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RV carpet

RV Carpet Binding

A new customer came in with a restored RV but with raw carpet edges (unbound) on his slid outs  etc.

We removed the old carpet, bound and seamed where needed, and made one happy camper!

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How to Keep Your Beautiful Rugs Safe and Slip Free

We’ve mentioned before that our motto at Bond Products is “Every hard floor needs a nice area rug,” but it’s important to make sure that the rug you choose to finish decorating your space is also safe to walk and stand on. Your handmade antique rug may have different care requirements than the rug you hooked yourself; they both need to stay firmly in place, however. Not only does a rug that moves around pose a safety concern, it also looks untidy. If you’ve spent time creating just the right look for a room, you don’t want a poor rug backing solution to undo all of that work. Bond Products offers three different types of rug products design to solve different kinds of rug and flooring problems.

The first type of rug backing is designed to protect the floor from the rug. If you’ve either put in a new floor or rehabbed your original one, you’ve already made an investment in beauty, so you want to make sure that your wood floors are not scratched by an abrasive rug. Our gray felt backings will accomplish this at a low cost. We also have MOVENOT felt/rubber backings that can be used either way based on the need. Using the rubber backing will keep your rugs from slipping out of position or out from underneath you.

The second type of rug product we offer is a non-slip rug pad or gripper. We have three options for these, and their purpose is the same: to hold a rug to the floor. The rug pads can be purchased to match the dimensions of your rug and cut down to size as necessary. They also provide some cushioning underneath to make standing or walking on your rug more comfortable.

The third type of rug product we offer is RugLock. This is a spray-on backing that is waterproof and spill proof. It adheres to any type of rug and will grip hardwood, tile, carpet, and vinyl equally firmly. It’s simple to apply and requires no cutting. You won’t have to worry about it showing underneath your carpet either. This is the simplest, most invisible solution Bond Products offers to eliminate rug slippage.

The above rug backing products were designed with different purposes in mind – which is why we offer a full variety of choices to keep your rugs slip free. If you have an expensive floor and an inexpensive rug, you will want a different type of solution than if it’s the rug that is the collector’s item. It’s always a good idea to focus on safety, however. A bad slip is not only painful, it can result in damage to the rug or the floor or even expensive medical bills.

If you have questions about which rug solution would best address your safety and aesthetic concerns, please call us today at Bond Products. We’d be happy to advise you on what would be best for your needs.

 

What Is an Aubusson Carpet?


There are many different types of beautiful carpets. We’ve talked previously about practical carpets,
craft carpets, antique rugs, and we’ve touched on what makes those rugs different from each other both in use and value. Throughout the years carpet artisans have perfected ways to make art from fibers, and one example of this is the Aubusson carpet. What is an Aubusson carpet, and why is it such a treasure?

In addition to carpet buffs, readers of history, design, and novels or biographies about wealthy people will perhaps have heard of Aubusson carpets because this was the floor covering of the French nobility and, later, the very rich. France had a rigid social hierarchy prior to the French Revolution, and class was designated by specific rights and privileges. In 1627 the Hospice de la Savonnerie was established by royal order to create knotted pile carpets for the Kings and Queens of France to use in their many residences and also to give as diplomatic gifts.

Obviously a carpet that can only be made for a king will be highly valued and very coveted, the French nobility wanted carpets of similar quality to be available to them, so workshops were later established in the villages of Aubusson and Felletin to accomplish this. Aubusson was already famous for its pictorial tapestries, often of landscapes and hunting scenes, which were woven to be hung on walls in elite French residences as art.

Legends say that the area’s history of fiber crafting there dates back to the Saracens who remained in the area after Charles Martel’s victory at the Battle of Tours forced most of them from France. Later many Huguenot weavers of skill, fleeing religious persecution, settled there. They left after the revocation of the Edict of Nantes which reversed the trend of religious tolerance in France and forced them into exile. The carpet trade waxed and waned in France, directly affected by who was in power and how they felt about certain groups of people.

So many of the Aubusson carpets were made in the pileless tapestry technique that this is what an Aubusson carpet came to be known as, but many piled rugs were also made. Early carpets often resembled Oriental rugs, but over time the weavers began to use more floral and architectural patterns as the weavers of Savonnerie carpets were doing.

Today weavers in India, Pakistan, and China copy this European style of rug making which includes those same floral and architectural motifs. They reflect the period of time from which they emerged, the Renaissance, and, unlike many hand-woven carpets, are uniquely French. If you have an Aubusson carpet in your home, it is both a piece of history and a piece of art, so do take good care of it.

 

What Is the Difference between a Hand-tufted Rug and a Handmade One?

Do you know what makes a valuable rug valuable? Cost is often determined by how desired or sought after an object is, but part of the intrinsic value of a good rug is in how it is made. All rugs are not the same. At one end of the spectrum are basic rugs made to fulfill the basic function of covering up a part of the floor, and at the other are literal works of fiber art, crafted by professionals with years of expertise and from the best materials. So what exactly are the different grades of rugs?

The least valuable type of rug is machine made. Everything on this type of rug is made by machine, there are no individual modifications or touches, and it’s made in multiple quantities, often very large quantities. Machine-made rugs can be made from a number of materials, from synthetic to natural. This does not mean that a machine-made rug can’t be an attractive addition to your home. It simply means that it’s less valuable than other types.

Hand-tufted rugs are more valuable than machine-made rugs because they use the same kinds of high-quality fibers that weavers use for hand-knotted rugs, but they are much quicker to produce. Essentially the weaver prepares a rug backing with a design, and then injects tufts of wool or cotton yarn into it with a tufting gun. Once all of the yarn has been injected, another foundation, called a scrim, is applied with latex glue so that the fibers remain in place. After this the carpet loops are sheared to present a flat and dense appearance that is comfortable to walk on.

Hand-tufted rugs can be beautiful rugs and will last for a decade or more under foot traffic, but they are not individually crafted by one person over time with an eye toward color, texture, or weave. That is what hand-knotted rugs are.

Hand-knotted rugs are rugs in which one weaver individually tied all of the knots – between 50 to 400 knots per square inch – onto warp strings and then cut them to create a one-of-a-kind rug. They can take up to a year to make, but these rugs can last for generations. People who invest in hand-knotted rugs know the quality of the rug they are purchasing, and they are usually eager to respect it.

You can see that if a rug is painstakingly made with this much care and expertise, it is a treasure that should be protected and maintained. This means making sure that it is professionally cleaned on a regular basis and repaired when necessary, including being rebound. If you have questions about how to take care or repair a rug in your home, Bond Products would be happy to help you with that challenge.

Giving an Antique Rug a New Life

Today we’re going to talk about giving antique (or maybe just older) rugs a second chance at performing the task they were made to do: softening a floor, warming a room, and looking beautiful.

You probably know someone who has the “touch.” He or she can walk into a treasure zone, whether that’s a garage sale, a rummage sale, a flea market, antique shop, or an estate sale, and find something of real value amongst all the clutter. That something will invariably go on to look amazing in whatever setting they put it, even if it requires a little tender loving care first.

Sometimes that’s a rug. Many older rugs were made to be used by generations of people. They were crafted with skill out of quality materials, and they’ve survived a long time. While it’s true that plenty of antique rugs can be found for sale, it’s very possible that you may have an antique rug in your family waiting for you to inherit or be gifted it. Or perhaps you have something of your grandmother’s up in your attic right now waiting to be used again. If that is the case, there are only a few steps to take to get an antique rug in good shape to be used again.

Have it professionally cleaned – It’s unlikely, if you’re getting a rug that’s been used, that you will know exactly what kind of life it has lead, whether that means dirt, stains, pet urine, cigarette smoke, or worked in grime. All of those things can do further damage to a rug if they are left unattended. You may be tempted to clean it yourself to save money, but respect the delicate nature of these crafted pieces and allow a professional to take care of it. They will make sure it’s clean, fully dry, and no longer contains unpleasant odors.

Have it professionally repaired – It’s very possible that your antique rug has places that have worn or torn over the years. This doesn’t mean that the rug should be thrown out, however! A certain amount of wear can lead charm or historical authenticity to a rug as it does to any other antique. If you intend to use it practically, though, you should have loose yarns and frayed patches repaired or replaced.

Replace the binding – Often a new binding makes a real difference in the appearance of an older rug. Bond Products offers many different types of bindings for rugs made of both natural and synthetic fibers. This can either be done at home or by a rug professional once the carpet has been restored.

Once your rug is clean and repaired, it will be easier to determine where it will best fit in your home and how it can be showcased to good effect.  If you have any questions about carpet binding products, don’t hesitate to contact us at Bond Products today.

 

Good Reasons for Carpet Binding

Previously we’ve discussed carpet binding in terms of a weekend DIY project. There are any number of blogs focusing on the crafty and the thrifty that give tutorials with pictures for someone looking to learn how to bind a carpet or make an area rug from a remnant or a larger piece of carpet. But people bind carpets for all kinds of reasons besides learning a new craft or saving money. Here are some examples of carpet problems, challenges, or opportunities that require binding or serging to complete:

Carpets with damage – Perhaps you have a piece of beautiful wall-to-wall carpet that you love but that has, unfortunately, become damaged in a way that can’t be easily repaired. Making that piece into one or more area rugs is a way to avoid sending something lovely to the landfill while keeping it in a different form for your house or business. Damaged area rugs can also be fixed by removing the stained and worn parts and rebinding as well. An accident does not have to be a tragedy.

Redecorating – Back in the mid-20th century, the trend was to throw out area rugs and introduce wall-to-wall carpeting. This was made possible by new chemistry, cleaning products, and push vacuums. For the past couple of decades, the grandchildren of those people who tossed out area rugs have been prying up carpet and praying that what is underneath it is hardwood. As with anything trendy, everything old is new again. If you’re ready to retro your house to hardwood, remember our motto: “Every hard floor needs a nice area rug.”

Unique carpet options – While there are quite a lot of excellent pre-made carpeting and area rug choices for consumers to make, if you are interested in a unique or one-of-a-kind flooring, the “quilted” area rug is something to consider. This involves choosing carpeting remnants or samples and sewing them together to make a piece of flooring art. Like quilt making it can be time intensive and require the right tools, but your finished product will be something everyone will notice and comment on.

Gorgeous rug, bad binding – Sometimes bad things happen to good carpets and rugs. If you find a high quality rug at a flea market or antique shop but hate the way it’s bound or want a new look for it, Bond Products can help. People frequently underestimate the effect a professional binding can make on a rug.

There are so many ways that carpets and rugs can be tailored to meet the needs of individual taste or space. If you have a carpet idea or problem, give Bond Products a call. We’d love to help you find your solution.

What Is the Difference between Binding a Carpet and Serging it?

Modern carpet is different from historical handmade carpets which were hooked, braided, or woven on small looms. Because of the way carpet is manufactured, purchased, and cut, it needs to be bound in some way – both to keep it from coming apart at the edges and to make it look nice. This is where binding and serging play a role.

Where traditional carpets were and are a form of fabric craft and could be rolled tightly and moved, modern mass-produced carpet is made to stay put and look smooth and uniform. The backing on carpeting you buy by the foot is tough. In addition to the face yarn – the part you see and walk on – the reverse side of the carpet has a primary backing and then, potentially, a high performance pre-coating, a thermoplastic compound, fiberglass reinforcement, and another layer of thermoplastic compound. At the very least there’s a latex layer and a secondary backing. It’s supposed to help the carpet to lay there and lay flat until you don’t want it there any more and rip it up, and replace it.
The problem is that with carpeting being so stiff, binding it isn’t as easy as whip stitching the edge. You may be able to push a standard needle through the backing with pressure and patience, but you’re not going to be able to bind it by hand. This is why Bond Products offers a number of binding and serging solutions.

For the weekend DIYer, there’s Instabind. With a scissors, a hot glue gun, tape, and binding tape, you can glue on a professional looking binding for whatever smaller carpeting projects you want to tackle.

For carpet professionals we carry binding and serging equipment and all the supplies needed for these jobs, whether that isbinding tapes, serging yarn, thread, bobbins, or needles. But we still haven’t answered the original question: What is the difference between binding a carpet and serging it?

Professionally binding a carpet involves taking a fabric binding, folding it over the edge of the carpet and then sewing it to the carpet with a binding machine that looks similar to a traditional sewing machine. The width of the binding is usually 3/4 to 1-1/4 of an inch and generally the color of the binding is matched to the most noticeable color in the carpet itself.

Professionally serging a carpet involves continuously wrapping the edge of the carpet with yarn. This is similar to a traditional whip stitch except that the yarn on the edge is very close together and it’s done by machine. The width of the serging is traditionally ⅜ths of an inch, and the yarn is chosen to match the carpet as well.

Another option is the style and type. Bond now makes an 1-1/4 inch 100% cotton serging tape that is applied with a “binding machine.” It’s important to consider whether the piece of carpet you’re working with is synthetic or natural fiber. The general rule of thumb is to use natural fiber, usually cotton or wool, when the rug is natural and synthetic binding and serging, usually nylon or polyester, when the rug is synthetic.

area rug Instabind

Turn a Carpet Remnant into a Rug!

Our Instabind product has a number of creative uses our customers write to tell us about, including crafts, classic car restoration and even yacht remodeling, but the #1 use for Instabind is, of course, rug binding. It’s a great way to make a piece of carpeting – old or new – into an area rug. What’s more, you don’t have to be a carpeting professional to do it. Instabind makes rug binding into a fun weekend project for any DIYer or crafter.

How do you turn a carpet remnant into a rug? It’s simple.

Step 1 – Assemble your tools. These will be a hot glue gun, scissors, and clear tape.

Step 2 – Trim off any strings or irregularities along the sides of the carpet and make sure that its sides are straight. You may find using a carpet cutter and straight edge helps.

Step 3 – Take the style of binding you’ve chosen to complement the carpet and make a clean cut. Instabind comes in up to 50 colors and styles, including:

  • Regular binding style
  • Cotton binding style
  • Synthetic serge binding style
  • Cotton serge style
  • Rope edge style
  • Outdoor marine style
  • Safety edge style

We even sell an Instabind Starter Kit if you’d like to try your hand at carpet binding with a number of projects and styles. Our rule of thumb for selecting a binding is: if it’s a cotton or wool rug or carpet, use a natural (cotton) binding or serging style. If it’s a synthetic rug or carpet, use a synthetic binding or serging style. Of course, the highest quality look will still be the cotton one, but our synthetic binding will look great too.

Step 4 – Pull back the paper on the binding and begin applying it to the carpet in the middle of one cut edge. Extend the Instabind past the corner of the carpet, and using the corner as a guide, snip the flat part of the Instabind, stopping at the piping. With the paper turned back, overlap the backing while rounding the corner. Continue around the carpet until you return to the beginning. You can readjust if necessary at this stage in the project. Using your starting point as a guide, make the finishing cut with your scissors and trim any excess strings.

Step 5 – Seal the beginning and ending pieces of the Instabind together with a bead of hot glue. Now apply a ⅛” bead of hot glue between the edge of the Instabind and the carpet and hold in place a few minutes to let the glue set. Continue this process all the way around the carpet. For a more finished looking back, trim the Instabind backing at a 45 degree angle.

Step 6 – Place your beautiful new bound piece of carpet in any place it complements your decor.

If you have a rug you’d like to repair, or a remnant piece of carpet that could serve as a rug, what are you waiting for? Using Instabind to transform either is much less expensive than the price of an area rug, even an inexpensive one, so what have you got to lose?

 

Why Choose Artificial Turf over Grass?

Bond Products sells numerous products related to carpet installation so that both professionals and DIYers can easily install carpet that looks seamless.

artificial lawnSeamless carpet is not only desirable indoors, it’s also the goal of artificial turf installers, and we have a number of products at Bond that are designed to help them do their job, including turf tape, combination shearer/bevelors, and even a Bondbilt Turf Master seam sewing machine for very large projects or professionals who do this job on a regular basis.

Artificial grass has indoor and outdoor applications, of course, but it’s the outdoor ones that are beginning to get a lot of notice in the news due to the problems caused by the persistent California drought. Up until this point homeowners who wanted beautiful green lawns had to either spend large amounts of money on irrigating and then lawn maintenance or go artificial. Now, however, lawmakers are stepping in, and in many municipalities even homeowners who have the money to irrigate will not be allowed to because of the lack of resources. Suddenly there’s a big demand for artificial turf.

For those of us living in less arid parts of the country, are there still reasons to consider artificial grass over the real stuff? Well, yes. The cost, for one.

It’s not cheap to install an artificial turf lawn, but it is considerably less expensive over time than meticulously maintaining a living one in areas where fuel and water are expensive or scarce. Lawns are a rich man’s luxury, historically speaking. Most people either had gardens or pasture – which could be used to grow crops or raise animals, respectively. Only kings and other very wealthy people could afford to pay for the labor required to keep a lawn in perfect condition. The twentieth century, with its labor saving devices, chemical fertilizers, and cheap fuel allowed regular people to have a rectangle of green to fuss over on weekends, and it was quickly integrated into the American Dream.

But it’s now the twenty-first century, and water is scarcer, gasoline is much more expensive, chemical fertilizers have drawbacks for the environment, and few people view cutting the grass as relaxing.

With this in mind, putting in a piece of turf that will always be green and even, doesn’t have to be cut, fertilized, or watered, and will last for years into the future seems a much more appealing choice and a good financial investment.

This is why Bond Products offers its turf tape, shearers, and seaming systems for turf installs: to allow consumers to have the choice of either a real or an artificial lawn and to put it in themselves if they would like to save money. If you’re interested in this sort of product, call us and let us get you the supplies you need so your can begin your lawn project today.

 

 

Automotive Uses for Bond Products

There are so many automotive uses for our Instabind product – we at Bond know that. It’s particularly rewarding to see the wonderful results our customers get from it as well. We recently received these photos of the interior of a limousine, showing how Instabind can be used to bind carpet on site anywhere – to great effect.

These photographs came to us rather circuitously from the United Kingdom where our Instabind is known as Easy Bind. A company called Border Limousine Hire, located in the Scottish Borders, hired Hutchison’s Carpets to carpet the interior of one of their limos.

 

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NICF master fitter Hugh Hutchison did the work, and it was photographed by Stevie Blake. To match the grey carpet, he used our Easybind Grey Dunn product in rope edge style.

 

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These photos vividly illustrate the versatility of our Instabind/Easybind products, whether for crafts, car interiors, or the traditional carpet binding use, Instabind gets the job done beautifully.

 

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Thank you, Hutchison’s Carpets, for trusting in and using Easy Bind for your work!

What Are Narrow Fabrics?

Bond Narrow Fabric Co. began as a distributor of “narrow fabrics” after the Milnes family had diversified from weaving carpets into producing narrow tapes for the military. Those outside the textile industry might wonder what exactly the term “narrow fabrics” includes. Here is a short explanation of the type of fabric we have made our life’s work.

pack webbingBy definition, narrow fabrics are “any non-elastic woven textile having a width of 12 inches or less and a woven selvage on either side.” They are small strips of fabric, often designed for a specific and practical purpose. Cords, braids, and lanyards are commonly used items that are also narrow fabrics. They are woven on special looms, including the recently developed quad axial loom which allows for for the insertion of yarn from four directions and makes both a thinner and stronger product than the traditional layered strips joined with Z fibers were.

Narrow fabrics were initially used in the garment industry on hats, corsets, and lingerie, and in military uniforms as well. Nowadays soldiers will also find narrow fabrics in their pack webbing and parachutes as well as their waist belts, helmets, and body armor.

If you pay attention to the everyday objects in your life, you will see lots of narrow fabrics, from the seat belts in your car, to the leash you walk your dog on, to the tough fabric edging on your mattress.

Recently, as technology has advanced, narrow fabrics have been used to make 3D medical devices such as the woven bifurcate that is used to treat aortic abdominal aneurysms. The strong fabric device is threaded into place to support the artery and reduce the aneurysm. Eventually, as the patient heals, this device will become a part of the artery itself.

During a procedure used to replace damaged heart valves, a narrow fabric medical device is used to fish out any surgical debris after the new valves are in place. The future promises more such medical technology. Other commonly known narrow fabrics used in the healthcare industry include rigid gauze, bandages, and fiberglass bands.

And, of course, narrow fabrics are used to join carpet seams during installation, whether inside the house or on the football field. Our Instabind products, which are used to bind carpet pieces, are all aesthetically pleasing examples of narrow fabrics.

We at Bond Products are proud of the part we have played and continue to play in the U.S. textile industry. Narrow fabrics can be found almost anywhere and have a myriad of uses from everyday to high tech. So the next time you take your dog for a walk or admire the carpet in your living room, remember narrow fabrics!

 

A History of the Milnes Family in the Carpet Trade

George, Freedy, Wesley, Violet, John, and Kenneth Milnes
George, Freedy, Wesley, Violet, John, and Kenneth Milnes

The Milnes family and carpet have a long, interconnected history. It’s not just a phrase to say we go “way back.” A Milnes family Bible was presented to John Milnes over 125 years ago as a wedding gift. It still remains in the family’s possession as of 2015, and contains birth and death records. What we know about their involvement in the history of carpeting in England and America is as follows:

In 1856 George and Freedy Milnes came to this country from Bradford, England. This village is located in Yorkshire which is in the northern part of the country near Scotland. They raise sheep in those colder climes, and Bradford was known as a woolen town, meaning that it was an area that manufactured woolen yarn and fabric products. So it was natural for the family to continue in the textile trade in their new country.

George and Freedy’s son John started the family business in 1910. It was then known as National Tapestry Company and produced woven high-­end upholstery fabrics with intricate designs on jacquard looms. During the lean years that followed, including the Great Depression, the company diversified and began making narrow tapes used in the garment industry, in particular for military uniforms. John’s son, Wesley Milnes, Sr., was born in 1889, and he continued the mill very successfully along with his brother-­in-­law, Ralph Shaw. Wesley and his wife, Minnie Bond Milnes, had 10 children, and the fifth child, Kenneth Bond Milnes, started the present Bond Products, Inc. in 1947 as a proprietorship, then incorporated in 1953.

Bond Narrow Fabric Co. began as a distributor of “narrow fabrics.” This is defined as fabrics less than 6″ wide: woven, knitted, braided, non-woven or other construction. Kenneth’s brothers, Wesley, Jr. and Arthur Milnes, were active in Bond Products during the 1950s, When Arthur’s son, Richard Milnes, began working in the family business as a shipping clerk at 17 in 1960, the company sold a small amount of cotton carpet binding tape, mostly 1-1/4″ and 1-1/2″ width. This was made at a local mill in Philadelphia.

In 1963 Bond introduced the first “one-pass” narrow binding tape in 13/16″ width. This binding was applied by a zigzag stitch sewing machine using clear monofilament thread on the top side, and a conventional filament bobbin thread. The machine was introduced that year by a company named Broadloom Speedbinder, Inc. A few years later they introduced a portable version of this machine. By the late 1960s, Bond was the leading producer of this new style of carpet binding tape.

In 1966 Bond was the second company to manufacture hot-melt carpet seaming tape. This was a major item in our product line for a long number of years, and continues to sell today.

Top left to right: Wesley Milnes, Kenneth Bond Milnes (our founder), Scott Heilman, David Schaible Bottom left to right: Belton Dunlop, Betty Ewing, Pamela Andrews, Richard Milnes

Bond Products was acquired in 1974 by the family business, National Tapestry, which was known by that time as Wayne Mills Co. In 1980 we added a non-woven synthetic binding tape that became very popular. In 1987 we opened our sewing equipment division and entered the machine market. Our line of machines has evolved to include carving and cutting equipment and a wide variety of specialty products used in the creation and installation of carpet and rugs.

When Richard Milnes retired from full­-time employment in 2002, it was sold to his son, Brian Milnes, the present owner, who was already working for the family business at that time. So, the family that brought their textile background here in 1856 continues to progress in this very competitive industry and now specializes in products for the floor covering trade.

Over 68 years and under four generations of Milnes guidance, Bond Products continues to offer innovative products and accessories to the floor covering trade, remaining in tune to the needs of our loyal customers and the carpet business as a whole.

 

 

Single vs. Double Puller Carpet Binders

double pullerSingle vs. Double Puller Carpet Binders:

The rule of thumb if  you are mainly doing commercial work (i.e., light weight / low pile, carpet base etc.,) carpet, is that a single puller is sufficient 90% of the time or more. (You can always pre-bevel the thick stuff to bind it easier.) If you are doing mostly residential plush and berber carpets of 40 to 50 ounces and up, a double puller will track through these rugs more easily and also help keep the work more square on the  way through. Using a wider 1-1/4” binding tape will also help when binding heavier rugs as it allows us to open up the mouth of the tape folder and gives you more tape to reach around the carpet edge getting the stitch deeper into the carpet and away from the edge. Happy Binding!

What Do You Know about America’s Carpet History?

The plush, wall-to-wall, easy care carpeting that most of us take for granted is actually a recent phenomenon in history. World wide, few people today have this type of carpet in their homes. They are much more likely to have hard floors of some type – either wood, stone, tile, or cement – with area rugs scattered about for warmth, comfort, and aesthetic value. This type of rug was relatively easy to clean without a power vacuum. It was taken out and beaten regularly to remove dirt and dust.

carpet historyAmerica’s love of luxurious carpet dates back to 1791 when William Sprague opened his woven carpet mill right here in Philadelphia. Others followed, but America’s carpet history shifted in a big way in 1839 when Erastus Bigelow invented the power loom. Large scale carpets could be woven at a much faster pace and were.

In 1878 the Shuttleworth brothers started the Mohawk carpet company in Amsterdam, New York with 14 looms imported from England. In 1905 Mohawk introduced a new carpet, the Karnak Wilton, which achieved popularity almost overnight. The company had to expand into new quarters just to meet demand. In the 1920s Oriental rugs began to be manufactured by machine. This was the brainchild of Marshall Field. At this time in American history, the most popular rug material still, by far, was wool.

However, in the 1950s, after World War II had ended and with the help of new fiber technologies, carpet at home was transformed. Everything in carpet production had changed. There were new man-made fibers, spinning techniques, dye equipment, tufting equipment, and printing processes. Not only that, suddenly there was demand. This was the era of tract housing, and all of the ranch houses being built for the Baby Boomers and their parents needed flooring. Wall-to-wall carpeting eventually became the solution of choice.

Remember, this was the 1950s and everything “scientific” was the rage. The last thing any modern housewife wanted on her floor was Grandma’s rag rug or even a loom-made Oriental. Nylon had been created in a lab and had been scarce during the war years, but technology and Southern manufacturing (with its lower union-free labor costs) made it affordable to even young, working class families. So they had it installed.

In the mid-1950s, Dupont developed bulk continuous filament (BCF) nylon and this facilitated the introduction of the more inexpensive low pile looped carpet suitable for the working class family’s budget and lifestyle. Nylon also lent itself to a variety of styles and constructions that allowed for more options in interior design. With the explosion of consumer goods, personal style was now an achievable goal.

Bond Products experienced this last transformative carpet boom first hand. Our products made it possible for both new and old types of carpet to be installed or adapted elegantly and easily, and we’ve always been excited to see how flooring has changed and been modified to suit more modern lifestyles.

 

How to Connect Carpet Seams

While it would be great to install one piece of carpet in a room, avoiding any seaming, in most cases, this is not possible. Fortunately, correctly seaming carpet using carpet seam tape can produce the same seamless effect. Here’s how you go about achieving it.

Unroll the carpet in the room you will install it. Measure the width of the piece that you will need to add to the main piece in order to fully carpet the room. It’s important to measure in more than one place along the length of the room. Some buildings aren’t really square, and you know the saying, “Measure twice, cut once.” It doesn’t just apply to wood.

With a carpet cutter or utility knife, trim the edge of your carpet against a straight edge, carefully measuring as you cut. If you do not do this correctly, your finished seam may show. When cut right, your carpet pieces will both have a straight, smooth edge on them, and they will fit together perfectly. Make sure the nap of the carpet on both pieces is going in the same direction, and then you can insert the seam tape.

carpet seamsCut the carpet seam tape to the length of the cut seam and place it centered under the two cut edges with the adhesive facing up. The seam tape is marked to make this easier.

Prior to heat seaming, using a seam sealing latex such as Kiwi Seam. As the CRI Carpet Installation Standard states, “most carpet requires an edge protective material be introduced between the edges to be joined…Failure to properly prepare seam edges often results in: edge ravel, edge delamination, tuft loss, seam separation, safety concerns.”

After you have sealed the seam, pull back the carpet and put your pre-heated seaming iron down on the tape. When the glue on the tape has warmed and is starting to bead, press the two sections of the carpet back down on that section of the tape, slowly moving the seaming iron forward to heat the next section. Make sure the backing of the two pieces of carpet you are connecting are exactly together, tightly.

Use a carpet tractor or a weighted object to push the melted glue into the grid backing of the carpet so it will fully adhere to the tape. Repeat these steps along the entire length of the carpet until it is fully seamed. Allow the glue on the tape to fully cool before you move the carpet into position for its final installation. Smooth the surface of the seamed pieces with your hands and trim off any stray pieces of string or carpet fibers. Unplug your seaming iron and clean it with a piece of scrap carpeting.

Following these instructions should result in a nice uniform looking piece of carpet. Connecting carpet seams in the direction of the primary light source of the room will also help hide the seam visually.

Bond Products offers everything a DIY weekend project warrior or a professional installer will need for seaming and carpet installation. If you need staples, staple guns, mallets, mallet caps, L-cleats, or finish nails for your flooring project, shop our Pro Drive HD™ line of supplies. Let us help you find and purchase the right items for your job!

 

Every Hard Floor Needs a Nice Area Rug

Our motto at Bond Products is, “Every hard floor needs a nice area rug.”

For those of us who grew up in the era of shag carpets and wall-to-wall, hard floors were a bit of a revelation. Who knew floors could feel so smooth and cool and look so clean? There’s a reason that all of a sudden everyone was ripping up their carpet and praying a hardwood floor was underneath it.  Besides the aesthetic value of hardwood, it appeals to people who are more environmentally conscious and to those who want to avoid the allergens that can get trapped in installed carpet. It’s more than a trend or fad: exposed flooring is here to stay.

area rugThe problem with yards and yards of hard floor is at least two-fold, however. First of all, hard floors are cool, and by that we mean cold. They are ideal for hotter parts of the country like the Deep South or the Southwest, but Philadelphia gets (and stays) cold in the winter, and no one wants to stay in a cold room. The second problem with an excess of exposed hard floor is that it can be bit bland looking. Adding an area rug, or two or three, solves both problems at once. This being true, how do you go about choosing the right area rug for your hard floor?

Your first consideration has to be: Is this a carpet you love? If you don’t love it, why would you buy it? A carefully considered rug purchase is an investment in comfort and beauty, so don’t bother browsing rugs you don’t like, even if they are practical or fashionable. There are any number of different types of carpets or rugs: shag or high-pile carpets, antique rugs, flat-weave carpets, and rugs woven from fibers like jute or hemp. Take some time in a carpet store or with a professional designer. Explore your options, and then take use into consideration because…

There is no point in putting an antique rug in a toddler’s bedroom or under the dining room table if your beagles have claimed that space already. High-pile rugs are not made for places with lots of traffic, unless you want to see how dirty carpet can get. Consider how the room your carpet will be in functions, and work with, instead of against that purpose.

Finally, determine how you will take care of your rug. Can you beat it outside? Will vacuuming be enough? Will you be able to clean it yourself or does it need professional cleaning on a regular basis? If you can’t afford to keep your area rug or carpet clean, you should look at other possibilities. Don’t be like the shopper who wants to be a size 8 but is really a size 12. Never wearing a dress you love isn’t a good outcome, nor is being unhappy living with a carpet you can’t afford to take good care of.

These three tips will help guide you to a good carpet choice. Don’t rush through this process, though. It should be enjoyable for you to weigh your options and then finally select the perfect area rug or carpet for your hard floor. And don’t forget to add a non-slip backing to your rug to keep it in place and stop accidents from happening. Bond Products has three different kinds of rug backing to accommodate any carpet or rug need, and as we say, “Every hard floor needs a nice area rug!”

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