Carpet pile is the pat of the carpet above the backing. This is the part of carpet you see and touch and is what we think of when we think of carpet. Carpet pies have several different types of construction.
From the Carpet and Rug Institute:
Cut pile: Still one of today’s most popular constructions, cut pile achieves its durability through the type of fiber used, density of tufts and the amount of twist in the yarn. Highly twisted yarn will hold its shape longer, making it a smart choice for high-traffic areas.
Level loop pile: Here loops are the same height, creating an informal look. This style generally lasts a long time in high-traffic areas. Many of today’s popular Berber styles are level loop styles with flecks of a darker color on a lighter background. This is a good choice for contemporary to cottage furnishings.
Multi-level loop pile: This style usually has two to three different loop heights to create pattern effects, providing good durability and a more casual look.
Cut-loop pile: This carpet style combines cut and looped yarns. It provides variety of surface textures, including sculptured effects of squares, chevrons and swirls. The multicolor effects hide soil and stains.