What is Pile?

In textile, pile refers to a surface characterized by the presence of raised fibers or loops that stand up above a fabric's base. The pile is created by weaving an extra set of yarns into the fabric during the manufacturing process, which creates a looped or cut surface that can provide added texture, warmth, and softness.

Pile fabrics are commonly used in various textiles, including upholstery, carpeting, blankets, and clothing. Pile fabrics can be made from natural fibers like wool and cotton, synthetic fibers like polyester, or a blend of both natural and synthetic fibers.

There are two main types of pile fabrics: cut pile and loop pile. Cut pile fabrics have their loops cut, resulting in a plush surface with a soft texture. Examples of cut pile fabrics include velvet, velour, and plush. In contrast, loop pile fabrics are left uncut, and the loops can be left as is or sheared to produce a more uniform surface. Examples of loop pile fabrics include terry cloth and Berber carpeting.

Pile fabrics also come in various weights, densities, and lengths. For instance, long pile fabrics are more suitable for shag rugs and thick blankets, while short pile fabrics are more appropriate for lightweight garments like fleece jackets.