How is carpet made?

Find out with Sir Sidney McSprocket!

Sir Sidney McSprocket’s been in action capturing facts – all about manufacturing!

Today he’s finding out all about carpet!

Carpets have been around almost as long as there have been houses – and originally would have been woven by hand.

Carpets are made out of an enormous quantity of yarn – that’s a tufty thread that might be a natural material like wool or a manufactured synthetic material.

Whichever it is, the yarn is wound onto a lot of spools – these are small rollers from which the carpet will be woven.

The back of the carpet will be a tough material such as a polypropylene or a natural fibre like jute. It needs to be strong to hold the yarn firmly in place and withstand lots of wear and tear!

Once those two things are sorted, it’s time to weave the carpet. This process is called tufting. Hundreds of needles stitch the yarn to the backing material…

The more needles per centimetre, the more luxurious the carpet will feel. Cameras watch the weave and if any yarn breaks, it can be quickly replaced.

To make sure the stitches don’t come loose, a further backing layer will be glued to the underside.

Some carpets are one colour – some have very fancy patterns. Computers will direct the machinery how, when and where to use different coloured yarns in the weaving process.

Sometimes, screen printing is used to print a pattern. This requires a special dye – and once the pattern is printed on, it’ll need to be thoroughly are very carefully dried.

The final stage is to give the carpet a shave to make sure it has an even finish, and then it’ll be steamed to fix the yarn into its shape forever. It’s then rolled up ready for dispatch to the shops!

Sidney McSprocket is Fun Kids’ resident inventor!

When he’s not in Edinburgh, tinkering with wacky contraptions in his workshop, he’s finding out all about manufacturing!

In the latest series, Sidney is finding out about a whole load of everyday objects from tin cans and toothbrushes to plastic bottles and Pyrex…

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Sidney McSprocket’s How’s it Made, with support from the Royal Commission for the Exhibition 1851.

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