocarbons (HC)
Chemical compounds that consist entirely of carbon and hydrogen.
Hydroelectric Power
The use of artificial or natural waterfalls to generate electricity.
Hydrological Cycle
The natural cycle of water from evaporation, transportation in the atmosphere, condensation (rain), and the flow back to the ocean.
Hydronic Heating
A radiant heat system that distributes hot water through pipes, either to radiators or through a thermal mass floor. The floor absorbs heat and evenly radiates it to the living space.
Having a strong affinity for water; attracting, dissolving in or absorbing water.
Having a strong aversion to water; repelling water.
Exaggerated immune system response to an allergen.
See "Indoor Air Quality."
Impact Analysis
The second stage of life cycle assessment, in which the environmental impacts of a process, product, or facility are determined.
Improvement Analysis
The third stage of life cycle assessment, in which design for environment techniques are used in combination with the results of the first and second LCA stages to improve the environmental plan of a process, product, or facility.
The burning of trash and garbage at high temperatures in a large furnace.
Indicator Species
A species in a community or ecosystem that is more susceptible to disturbances than most other species.
(1) A measurement or reporting tool used to gauge how well a society is achieving its economic, environmental and societal goals. (2) A species of plant or animal, or a community, whose occurrence serves as evidence that certain environmental conditions exist.
Indoor Air Quality (IAQ)
ASHRAE defines acceptable indoor air quality as air in which there are no known contaminants at harmful concentrations as determined by cognizant authorities and with which 80% or more people exposed do not express dissatisfaction.
A tufting attachment developed by Card-Monroe Corp. that allows tufting machines to read and tuft patterns as wide as the machine itself; removes pattern repeat limitations.
Integrated Coastal Zone Management
A continuous and dynamic process by which decisions are made for the sustainable use, development and protection of coastal and marine areas and resources. ICM acknowledges the interrelationships that exist among coastal and ocean uses and the environments they potentially affect.
Integrated Waste Management
The complementary use of a variety of practices to handle solid waste safely and effectively. Techniques include source reduction, recycling, composting, combustion and landfilling.
See "Air-entangling."
International Gray Scale for Color Change
A standard comparison to rate degrees of color change from 5 (no change) to 1 (severe change).
Inventory Analysis
The first stage of life cycle assessment, in which the inputs and outputs of materials and energy are determined for a process, product, or facility.
As the producer of Antron® carpet fiber, INVISTA is the world's leading integrated fibers business with brands like STAINMASTER® carpet, LYCRA®, COOLMAX®and many more.
Irreversible Disassembly
Disassembly in which brute force is used to recover the bulk of the principal materials from a product, and in which no refurbishment and reuse of components or modules is possible.
ISO (The International Organization for Standardization)
A non-governmental, worldwide organization whose work results in international agreements that are published as International Standards.
A fibrous plant, native to India and Asia, which can be shredded and spun into yarn, used for backing in woven carpets, or itself woven into sheets and used as secondary backing on tufted carpet. In many applications, jute is being replaced by fiberglass, polypropylene or other synthetic fibers.
Keystone Species
A certain species that one or more other species are dependent upon for food, reproduction, or some other basic need.
See "Dye methods _ Space dyed."
A fabrication process comprised of interlacing yarns in a series of connected loops with needles. Some carpet is produced by knitting, but it is generally categorized as woven carpet. In carpet knitting, as in weaving, pile and backing are produced simultaneously. Multiple sets of needles interlace pile, backing and stitching yarns in one operation.
A trade name of a manufacturer of continuous dyeing machines that apply dye to tufted carpet. See "Continuous dyeing."
Kyoto Protocol
From December 1 through 11, 1997, more than 160 nations met in Kyoto, Japan, to negotiate binding limitations on greenhouse gases for the developed nations, pursuant to the objectives of the Framework Convention on Climate Change of 1992. The outcome of the meeting was the Kyoto Protocol, in which the developed nations agreed to limit their greenhouse gas emissions, relative to the levels emitted in 1990.
Land Trust Alliance
An association of hundreds of local land trusts, dedicated to preserving open space and natural habitat, in the United States.
In the simplest sense, an area where solid waste is deposited. In a sanitary facility, a hole in the ground is lined so that materials will not escape, and it is covered with layers of dirt as it is progressively filled. When completely filled, it is capped and sealed with more dirt and topsoil.
A water emulsion of synthetic rubber, natural rubber or other polymer. In carpet, latex is used for laminating secondary backings to tufted carpet, backcoating carpet and rugs, and for backcoating woven carpets and rugs. Almost all carpet latex consists of styrene-butadiene synthetic rubber (SBR) compounded with large quantities of powdered filler.
The solution that is produced by the action of percolating water through a permeable solid, as in a landfill.
LEED(TM) Rating System
LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is a self-assessing system designed for rating new and existing commercial, institutional, and high-rise residential buildings. It evaluates environmental performance from a "whole building" perspective over a building.
Level loop pile
A woven or tufted carpet style having all tufts in a loop form and of substantially the same height.
Life Cycle Analysis (LCA)
An evaluation of the environmental effects of a product or activity holistically, by analyzing the entire life cycle of a particular material, process, product, technology, service, or activity. The life cycle assessment consists of three complimentary components _ inventory analysis, impact analysis, and improvement analysis _ together with an integrative procedure known as scooping.
Life Cycle Cost (LCC) Method
A technique of economic evaluation that sums over a given study period the costs of initial investment (less resale value), replacements, operations (including energy use), and maintenance and repair of an investment decision (expressed in present or annual value terms).
Life Cycle Inventory (LCI)
An accounting of the energy and waste associated with the creation of a new product through use and disposal.
Life Cycle of a Product
All phases associated with the life of a product (i.e. creation, distribution, sale, installation, end use, care and disposal/ reuse/recycle).
Life-Support Systems
According to the World Conservation Union (IUCN), the biophysical processes "that sustain the productivity, adaptability and capacity for renewal of lands, waters, and/or the biosphere as a whole."
Light Pollution
Excess "waste" light given off by outside sources (or sources visible from the outside) at night.
Light traffic
Less than 100 traffics per day. Could also include some directional traffic, but no tracked-in dirt. See "Foot traffic units."
The degree of resistance of dyed textile materials to the color-destroying influence of sunlight. Two methods of testing are in use: (1) Exposure to sunlight, either direct or under glass. (2) Accelerated laboratory testing in which several types of artificial light sources are used. See "Fadeometer."
Limiting Nutrient
The nutrient in shortest supply in a particular ecosystem.
Loop pile
A tufted or woven carpet pile surface where the face yarns are comprised of uncut loops. Loop pile can be level, textured or multilevel.
Loop carpet pile
Lowest Observed Adverse Effect Level (LOAEL)
The lowest level of a stressor (physical, chemical or biological) that can cause a statistically significant biological effect.
Brightness or reflectivity of fibers, yarns, carpets or fabrics. Synthetic fibers are produced in various luster classifications including bright, semi-bright, semi-dull and mid-dull. The luster of finished carpet could also be influenced by yarn heatsetting methods, dyeing and finishing. In high-traffic commercial areas, duller carpet yarns are often preferred for soil-hiding ability.
Mass Spectrum
Characteristic fingerprint of a substance, which makes its identification possible.
Materials Recovery Facility
Commonly called a MRF (pronounced "murf"). A processing facility that removes recyclables from the waste stream. A "dirty MRF" removes reusable materials from unseparated trash; a "clean MRF" separates commingled recyclables.
See "Crushing."
A single vast urban area formed by the expansion and merging of adjacent cities and their suburbs.
Melting point
The temperature at which a carpet fiber changes from a solid to a liquid.
Repair made to the carpet during tufting to correct an issue.
Metameric color match
A color match between two materials in which the colors are identical under some lighting conditions but not under others. Metameric color matches are common when different pigments or dyestuffs are used to color the two materials.
A colorless, nonpoisonous, flammable gas created by anaerobic decomposition of organic compounds. A major component of natural gas used in the home.
Methenamine pill test
See "Flame resistance tests."
Microbial Growth
The amplification or multiplication of microorganisms such as bacteria, algae, diatoms, plankton and fungi.
Microbiological Organism
Broad range of living organisms, which typically can be viewed only through a microscope.
A measure of length; one millionth of a meter.
Mill-extruded fiber
Synthetic fiber that is extruded by a carpet manufacturer using polymer purchased from a fiber producer or chemical manufacturer. Type 6 nylon and polypropylene (olefin fiber) are commonly mill extruded. See "Olefin fiber" and "Nylon Type 6."
Moderate traffic
100 to 1,000 traffics per day. Could also include some directional and nondirectional traffic, some pivoting and little tracked-in dirt. See "Foot traffic units."
Modified delta cross section
An advanced fiber cross section engineered by INVISTA. The smooth delta shape hides soil and minimizes soil buildup more than trilobal cross sections. (The trilobal has deep crevices that trap soil particles.)
INVISTA delta cross section
Modular carpet or tile
Also known as carpet tile.
Mold is a fungus that typically grows in a filamentous cobweb-like mass under damp conditions and is capable of producing staggering numbers of reproductive spores in as little as a few days. Molds are non-chlorophyll containing entities, which require organic matter, living or dead, for survival. Mold is a critical participant in the "recycling" of dead organic material on the planet. Molds are extraordinarily diverse in character and their relationship with humans span the positive (e.g., food, antibiotics) to the negative (e.g., pathogens, antigens, toxins).
A single filament of a man-made fiber usually of a denier higher than 14. Monofilaments are usually spun individually instead of through a spinnerette.
Montreal Protocol
An agreement reached in 1987 at a meeting in Montreal, Canada, whereby a number of industrialized countries pledged to freeze CFC production at 1986 levels and then gradually decrease CFC production to 50% of 1986 levels by 1999.
A multi-color carpet made of (moresque) yarns which are produced by ply-twisting two or more singles yarns of different colors or shades. The moresque aesthetic can be achieved by using long space dyed yarns in a patterned carpet where tonal colors have been used in the space dyed yarns.
Multiple continuous filaments or strands of man-made fiber that are extruded together, usually from multiple holes of a single spinnerette. Multifilament yarns are texturized to increase bulk and cover, and are called "bulked continuous filament" (BCF) yarns.
Multilevel loop pile
A woven or tufted carpet style having tufts of varying pile heights, resulting in a sculptured appearance, pattern or subtle shading. Today most multilevel loop styles are made on tufting machines equipped with servo motor controls. The servos allow for precise patterning and more exact yarn control/usage.
Multiple-Use Development
The use of a piece of land for different purposes simultaneously, such as the use of riverside land for water filtration by plants, recreation, flood buffers, and wildlife habitat.
A substance that can cause inheritable changes in DNA.
National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS)
Standards established by the EPA that apply to outdoor air throughout the country.
Natural siting criteria
An approach where the locations of roads, buildings, and other structures are selected to be where the geological and biological factors are most favorable; essentially "working with nature" when selecting locations for human-made structures.
Net Present Value
Determination of current value of buildings and components in today.
A substance that can cause damage to nerve cells or the nervous system.
An organisms "occupation," or how it lives.
Nitric Oxide (NO)
A gas formed by combustion under high temperature and high pressure in an internal combustion engine, and then converted by sunlight and photochemical processes in ambient air to nitrogen oxide. Nitric oxide is a precursor of ground-level ozone pollution, or smog.
Nitrogen Oxide (NOx)
The result of photo-chemical reactions of nitric oxide in ambient air. It is a major component of photochemical smog, a product of combustion from transportation and stationary sources, and a major contributor to the formation of ozone in the lower atmosphere and to acid deposition.
No Observable Adverse Effect Level (NOAEL)
An upper limit exposure level determined experimentally at which there are no statistically significant biological effects observed in test subjects.
Non-Potable Water
Undrinkable water.
Nonhazardous Waste
Waste that is not classified as hazardous.
Nonrenewable Energy
Energy derived from depletable fuels (oil, gas, coal) created through lengthy geological processes and existing in limited quantities on the earth.
Nonrenewable Resource
A resource that cannot be replaced in the environment (i.e. fossil fuels) because it forms at a rate far slower than its consumption.
(1) Any carpet manufactured by a method other than weaving, but particularly those composed of fibers held together by chemical, mechanical, adhesive or fusion means. (2) Any primary backing material manufactured by a method other than weaving.
Nuclear Power
The use of nuclear fission reactions to generate electricity.
A petrochemical-based fiber invented in 1938. There are two basic types of nylon used in the production of carpet: Type 6,6 nylon and Type 6 nylon. Nylon is produced in bulked continuous filament for use in loop carpets and cut pile carpets, and staple nylon that is spun into yarn for use in cut pile carpets. Nylon is the dominant fiber choice for commercial use due to its wear characteristics.
Nylon flake (or chip)
Polymer that has been cut into small pieces for storage or for immediate melting in the fiber extrusion process.
Made from one base ingredient: caprolactam. Compared to Type 6,6 nylon, Type 6 nylon accepts dye at a faster rate. The more open molecular structure of Type 6 nylon allows dye stuffs (and stains) in more readily. Common spills and stains such as coffee, soda, foodstuffs and medicine will stain Type 6 nylon more readily than Type 6,6, whether solution dyed or conventionally dyed.
Made with two base chemical ingredients: adipic acid and hexamethylene diamine (HMD). Type 6,6 nylon has a tighter molecular structure, making it more resilient and more resistant to stains than Type 6 nylon. In the U.S., where the highest commercial carpet standards are set, more than 60% of all nylon carpets specified are Type 6,6 nylon.
Ocean Energy
Waves, tides, differential heat layers, and other sources of energy directly related to the world.
Odor Threshold
The experimental determination of the concentration of a substance which can just be detected by smell. Also referred to as "Threshold Odor."
The emission of volatile organic compounds from synthetic and natural products.
Olefin fiber
Also known as polypropylene. It is used for molded items, sheets, films and fibers. Made from a by-product of gasoline refining, olefin has one ingredient: propylene. Since propylene is widely available at a comparatively lower cost than nylon base ingredients, olefin is less expensive than nylon. Olefin does not accept aqueous-based dyes or stains. Color is added in the manufacturing process in the form of pigment. Printable modifications are available but not extensively used. Olefin is a lightweight fiber and can have good bulk and cover. However, the polymer base creates a soft fiber that has poor resiliency, a lower melting point and poor texture retention as compared to nylon. The carpet fiber is available as bulked continuous filament yarn. Only when budget is the main consideration, lower life expectancy is anticipated and long-term appearance retention is not a priority, should olefin be considered.
Open-loop Process
Any process that does not fit the definition of "closed-loop process."
Open-loop Recycling
Any recycling system that uses an open-loop process. See "open-loop process."
Optimum twist
The term used to describe the amount of twist that gives the best texture retention and/or necessary carpet aesthetic.
Organic Compound
Vast array of substances typically characterized as principally carbon and hydrogen, but that may also contain oxygen, nitrogen and a variety of other elements as structural building blocks.
Organic Farming
Avoiding the use of synthetic chemicals as fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides, when farming.
Occupational and Safety Hazards Association.
The growth beyond an area.
Ozone (O3)
A naturally occurring, highly reactive, irritating gas comprising triatomic oxygen formed by recombination of oxygen in the presence of ultraviolet radiation. It forms a protective layer that shields the earth and its inhabitants from excessive exposure to damaging ultraviolet radiation. Ozone can also form in the lower atmosphere in the reaction of certain hydrocarbons, nitrogen oxides, air and light (smog formation).
Ozone Depletion
Destruction of the earth
Ozone fading
The fading of color from a dyed or pigmented fiber caused by atmospheric contaminants of ozone.
Ozone Hole
A thinning break in the ozone layer. Designation of the amount of such depletion as an "ozone hole" is made when the detected amount of depletion exceeds 50 percent. Seasonal ozone holes have been observed over the Antarctic and arctic regions, part of Canada, and the extreme northeastern United States.
Ozone Layer
The protective layer in the atmosphere, about 15 miles above the ground, that absorbs most of the Sun's ultraviolet radiation.
Package dyed
See "Dye methods."
Pad dyed
See "Dye methods."
Parallel spinning
Spinning method most commonly used in spinning nylon staple fiber into yarn. Staple fibers measuring 4" to 8" are paralleled by combing and drafting until the fibers are in regular even slivers, or strands of combed yarn. Multiple slivers are combined to make up one finely drafted sliver. This sliver can be further blended for extreme consistency. The final sliver is put on a spinning frame and further drawn (or pulled) as twist is applied, turning the fiber into a cohesive singles yarn ready to be plied and heatset. See "Sliver."
In carpet title, when two tiles come together and the seam is still visible due to yarn placement or design elements at the edges of the tile that enhance the appearance of the seam.
Particulate Pollution
Pollution made up of small liquid or solid particles suspended in the atmosphere or water supply.
Small aggregates of matter, in either a solid or a liquid state, that are larger than individual molecules and are one of the categories of air pollution.
Passive Design
Design that reduces the energy consumption of a building by taking advantage of natural heating, cooling and lighting.
Passive Solar Design
A type of architecture that uses the inherent characteristics of a building to capture heat and light from the Sun.
Microorganisms (i.e. bacteria, viruses or parasites) that can cause disease in humans, animals and plants.
Pattern Elongation
It is caused by the patterns on one side of a seam being slightly longer than on the other so that the patterns appear to grow or elongate.
Pattern match
Lining up patterned carpet in such a way that the design element is continued across seams, making the finished installation appear cohesive. Patterns must be matched in the same way as they appear on the carpet itself, either in a set match or drop match. See "Set match" and "Drop match."
Pattern Side
Typically refers to which needlebar on a double-needlebar tufting machine is responsible for tufting the pattern design.    
Pattern streaks
Visually apparent streaking in patterned carpet resulting from linear juxtaposition of pattern elements in one direction. It is usually most visible in the length direction. It is not a carpet defect, but is inherent in certain designs. Contract specifiers should view rolls of carpet laid out on a floor to evaluate geometric or other busy patterns for this characteristic which may be objectionable in long corridors and other large areas, but not visible in small rooms.
Pattern Walk-Out
A phenomenon that occurs when the tufted pattern is no longer visible from certain directions after being walked on.
Patterned loop
A woven or tufted carpet style having all tufts in a loop form in either a defined or random pattern and design.
Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances
Also known as PFAS. A group of compounds resistant to heat, water, and oil. According to the EPA, these chemicals are persistent, and resist degradation in the environment.
Permaculture Design
A system of assembling conceptual, material and strategic components in a pattern that functions to benefit life in all forms.
Any chemical used for killing insects, weeds, etc.
Crude oil or any fraction thereof that is liquid under normal conditions of temperature and pressure. The term includes petroleum-based substances comprising a complex blend of hydrocarbons derived from crude oil through the process of separation, conversion, upgrading and finishing, such as motor fuel, jet oil, lubricants, petroleum solvents and used oil.
See Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances
pH Scale
A logarithmic scale that is used to measure acidity; 1 is very acidic, 7 is neutral, and 14 is very basic (alkaline).
Photochemical Oxidants
Air pollutants formed by the action of sunlight on oxides of nitrogen and hydrocarbons.
Photochemical Smog
Air pollution caused by chemical reactions of various pollutants emitted in the presence of sunlight.
The biological process in chlorophyll-containing cells that transforms sunlight, water, and carbon dioxide into plant matter (or biomass).
The use of semiconductor technology to generate electricity directly from sunlight.
Picks per inch
In woven carpet and fabric, the number of fill yarns per inch of length. Comparable to stitches per inch in tufting.
Piece dyed
A method in which tufted carpet is dyed, as opposed to yarn dye methods in which color is added to yarn before tufting. See "Dye methods."
Highly colored, insoluble substance used to impart color to other materials. White pigments (e.g., titanium dioxide) are dispersed in fiber polymers to produce delustered (semi-dull and dull) fibers. Colored pigments are added to polymer to create producer colored or solution dyed yarns.
Pigmented yarns
Same as solution dyed yarns.
The visible surface of carpet, consisting of yarn tufts in loop and/or cut configuration. Sometimes called the face or nap.
Pile crush
Loss of pile thickness by compression and bending of tufts caused by foot traffic and heavy pressure from stationary furniture. The tufts collapse into the space between them. It may be irreversible if the yarn has inadequate resilience and/or the pile has insufficient density for the traffic load.
Pile height
The length of the tufts measured from the primary backing top surface to their tips. Pile tufts should be gently extended but not stretched during accurate measurement. This specification is expressed in fractions of an inch or decimal fractions of an inch in the U.S.
Pile reversal
A persistent change in the direction of the pile lay in certain areas resulting in an apparent visual difference of shade. Also known as watermarking, pooling or shading.
Pile thickness
The resulting thickness when the thickness of the backing is subtracted from the total thickness of the finished carpet.
Pile weight
The weight in ounces of the fiber in a square yard of carpet.
Pile yarn
The yarn making up the tufts of the carpet.
Pill test
See "Flame resistance tests."
The tendency of fibers to work loose from a surface and form balled or matted particles that remain attached to the surface of the carpet.
Pin drafter
A mechanism used in parallel spinning to orient the fibers by using combing pins and rollers.
See "Gauge/pitch."
A measure of the number of individual yarns twisted together to produce the finished carpet yarn. For example, a two-ply yarn means that each tuft consists of two yarns twisted together. For cut-pile carpets, plied yarns must be heatset to prevent untwisting under foot traffic.
Ply yarn
Generally, the presence of a substance in the environment that, because of its chemical composition or quantity, prevents the functioning of natural processes and produces undesirable environmental and health effects. Under the Clean Water Act, for example, the term has been defined as the man-made or man-induced alteration of the physical, biological, chemical and radiological integrity of water and other media.
Pollution Prevention
(1) Techniques that eliminate waste prior to treatment, such as changing ingredients in a chemical reaction. (2) Identifying areas, processes and activities that create excessive waste products or pollutants in order to reduce or prevent them through alteration or elimination of a process. (3) The EPA has initiated a number of voluntary programs in which industrial or commercial "partners" join with the EPA in promoting activities that conserve energy, conserve and protect the water supply, reduce emissions or find ways of utilizing them as energy resources, and reduce the waste stream.
Polyester fiber
A synthetic fiber, usually produced with staple fiber and spun yarns, that is used in some carpet fiber.
Polymers are large chemical molecules from which synthetic fibers are made. Polymers are complex, chain-like molecules made by uniting simpler molecules called monomers. Synthetic polymers used for commercial carpet fiber include Type 6,6 nylon and Type 6 nylon (polyamides) and polypropylene.
Polymerization (first stage of nylon production)
A chemical reaction where small molecules combine to form much larger molecules.
See "Olefin fiber."
Post-consumer Material
Any household or commercial product that has served its original, intended use.
Post-consumer Recycle Content
A product composition that contains some percentage of material that has been reclaimed from the same or another end use at the end of its former, useful life.
Carpet that has been dyed in its tufted form. Post-dyed means the carpet, rather than the yarn, has been dyed.
Post-industrial Material
Industrial manufacturing scrap or waste; also called pre-consumer material.
Post-industrial Recycle Content
A product composition that contains some percentage of manufacturing waste material that has been reclaimed from a process generating the same or a similar product. Also called pre-consumer recycle content.
Potable Water
Water that is safe to drink.
Parts per billion.
Parts per million.
Pre-Consumer Waste
See "post-industrial material."
Carpet that has been constructed with colored yarns either by solution dyeing or yarn dyeing.
Precautionary Principle
The principle that advises that, in the face of uncertainty, the best course of action is to assume that a potential problem is real and should be addressed ("better safe than sorry").
Primary backing
See "Backing systems."
Printed carpet
Carpet having printed colored patterns. Printing methods include flatbed screen printing, rotary screen printing and modern computer programmed jet injection printing.
Private label
A carpet manufacturer brand name given to a fiber that is mill extruded or produced by a fiber manufacturer. At any given time the carpet manufacturer may choose to change the source of fiber which results in varying performance characteristics of the carpet. See "Mill-extruded fiber."
Producer-colored pigment
Color introduced into nylon fiber at the nylon manufacturing stage. See "Dye Methods_Solution-dyed."
See "Backing systems."
Decomposition of a chemical by extreme heat.
Radiant panel test
See "Flame resistance tests."
Rainwater Catchment
A method of collecting rain and snow melt in a cistern for reuse.
Random sheared
A carpet texture created by lightly shearing (shaving off) either level loop or high-low loop so only some of the tufts are sheared. Shearing gives a cut and loop texture.
Recharge Area
An area where rainfall can infiltrate into an aquifer.
Restoration of materials found in the waste stream to a beneficial use that may be other than the original use.
Also called Tuning, a re-calibration of a facility.
Commonly referred to as the ability of a product or material to be recovered from, or otherwise diverted from, the solid waste stream for the purposes of recycling. FTC guidelines indicate that a product may not be advertised as "recyclable" unless a viable, active reclamation system exists, that is available to a majority of end users, and collects and processes the product for recycling.
Recycled Content
Materials that have been recovered or otherwise diverted from the solid waste stream, either during the manufacturing process (pre-consumer), or after consumer use (post-consumer). Pre-consumer material does not include materials normally reused by industry within the original manufacturing process.
Process by which materials that would otherwise become solid waste are collected, separated or processed and returned to the economic mainstream to be reused in the form of raw materials or finished goods.
Red 40 Stain Scale
A standard comparison to rate degrees of Red Dye 40 staining from 10 (no staining) to 1 (severe staining).
Relative Humidity (RH)
Ratio of the amount of water vapor in air at a specific temperature to the maximum capacity of the air at that temperature.
Efforts to counteract some or all of the effects of pollution after it has been released into an environment.
Renewable Energy
An energy source that, from an Earth perspective, is continually replenished.
Renewable Resources
A resource that can be replenished at a rate equal to or greater than its rate of depletion (i.e. solar, wind, geothermal and biomass resources).
The distance from a point in a design in a patterned carpet to a point where the identical pattern appears again, measured lengthwise and widthwise in the carpet. In matching the pattern, there will inevitably be some waste of carpet in order to obtain the best possible side match.
The ability of carpet to spring back to its original texture and thickness after being walked on or compressed by the weight of furniture. Also known as "resiliency."
Resource Conservation
Practices that protect, preserve or renew natural resources in a manner that will ensure their highest economic or social benefits.
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Commissioning performed on a facility that has been in service but not previously commissioned.
Using a product or component of municipal solid waste in its original form more than once.
Reused Components
Structural or finish materials removed from old buildings and reused in new or remodeled buildings.
Reversible Disassembly
Reverse manufacturing, in which the removal of screws, clips, and other fasteners permits refurbishment and reuse of some or all of the components and modules of a product.
See "Relative Humidity."
A measure of the probability of an adverse effect on a population under a well-defined exposure scenario.
Risk Assessment
An evaluation of potential consequences to humans, wildlife, or the environment caused by a process, product, or activity, and including both the likelihood and the effects of an event.
Risk Factor
Characteristics (i.e. race, sex, age, and obesity) or variables (i.e. smoking and occupational exposure level) associated with increased probability of a toxic effect.
Rows or wires
In woven carpet, this is the number of pile yarn tufts per running inch lengthwise. Called rows in Axminster and wires in Wilton and Velvet carpet. Analogous to "stitches per inch" in tufted carpet.
Sanitary Sewers
Underground pipes that carry off only domestic or industrial waste, but not storm water.
Sanitary Survey
An on-site review of the water sources, facilities, equipment, operation and maintenance of a public water system to evaluate the adequacy of those elements for producing and distributing safe drinking water.
Sanitary Water
Water discharged from sinks, showers, kitchens or other nonindustrial operations, but not from commodes.
Sawtooth crimp
Also called zigzag crimp, this is a two-dimensional crimp that gives yarn cohesion, texture and bulk.
A cut-pile carpet texture consisting of plied, heat-set yarns in a relatively dense, erect configuration, with well defined individual tuft tips.
See "Sick Building Syndrome."
Scientific Certification Systems (SCS)
Also known as SCS. An independent testing and certification organization that evaluates a wide variety of food safety and environmental claims. The company evaluates Antron® carpet fiber for Environmentally Preferable Products (EPP) certification.
The involvement of local government agencies and the general public in the production of an Environmental Impact Statement for a proposed project.
Devices that cleanse emissions, usually with water, before they are released into the air.
Secondary backing
See "Backing systems."
Selective Cutting
The harvesting of trees such that only certain trees are cut down and the land is not stripped bare.
The edge of the carpet. Most commercial carpets are shipped with the selvage on. Residential carpet is usually trimmed to the face yarn.
Set match
Refers to a pattern in a carpet which continues straight across the installed carpet at right angles to the seams.
Set match carpet pattern
Apparent color shade difference between areas of the same carpet caused by normal wear and/or random difference in pile lay direction. It is a characteristic of cut pile carpet. It is not a manufacturing defect.
Finishing process in cut pile carpet manufacturing to create a smooth carpet face. The shearing process can also be used to create texture, as in random shearing. See "Random sheared" or "Tip shearing."
Sick Building Syndrome (SBS)
(1) A human health condition in which infections linger, caused by exposure to contaminants within a building as a result of poor ventilation. (2) Building whose occupants experience acute health and/or comfort effects that appear to be linked to time spent therein, but where no specific illness or cause can be identified. Complaints may be localized in a particular room or zone, or may spread throughout the building and may abate on leaving the building. Also see "Building-related Illness."
Singles yarn
One yarn end of either continuous filament yarn or spun yarn. Singles yarn is most often plied, twisted, or air-entangled with additional singles yarns to create a "two-ply," "three-ply" or "four-ply" yarn bundle.
Environmental reservoirs that receive the throughput of society.
The width at which carpet tile goods are tufted at.
Skein dyed yarn
Singles yarn that has been skein dyed. Yarn is wound in skeins and dyed in dye vats. This method yields small to mid-sized dye lots, but has custom color advantages. See "Dye methods."
Skew occurs when the pattern is out of square with portions of the pattern and deviates from a straight line.
Slash and Burn Agriculture
A form of agriculture where trees and other vegetation are cut down and burned in order to clear the land and release nutrients into the soil.
An intermediate stage in the production of spun yarns from staple fiber. It is a large, soft, untwisted strand or rope of fibers produced by carding or pin drafting. See "Parallel spinning."
Sliver yarn manufacturing process
Traditionally, a mixture of smoke plus fog. Today, the term "smog" has the more general meaning of any anthropogenic haze. Photochemical smog involves the production, in stagnant, sunlit atmospheres, of oxidants such as O3 by the photolysis of NO2 and other substances, generally in combination with haze-causing particles.
Smoke chamber test
Method that assesses smoke-generating characteristics of a carpet sample due to pyrolysis and combustion by measuring the attenuation of a light beam by smoke accumulating in a closed chamber under controlled conditions.
Soil hiding
The ability of a fiber to mask the presence of soil.
Soil resistance
The ability of a carpet fiber to resist dry soil and maintain its original appearance after intermittent or restorative cleanings. The amount of soil resistance can be determined by fluorine analysis. See "Fluorine analysis."
Solar Energy
Energy derived from the Sun.
Solution dyed
See "Dye methods."
Source Reduction
As applied to solid waste, reducing the generation of waste in the first place (as opposed to later reusing or recycling waste).
Space dyed
See "Dye methods."
The device (similar to a showerhead) that forms strands of filament as molten polymer is pumped through. It is at this stage that the fiber cross section, fiber size and the number of filaments in a yarn bundle (for continuous filament) are determined.
The conversion of staple fiber into spun yarn. See "Parallel spinning."
Spun yarn
Yarn that is made up of short lengths of fiber, either synthetic staple or natural fiber. See "Parallel spinning."
Stack Effect
Flow of air resulting from warm air rising, creating a positive pressure area at the top of a building and negative pressure area at the bottom. This effect can overpower the mechanical system and disrupt building ventilation and air circulation.
Stain resistance
The ability of a carpet fiber to resist the absorption of stain and maintain its original appearance. For carpets to resist stains, some manufacturers use a topical stain-resist treatment that may be removed after hot water extraction.
Staple fiber
Also called staple. Short lengths of fiber which have been chopped from continuous filament in lengths of 4" to 71
Staple fiber
Static control
See "Antistatic properties."
Static control test
A measurement of the amount of static discharge that occurs under specified conditions.
Static shock
Buildup of electrostatic energy on a carpet and the subsequent discharge to a conductive ground such as a file cabinet. Various static control conductive systems are used in commercial carpet to dissipate static charge before it builds to the human sensitivity threshold, which is 3.5kV.
One of three groups of antimicrobials registered by the EPA for public health uses. The EPA considers an antimicrobial to be a sterilizer when it destroys or eliminates all forms of bacteria, viruses, and fungi and their spores. Because spores are considered the most difficult form of microorganism to destroy, the EPA considers the term "sporicide" to be synonymous with "sterilizer."
Stitches per inch (SPI)
Number of yarn tufts per running inch along the length of the carpet (as opposed to the gauge, which is the number of stitches across the width of the carpet).
Gauge surface yarn
Stock dyed
See "Dye methods."
The atmospheric shell lying just above the troposphere and characterized by a stable lapse rate. The temperature is approximately constant in the lower part of the stratosphere and increases from about 20 km to the top of the stratosphere at about 50 km.
Straw-Bale Construction
The use of annually renewable agricultural waste product, such as wheat, oats, barley, rye, and rice, to build thick, super-insulated, stucco covered walls. Straw bales are traditionally a waste product which farmers do not till under the soil, but do sell as animal bedding or landscape supply. Straw is the dry plant material or stalk left in the field after a plant has matured, been harvested for seed, and is no longer alive. Bales can be taken directly from a baling machine or can be re-compressed for higher density. In contrast, hay bales are made from short species of livestock feed grass that is green/alive and is not suitable for this application.
A set of conditions that may lead to an undesirable impact on the living systems which occupy an environment.
Strip Mining
A form of surface mining, especially for coal, that is very destructive to the landscape.
Suburban Sprawl
The spreading of a city
A trade name of a German manufacturing company and its continuous heatsetting process. In Suessen setting, dry heat is applied to twisted yarn. The heat builds bulk and locks twist into the thermoplastic fiber
Sulfur Dioxide (SO2)
A heavy, smelly gas that can be condensed into a clear liquid; used to make sulfuric acid, bleaching agents, preservatives and refrigerants; a major source of air pollution in industrial areas.
A trade name of a French manufacturing company and its continuous heatsetting process. In Superba setting, steam and pressure are applied to twisted yarn. Heat and pressure are applied to build the bulk and lock twist into the thermoplastic fiber
A commonly used name for the Federal Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) _ related to the cost and cleanup of hazardous waste sites (EPA
Surface area
The perimeter of an individual fiber filament or multiple filaments.
Surface energy
Technical measure of the tendency of a surface
Practices that would ensure the continued viability of a product or practice well into the future.
Sustainability Gap
The difference between ecological production and current human over-consumption. Developing sustainability means reducing the sustainability gap.
Meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs.
Sustainable Development
An approach to progress that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs.
Synthetic fiber
Produced by man-made means, not available in nature in the same form.
The portion of the biosphere which has been altered or influenced by human activity.
Tensile strength
The strength along the length of a fiber.
A substance that can cause birth defects.
Visual and tactile surface characteristics of carpet pile, including such aesthetic and structural elements as high-low and cut and loop patterning, yarn twist, pile erectness or layover, harshness or softness to the touch, luster, and yarn dimensions.
Texture retention
The ability for a carpet to retain its structural quality of the fiber.
Textured loop
A woven or tufted carpet style having all tufts in a loop form, usually with two or three pile heights. There is generally less difference between the lowest and highest pile heights than would be found in a multilevel loop carpet.
In synthetic fiber production, crimp or texture can be put into the fiber by different methods. The most common for carpet yarns are:
A sequence of letters that correspond to individual yarns to be threaded onto needles on a machine in a particular order;  this sequence tells an operator which yarns go on what needles starting at needle 1.
Thermal Pollution
The addition of heat to a body of water that may change the ecological balance.
Threshold Limit Value (TLV)
The concentration of an airborne substance to which an average person can be repeatedly exposed without adverse effects. TLVs may be expressed in three ways: (1) TLV-TWA
Threshold Odor
See "Odor Threshold."
The movement of materials and energy through society, or the materials and energy so moved.
Tip definition
Visible individual twisted cut yarn ends in a carpet surface. If, under heavy wear and pivoting, the tufts have been splayed open, the carpet is said to have lost its tip definition.
Tip sheared carpet
A textured loop pile carpet that has been sheared to create a cut and loop appearance.
Tip shearing
Shaving off tufted high loops in the finishing process to create a cut and loop texture or pattern.
Tipping Fee
Charge for the unloading or dumping of waste at a recycling facility, composting facility, landfill, transfer station or waste-to-energy facility.
Titanium dioxide (TiO2)
A compound that is used primarily as a delusterant in fiber.
See "Threshold Limit Value."
Total Environmental Impact (TEI)
The total change on the environment, whether adverse or beneficial, wholly or partially resulting from human activity, industry or natural disasters.
Total Environmental Impact (TEI) Index
A tool developed and used by Antron. Much broader than the traditional industrial measures of raw material consumption and emissions, the Total Environmental Impact (TEI) Index includes value recovery of waste materials, and has a measure of societal impact: e.g., injuries and illnesses to employees and contractors; incidents like fires, explosions, accidental releases to the environment, and transportation incidents; global waste and emissions; and use of depletable raw materials and energy. The TEI Index was created using internal studies in North America rationalized with published studies done by Boustead in Brussels and Potting & Blok in the Netherlands.
Total Volatile Organic Compounds (TVOC)
The total mass, typically in milligrams per cubic meters, of the organic compounds collected in air.
Total weight
Weight (ounces) per square yard of the total carpet pile yarn, primary and secondary backings and coatings.
Continuous synthetic fiber filaments (without twist) collected in a loose rope-like form and held together by crimp. Tow is the form before fiber is cut into staple.
Capable of having an adverse effect on an organism; poisonous; harmful or deadly.
Tree-Free Paper
Paper made with alternative resources such as kenaf and hemp, without using virgin tree pulp.
Triple Bottom Line Reporting
New form of corporate disclosure which integrates financial, environmental and social reporting.
The lowest layer of the atmosphere, ranging from the ground to the base of the stratosphere at 10 _ 15 km altitude, depending on latitude and weather conditions. About 85% of the mass of the atmosphere is in the troposphere, where most weather features occur due to the dynamic interactions associated with temperature variations.
A cluster of yarns drawn through a fabric and projecting from the surface in the form of cut yarns or loops. See also "Cut pile," "Cut and loop pile," "Level loop pile," "Loop pile" and "Multilevel loop pile."
Tuft bind
The force (usually measured in pounds) required to pull a tuft from the carpet backing. Also known as tuft lock. For loop pile, ASTM Method D1335 (tuft bind test) should result in a minimum 10-lb. average. For cut pile, ASTM Method D1335 (tuft bind test) should result in a minimum 5-lb. average.
Tufted carpet
Carpet produced by a tufting machine instead of a loom.
A method of carpet manufacture in which surface yarns are sewn or "punched" through a primary backing material. The needles of the tufting machine form loops that are hooked by loopers on the underside of the backing material and which remain loops in level or textured loop carpet. Alternatively, the loops are tufted and cut with knives to create cut pile carpet. The tufted fabric is then coated with an adhesive to adhere a secondary back to provide durability and stability. In the past 5-7 years there have been significant advances in tufting technology, allowing for more intricate patterns and textures.
Turns per inch (TPI)
The number of times two or more yarns have been plied in an inch length. Also known as input ply twist. Most carpet yarns have 3.5 to 6.0 TPI.
Yarn turns per inch
Turns per tuft (TPT)
The number of twists in the pile yarn above the primary backing. A more accurate way of measuring relative twist level in cut pile carpets. Generally, the greater the turns per tuft, the better the performance.
See "Total Volatile Organic Compounds."
The width in which broadloom rolled goods are tufted at.
A yarn term describing the number of turns per inch and direction of twist of either the singles or plies around their axes. Twist direction is either right- or left-handed, also called "Z" or "S" twist. Most carpet yarns have 3.5 to 6.0 TPI. The performance of a cut pile carpet is dependent on the twist in the pile yarn. Spun yarns need more twist than filament yarns for good performance. For moderate or heavy commercial use cut pile, it is suggested that continuous filament have a minimum of 4.50 TPI while spun yarns have a minimum ply twist of 4.75 TPI.
yarn twist
Most common yarn ply. Two single yarns are twisted together, then heatset to maintain their twisted configuration. Can be used in either cut or loop pile carpet.
See "Backing systems."
A subjective term used to describe the creation of a product with higher intrinsic value, manufactured from a material at the end of its service life, which had a lower initial end use value. It is important to note that the term does not provide insight into environmental benefit (e.g. there may be less environmental benefit to "upcycling" if the creation of the higher value product requires more energy than recycling into an alternate product.)
Upstream Impacts
Environmental impacts that are caused by the extraction of raw materials, transportation, and the manufacturing process.
Urban Ore
The concept that wastes of today, such as materials disposed of in landfills, may serve as sources of valuable raw materials, such as metals, in the future.
See "Backing systems."
USGBC (U.S. Green Building Council)
The United States foremost coalition of leaders from across the building industry working to promote buildings that are environmentally responsible, profitable, and healthy places to live and work.
Value Recovery
Redirecting materials typically targeted for landfill or incineration into useful end use products; energy could be one of those products. See "Reclamation."
Variable Twist
Turns per Inch is not constant throughout the length of the yarn. 
Velvet carpet
Woven carpet made on a loom similar to a Wilton loom but lacking the jacquard mechanism. Velvet carpets are generally level loop, level cut/loop or plush, in solid or tweed colors.
Process by which outside air is conveyed to an indoor space.
Vettermann drum test
An instrument to test pile floor coverings to produce changes in appearance and color due to changes in surface structure by mechanical action. This accelerated test, primarily used in the U.S., provides a specific rating of the ability of the carpet to withstand crushing and matting.
Colloquial term for the synthetic polymer, polyvinyl chloride. Also called PVC. PVC is used as a carpet back-coating for carpet tiles and 6
Volatile Organic Compound (VOC)
Organic substances capable of entering the gas phase from either a liquid or solid form.
A weaving term for yarns in woven fabrics and carpets that run in the machine direction (or lengthwise). Warp yarns are usually delivered to a weaving loom from a beam mounted behind the loom. Woven carpets usually have three sets of warp yarns, which may be wound on three loom beams. These include stuffer warp for lengthwise strength and stiffness; pile warp, which forms the carpet surface tufts; and chain warp, which interlaces with fill yarn to lock the structure together.
Waste to Energy
Burning of industrial waste to provide steam, heat or electricity. Sometimes referred to as waste-to-fuel process.
Irregular random shading or pile reversal in cut pile carpet. Although much research has been done in an effort to determine the cause for watermarking, there has never been a single or consistent reason determined.
The original method for manufacturing carpet. In the weaving process, backing yarns are woven into a durable fabric while, simultaneously, face yarns are looped over wires and interlocked in the woven back. See "Axminster" and "Wilton."
Yarns which run widthwise in woven carpet interlacing with various warp yarns.
WELL Building Standard®
A performance-based system for measuring, certifying, and monitoring features of the built environment that impact human health and wellbeing, through air, water, nourishment, light, fitness, comfort, and mind.
Specifically referring to the commercial environment, there's a growing awareness and interest in the importance of providing healthy and productive environments for building occupants.
White dyeable fiber
Man-made fiber that is extruded as a white fiber. The fiber can be dyed any color using a variety of dye methods either before or after the tufting/weaving process. See also "Dye methods."
Retention of native soil, vegetation, and other natural features when building on the land, rather than the removal of soil, vegetation and natural features followed by artificial landscaping once the building is completed.
A type of woven carpet and the loom used to manufacture it. Wilton looms have jacquard pattern mechanisms which use punched cards/computer programs to select yarn color. The carpets are often patterned or have multilevel surfaces. See "Frames."
Wilton woven carpet
Wind Farm
A vast trace of land covered with wind-powered turbines that are used to drive generators that produce electricity.
Wind Power
The harnessing of the wind
Parts of carpet weaving looms composed of thin metal rods or blades on which the pile tufts are formed. Round wires and cut wires are identical in shape. The cut wire has a small knife blade at the end and, as it is withdrawn, it cuts the yarn looped over it to form cut pile.
The original carpet fiber. Wool is noted for its excellent dyeability, luxurious feel and relatively high cost.
Woolen spinning
Spinning method which produces bulky, hairy yarn, usually used for wool yarns. A series of cards, or large cylinders with comb-like teeth, straighten the fibers into a paralleled fiber webbing. This webbing is blended with other webbing, then spun into yarn.
Worsted spinning
Also known as modified worsted spinning or parallel spinning. See "Parallel spinning."
Woven backing
A tufted carpet term for primary or secondary backing manufactured by the weaving process. Secondary backings are usually woven jute or woven polypropylene.
Woven carpet
Carpet produced on a loom. Warp pile yarns intertwine with wires and backing yarns called warp yarns. These yarns are locked in with the weft yarns. Warp stuffer yarns are included to provide extra stability. Weaving is a slower, more expensive, labor-intensive fabrication method than tufting. Woven carpet is distinguished by intricate patterns and tailored, controlled textures.
Xenon arc lamp
The bulb used in the lightfastness fadeometer test. It contains a special gas, xenon, which produces an intense light that accelerates the color fading reaction. The fadeometer measures lightfastness in relative test hours. See "Fadeometer."
Landscaping designed to save water.
A continuous strand of fibers used in tufting, weaving and bonding to form carpet and other fabrics. Carpet yarn is often plied and may be either spun staple or continuous filament.
Yarn construction
An indication of the number of singles yarns combined to form a plied or heathered yarn.
Yarn count
A number used to describe the size of the yarn. Denier is used for BCF yarns, and cotton count for spun yarns.
Yarn dyeing
Applying color to yarns that are later used in making carpet. It can be in continuous yarn dyeing methods such as space dyeing or batch methods such as skein dyeing.
Yarn ply
See "Ply."
Yarn size
The weight measure of the total bundle of filaments making up a yarn that indicates if the yarn is fine or coarse. Continuous filament yarns are sized by the denier or decitex system. Spun yarns are sized by the cotton count system. See "Denier" or "Cotton count."
Yarn weight
Total amount of yarn used in the manufacturing of carpet. It is measured in ounces per square yard.
A loop pile carpet in which tufts are pulled from the backing resulting in long, lengthwise pulls out of the carpet. Zippering occurs when the tuft base is not securely encapsulated by the backing compound.

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