All About Carpet Styles: Frieze, Berber, Loop, Patterned and More

We often get questions about the different styles of carpet available in the Classique Floors showroom. For that reason, I plan on deconstructing carpet styles in this article so you know the difference between frieze, berber, loop, plush, patterned carpet and more.

This is the next article in our blog series about understanding carpet. The first was What 5 Factors Determine Carpet Quality?

When you start shopping for carpet, you’ll discover three style categories: cut carpet, loop carpet and patterned carpet. Cut carpet is perhaps the best known style; loop carpet can also be combined with cut loops to create a textural pattern; you’ll often notice patterned carpet in hotels and convention centers.

Five Styles of Cut Pile Carpet: From Plush to Frieze

As we explain, cut carpet consists of yarns that are cut at the ends, creating a soft, cushiony feel underfoot. That cut pile is what makes it particularly ideal for the most comfortable areas of your home – bedrooms, living rooms and family rooms – places where you may enjoy walking in bare feet or spending time with your kids on the floor.

Within cut pile, you will find five basic styles of cut pile carpet: Velvet, Saxony, Frieze, Shag, and Cable, each providing a different look and texture. The primary difference among these styles is the amount of twist in the yarns which also will ultimately influence the carpet’s durability.

Saxony and velvet – sometimes referred to as plush – carpet tend to be more formal. Plush carpet also tends to show footprints and vacuum marks. At Classique Floors + Tile, we make a point of finding out early in the conversation whether you mind footprints and vacuum marks or not. If you do, you’ll want to consider other carpet styles.

Frieze, Shag and Cable carpet are related in that the individual strands stand out – especially in comparison to the compact look of plush carpet styles.

  • Frieze carpet has highly twisted rough and curly yarns that make for a contemporary look and make this a smart choice for any active part of your home as it hides footprints and tracks.
  • Shag carpet looks far more stylish than the shag carpets of the 70s. You may see a variety of yarn thicknesses and textures. The piles are much longer than those of frieze carpet. Shag is better suited for low traffic areas and requires special treatment with the vacuum (i.e., no beater bars).
  • Cable carpet is characterized by fat nubby yarns. As with shag, it is better suited for the low traffic areas of your home.

Loop and Cut-loop Carpet Styles

In a Loop carpet, the carpet yarn on the surface remains looped (in cut pile carpet, the loops are cut). The pile height can vary from low, tightly constructed to a more luxurious high-level pile. Loop carpet has strength and soil hiding capabilities. This style is ideal for heavy traffic areas.

As the name suggests, a Cut-loop carpet has a combination of high cut tufts and lower loops in a variety of sculptured patterns. Cut-loop carpets offer good performance but are slightly less durable than loop carpets.

What About Berber Carpet?

Although many people refer to loop style carpets as berbers, the term berber actually refers to flecks of color against a pale background, similar to the flecks of color that would be present naturally in wool. Berbers are therefore available not only in loop style carpets but also in other styles like shags and friezes.

That said, you will generally find quite a few berber-flecked looped carpets since berber is the most popular style of looped carpet and it can be constructed as a level-loop or a multi-loop carpet.

Patterned Carpet Styles Add Detail and Hide Wear, Spills and Spots

Patterned Carpet Styles

Pattern adds detail to a room, whether it’s floral, geometric, or Baroque-inspired. That detail creates character and complexity in the room.

As I mention in Five important carpet buying tips, patterns are particularly effective for hiding wear, spills and spots.

If you decide on patterned carpet, you’ll want to be certain that any contrasting patterns in your home work well together and that your carpet fits the overall decor.

Something to keep in mind with patterns is the size of the repeat. When you look on the back of a patterned carpet sample in our store, you will find information about the pattern repeat. Any pattern repeat will mean buying additional square footage to match patterns.

Resources Explaining Carpet Styles

Here are a few additional resources which include diagrams and images to help illustrate the differences between the different carpet styles.

Let me know what questions you have about the different carpet styles available.

Thanks for reading,



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