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Axminster Carpets

The Flooring Group has long had a productive partnership with Axminster Carpets. Below, Axminster Carpets describe their brand in detail;

About Us

We’re proud of our heritage, our people and our designs. Quality in design and craftsmanship is guaranteed with every Axminster Carpet™ – each one is made using our traditional methods and individually inspected.

An Axminster from Axminster

We’re proud of our heritage, our people and our designs. Quality in design and craftsmanship is guaranteed with every Axminster Carpet™ – each one is made using our traditional methods and is individually inspected.

Weaving an Axminster on an Axminster loom
Today Axminster Carpets is still a family run business based in the heart of Axminster, the Devon town that gave the carpets their name. The history of carpet making in the town dates back to 1755 when Thomas Whitty made carpets using what became known as the Axminster method of weaving.

Weaving the yarn on an Axminster loom.
Weaving is a skill that is still an intrinsic part of the town’s history and present, a skill passed from generation to generation.

Our Story

Thomas Whitty began making Axminster method carpets in 1755. These original Axminster Carpets™ could be found in Chatsworth House and Brighton Pavilion as well as being bought by King George III and Queen Charlotte, who visited the factory.

182 years later a carpet manufacturer called Harry Dutfield was on a train where he met a vicar from the West Country who told him that carpets had not been made in Axminster for a while due to a disastrous fire that had destroyed the factory. The germ of an idea was born and in 1937 the decision was taken to re-launch carpet manufacturing in the town of Axminster.

This was the renaissance of ‘Axminsters from Axminster’. Axminster Carpets™ continues the proud tradition of making the finest carpets in the world. Carpets from Axminster can be found in royal residences, in some of the finest hotels in the world, in train carriages, on the aircraft of major global airlines and in thousands of discerning homes up and down the country.

To celebrate 250 years of carpet weaving in Axminster a commemorative rug was produced. Re-enacting history the carpet was paraded by the weavers of Axminster Carpets through the town to the Minster Church where it was blessed by the Bishop of Exeter and then presented to the Earl of Devon, who was representing the Queen. It is now in Clarence House, the home of HRH the Prince of Wales.

Today Axminster Carpets™ is still weaving beautiful designed carpets in the Devon town of Axminster for the royal household, stately homes, luxury hotels and homes around the world.

Axminster Carpets: Beautiful, British, Design.

Making an Axminster

What makes an Axminster Carpet™ different from any other carpet?
 

Wool is nature’s high performance fibre

Wool ready to be turned into yarn*

Our exclusive blends of premium quality wools give our carpets their unique soft spring underfoot. All our woven carpets are made with our special blend of 100% pure new wool and our tufted carpets with at least 80% wool, so you can be sure you are getting a carpet that will last and feel soft and luxurious under foot for many years.

Colourful bobbins of yarn.
We use wool selected from different breeds of British sheep. Our climate means the wool we use offers exceptional durability, warmth, flexibility and reliability – as well as wonderful ‘bounce’ underfoot. We work closely with our wool suppliers and only select the highest quality wools to turn into yarns, which will last a lifetime and retain their beauty when made into a carpet.

Craftsmanship

Gary Bridge, Design Director at Axminster Carpets

We never compromise on quality. Our production processes reflect our expertise in the traditional art of carpet design and making.

Beauty in design

Axminster Carpets produce detailed designs for rugs and carpets
At Axminster carpets™ one of the things that has always defined our woven carpets and rugs has been the level of intricate detail we are able to put into our designs. This is due to the process that we use, weaving the yarn through a quality backing rather than simply tufting (sticking) the yarn to the backing. A woven carpet or rug is made by threading each strand of yarn through the backing. This makes the resulting carpet or rug highly durable and means we can use finer yarns, which in turn means more detail in design and colour. The resulting effect in our finished carpets and rugs is like the difference between the picture quality on a standard TV and a high definition screen – colours are sharper and design details are more defined.

Quality
Every single Axminster Carpet™ is meticulously hand inspected at each stage of the production process, from the woollen yarn to the finished carpet, to ensure it’s worthy of the Axminster Carpets™ name. We know that you would expect nothing less.

Axminster Carpets™ is very proud to have been awarded the Royal Warrant enabling it to join an elite group of companies recognised as supplying goods and service to Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II. The warrant is regarded worldwide as a symbol of quality and excellence and demonstrates our commitment to manufacturing carpets of the highest possible standards.

Our People

A family business
Our people are a key part of Axminster Carpets™. We employ many families across all departments making it a very tightknit community, all working together to make our beautiful carpets. Many members of staff employed today have worked at Axminster Carpets™ for decades and came to the business to follow in the footsteps of their parents and family before them.

A very British carpet company
Skills in design & weaving have been nurtured in house in Axminster, Devon and handed down through the generations helping us to retain this knowledge and continue to produce our world class carpets, here in Great Britain.

Quality

What makes an Axminster from Axminster Carpets™ different to one from other manufacturers of Axminster weaves?

The importance of the backing and yarn

It’s in the way we weave our Axminsters and the raw materials we use. The most important difference is our specialist backing which allows us to use incredibly high-quality yarns. Our backing is made from jute and cotton that are woven together in straight lines to leave little holes for the carpet yarn to be woven through. This ensures that the carpet itself is woven in lines that are straight and true.

The quality of a woven carpet is affected by the number of holes per square inch, known as the “pitch” of the carpet, and the way the holes are arranged, either as perfect squares or rectangles. The size of these holes dictates the thickness of the thread to be used. A thicker yarn produces a more intense texture underfoot.

The best carpet “pitch” in the world

At Axminster we make our carpets using a range of pitches. Our highest domestic pitch is an 8 x 10 used for our super luxury Royal Axminster collection. This means the backing has 8 columns across and 10 rows down per square inch, with a staggering 80 tiny holes per square inch to weave the yarn through.

Why the yarn can affect the pitch

The type of yarn makes a difference to the feel of the carpet. The very fine yarns used in our Royal Axminsters such as Royal Clovellyand Royal Dartmouth give a very soft feel to the carpet and depict detail very clearly in the weave, just as your television does if you have a high definition screen. A more chunky yarn, such as that used for our Dartmoor and Exmoor weaves, will allow you to sink your toes into the carpet, which will give under foot when you walk on it.

How pitch affects the type of design

Our most popular pitch for a designed carpet is our unique 8 x 8 pitch, which has 64 tiny holes per square inch. Because it is a perfect square, the designs can include perfect circles or squares where all the lines are the same thickness and diagonal lines that flow smoothly and are not fractured. This kind of precision is impossible with a rectangular pitch like the 7 x 9 used by most other manufacturers. 

Why wool is best for carpets

Wool is nature’s own high performance fibre, offering durability, warmth, flexibility and reliability. The majority of the wool we use comes from British sheep, which we combine into specialist blends to suit each particular type of carpet.

Wool is a great natural insulator and also helps reduce noise which adds cosiness and warmth to a room. It’s naturally flame retardant and doesn’t melt like man-made fibres do. It’s also sustainable, renewable and biodegradable – this is as important to us as it is to our customers. It is highly absorbent meaning that it can hold 33% of its own weight in water before it feels wet. This enables a wool carpet to help control the humidity of a room.

For allergy sufferers, a wool carpet or rug will actually help to cleanse the air of dust, airborne allergens and Volatile Organic Chemicals (VOCs). It is a common misconception that hard floors are better for allergy sufferers – this means allergens and dust can travel in the air which can make symptoms more pronounced. A 100% wool rug or carpet in a room will help limit the impact of living with an allergy.”
 

What are the benefits of wool in carpet?

  • It’s flame retardant and won’t melt like man made fibres do
  • Wool releases heat slowly helping to insulate your room
  • As well as being cost effective performance-wise compared to synthetic fibres wool offers great durability benefits
  • Wool is high wicking and will hold 33 per cent of its weight in water before it feels wet
  • It’s a natural humidistat which means it can control the humidity of its surroundings
  • Wool is absorbent and can absorb Volatile Organic Chemicals whilst reducing formaldehyde present in the atmosphere from other materials
  • Wool carpets should purify indoor air for up to 30 years – great if you have airborne allergies. Carpet is better in homes where people suffer from airborne allergies than bare wood or hard floors, which cannot absorb dust and allergens
  • Wool has excellent acoustic performance – making a cosier atmosphere in any room
  • Wool makes an excellent compost and soil conditioner
  • Wool is an environmentally friendly choice:
    • 100 per cent renewable
    • 100 per cent biodegradable
    • 100 per cent sustainable

Our Story

Thomas Whitty began making Axminster method carpets in 1755. These original Axminster Carpets™ could be found in Chatsworth House and Brighton Pavilion as well as being bought by King George III and Queen Charlotte, who visited the factory.

182 years later a carpet manufacturer called Harry Dutfield was on a train where he met a vicar from the West Country who told him that carpets had not been made in Axminster for a while due to a disastrous fire that had destroyed the factory. The germ of an idea was born and in 1937 the decision was taken to re-launch carpet manufacturing in the town of Axminster.

This was the renaissance of ‘Axminsters from Axminster’. Axminster Carpets™ continues the proud tradition of making the finest carpets in the world. Carpets from Axminster can be found in royal residences, in some of the finest hotels in the world, in train carriages, on the aircraft of major global airlines and in thousands of discerning homes up and down the country.

To celebrate 250 years of carpet weaving in Axminster a commemorative rug was produced. Re-enacting history the carpet was paraded by the weavers of Axminster Carpets through the town to the Minster Church where it was blessed by the Bishop of Exeter and then presented to the Earl of Devon, who was representing the Queen. It is now in Clarence House, the home of HRH the Prince of Wales.

Today Axminster Carpets™ is still weaving beautiful designed carpets in the Devon town of Axminster for the royal household, stately homes, luxury hotels and homes around the world.

Axminster Carpets: Beautiful, British, Design.

Axminster Carpets™ Jewel in the National Trusts’ Mount Stewart Restoration

Royal Warrant Holders Axminster Carpets were celebrated on UTV on Monday as part of a 6-part series documenting the completion of the ?8 million restoration of the National Trust’s Mount Stewart Property on the shores of Strangford Lough for which they wove the replacement carpet for the impressive dining room at their factory in the heart of Axminster.

The series is the culmination of the three-year long restoration project undertook by the National Trust to bring back the elegance and charm of the house to when it was the home to the 7th Marchioness Edith, Lady Londonderry and her family in the early 20thcentury. Axminster Carpets worked closely with historic carpet consultants Linney Cooper to weave the centrepiece dining room carpet using traditional methods used at the time.

Gary Bridge, Design Director oversaw the design and weaving “All historic projects are challenging and with this projects age it meant that there were no existing design references or carpet to view.”

He continues “On this occasion we were lucky – during research we found some old photographs which we were able to use to draw the body and border pattern. We were also able to draw on our extensive carpet catalogue to determine the correct historic colour palettes and weaving techniques to ensure the carpet retains its historical relevance”

Axminster Carpets are widely acknowledged as experts in heritage carpets, having woven carpets for prestigious houses, royal residences and important public buildings in Axminster since 1755. Today Axminster Carpets continue to weave historically accurate carpets for numerous heritage locations including The National Trusts Dunster Castle and Tintinhull, Brighton Pavilion and Buckingham Palace.

Join us at the Harrogate Flooring Show

Axminster Carpets is again proud to be supporting the Campaign for Wool’s Trends Centre at the Harrogate Flooring Show in September. This year alongside the very finest wool carpets Axminster Carpets will also be demonstrating their new Carpet Selector website and App.
 
The exclusive Carpet Selector enables customers to view a selection of carpets in different interiors; from a farmhouse dining room to loft-style living apartment. Users can also instantly change the style of the carpet by clicking on to one of the swatches. They can also switch between different wall colours allowing them to see what the carpet would look like in their own homes.
 
Axminster Carpets will also be showcasing their popular “ready to weave” collection. This customisable range of carpets has been specifically designed with interior designers and available from just 4 weeks from point of order.
 

Axminster Carpets feeds the imagination of the young princess

A very special gift left Royal Warrant holders Axminster Carpets™ in June destined for the palace. One of their exclusive Imagination Rug was sent to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to celebrate the safe arrival of HRH Princess Charlotte. The ‘Baby Bunting’ design in buttermilk was chosen by Axminster Carpets™ Facebook friends and personalised with Princess Charlotte’s birthdate.

Josh Dutfield Commercial Director commented “We all were totally thrilled for the Duke and Duchess, and wanted to mark the occasion with a thoroughly British present. All our Imagination Rugs are hand woven at Axminster and it was sent with all our best wishes– I have one for my young son and hope this one will be, like ours, a much loved treasure.”

The Imagination Rug Collection is a playful collection of twelve rugs are available in a range of colours and are specifically designed for the young and young at heart depicting fun scenes that inspire and stimulate a child’s imagination. Imagination Rugs make the perfect gift to mark life events such as births, christenings and with many of them personalised with a name or date.

Royal Warrant Holders Visit Axminster Carpets

Members of the Royal Warrant Association were welcomed to Axminster Carpets in May. Companies as diverse as wheelwrights and agricultural brushes were able to see first-hand exactly how the world famous Axminster Carpets luxury carpets are made at their factory in the heart of the market town of Axminster.

Josh Dutfield, Commercial Director hosted the day  “It was a rare opportunity to share experiences with so many like-minded companies. Axminster Carpets has a long history of delivering carpets to the Royal Household and we can trace supplying carpet to the royal households back to George III. Today we have a number of carpets in a number of royal residents including Buckingham Palace, Clarence House and Windsor Castle.”

The select association comprising of a number of carefully selected members represent a cross-section of suppliers to the Royal Household.  Axminster Carpets were proud to retain their Royal Warrant in 2012, the year of the Queen’s diamond jubilee in recognition of their commitment to the highest standards of quality and excellence to the Royal Household.

Axminster Carpets Reinvents the Carpet Bag

Leading British carpet manufacturer Axminster Carpets™ has updated the ‘carpet bag’ for SS15 and created a luxury oversized clutch handbag in partnership with Pittards Leather.

Inspired by the original ‘Mary Poppins’ style carpet bag, the team at Axminster Carpets™ has designed and produced a beautifully textured oversized clutch bag with today’s lifestyle in mind, ideal for iPad and tablet users on-the-go, as well as an everyday, or special occasion handbag.

Made from 100% British Axminster Carpets™ premium woven wool and soft white Pittards leather, the Axminster Carpet bag is a truly British creation. Designed in line with the modern trend for grey in both the fashion and interior sectors, this unisex bag is made from ‘Richmond Steel Light Grey’ carpet.

The carpet clutch bag is an example of the versatility of high quality carpet, of the beautiful colours and textures available from Axminster Carpets™, and of the close relationship between the interior design and fashion industries.

Axminster CarpetsTM retains Royal Warrant

Axminster Carpets™ has announced it has retained its Royal Warrant of Appointment for service, quality and excellence in carpet making and supply.

A Royal Warrant of Appointment is a mark of recognition of those who have supplied goods or services to the Households of HM The Queen, HRH The Duke of Edinburgh or HRH The Prince of Wales.

The Warrants are granted by one of three Royals:

  • HM The Queen, who has two Royal Arms, one used in Scotland
  • HRH The Duke of Edinburgh
  • HRH The Prince of Wales, who also holds the title of Duke of Rothesay in Scotland.

Josh Dutfield, Managing Director, Axminster Carpets™ said: “Axminster Carpets™ has a long history of supplying high quality, luxurious carpets to the Royal Household and we are proud that this will continue as the company moves forward.

“As part of our long term commitment to Axminster Carpets’ Royal Warrant of Appointment, the company is investing further in our customer service team, ensuring delivery of the highest standards of response from knowledgeable people who are passionate about the Axminster brand. We’re also developing new innovative designs and exciting product ranges to be unveiled later this year.”

There are around 800 Royal Warrant holders, representing a cross-section of trade and industry ranging from traditional craftspeople to global multi-nationals operating at the cutting edge of technology.

Regardless of size or specialisation, Royal Warrant holders are united by their commitment to the highest standards of service, quality and excellence.

Caring for your carpet

So you’ve chosen your lovely new carpet, had it fitted and invited your friends over to admire how gorgeous it looks. But how do you keep it looking beautiful with the family walking over it all the time, what’s the best way to care for it?

Wool carpets are easy to clean

The good news is a wool carpet is naturally resistant to dirt. Wool fibres make it harder for dirt particles to stick, so they’re easier to clean and keep their colour longer. However accidents happen, so we’ve put together a handy chart to help you come to your carpets rescue. But whatever the spill, remember:
• Deal with it quickly so it’s less likely to stain.
• Don’t rub, or you’ll damage the yarn.
• Don’t use salt or white wine on a red wine spill.
• Work from the outside inwards to limit the affected area.
• Use a cleaner designed for wool, working it in with a brush, sponge or cloth, then   rinsing.
• When you’ve finished, blot thoroughly and brush the pile in the right direction.
• If you’re in any doubt, call a professional carpet cleaner.

Make friends with your vacuum

A great-looking carpet is one that gets vacuumed regularly, ideally every day. If your vacuum has a beater bar or brush head, that’s even better. (Please note that loop pile carpet should be vacuumed with a suction head only, beater bars may catch the fibres giving the carpet a hairy appearance.) Take it slowly so the vacuum has enough time to clean from deep in the tufts, and concentrate on well-trodden areas like stairs, hallways and in front of chairs.

Think about wear and tear

The position of your furniture will create areas that are more or less trodden on than others, so if your room is big enough, try to move things around occasionally. It’ll make you see your room in a whole new light too!

Stair carpets can get a lot of wear and shifting them from time to time can really help, you could order a little extra so you can replace worn areas if you need to. If your carpet runs right up to an external door, use a mat to catch dirt and grit on its way in. Always take off shoes with grips, like trainers, as they can tear the pile.

Call in the experts

In some situations, it’s best to let an expert take a look. There’s a whole network of accredited companies committed to using approved products for cleaning wool carpets and rugs. The Woolsafe Organisation holds a free directory at www.woolsafe.org.

Carpet buying guide

When choosing a new carpet, you may already know exactly what you’re trying to achieve from a design perspective. But if not, here are a few tips to help you choose what colour, pattern, style and texture would suit your room best.

Carpets in a beige or neutral tone offer a blank style canvas and will suit any interior style. The variety of yarns and twists available in our range can add texture, even with a neutral palette.

If you want to experiment with stronger colours to make your carpet more of a design statement, our range of patterned carpets, from delicate tonal florals to stripes and Persians, allow a subtle design tone. If you want to choose a patterned carpet which doesn’t create as much of a statement, choose a tonal variation in a natural palette as this will give a less dominating feel.

It’s really important to consider the usage of the rooms you are carpeting so that you pick a suitable thickness. For example, busy communal areas such as hallways, stairs and living rooms need a heavier weight carpet to withstand natural wear and tear for longer compared to rooms which are used less, such as bedrooms.

Top ten carpet care tips

1. Take your shoes off – you won’t just stop messy footprints you’ll prevent shoe soles with grips damaging carpet pile
2. Vacuum regularly
3. Re-organising/changing your furniture positions regularly can reduce wear and tear
4. When your carpet pile starts to look flat, vacuum against the direction of the pile to help lift it
5. Your new carpet may shed fluff but vacuum it regularly so it doesn’t clog the pile
6. Deal with spills quickly so they’re less likely to stain
7. Mop up spills gently using a clean white cloth – don’t rub!
8. Don’t believe the old wives’ tales – salt and white wine aren’t good for cleaning red wine, or anything else!
9. If you’re using cleaning products on spills, make sure they’re designed for wool carpets
10. If in doubt, call in the experts. Your carpet is an investment so it’s worth getting help with a tricky stain

It’s inevitable that accidental spills are going to happen. The best thing to do in many cases is soak up as much liquid as possible with a clean cloth or kitchen towel. If it hasn’t soaked in yet, a final wipe leaving the pile in the right direction may do the trick.  

Whatever the spill, remember:

  • Deal with it quickly so it’s less likely to stain
  • Don’t rub or you’ll damage the yarn
  • Don’t use salt or white wine on a red wine spill (or anything else!).
  • Work from the outside inwards to limit the affected area
  • Use a cleaner designed for wool, working it in with a brush, sponge or cloth, then rinsing
  • Refer to our Caring for your carpet page for detailed advice
  • If you’re in any doubt, call a professional carpet cleaner

Sound insulation

Carpet is a great way to help insulate your home for sound. There are two types of sound disturbance in a home: Impact sound, which is the sound an object makes when hitting the ground; and sound absorption or reverberations.

Our highest quality woven Axminsters including the Royal Axminster, Royal Clovelly and Royal Dartmouth Weave and our 50oz tufted ranges decrease the impact of sound by a significant 30 decibels. All other wovens and tufted ranges decrease impact sound by 25 decibels, making a real difference to the quality of noise disruption in your home.

All our carpets have been proven in independent tests to protect against sound reverberations, especially when installed with a quality combined felt and rubber underlay such as Axfelt™ triple layer underlay, which absorbs even more sound waves.” 

Heat Insulation

Laying carpet in your home is a great way to provide more heat insulation, especially as heating bills continue to rise. Carpet and underlay often have a tog rating which will show how much thermal insulation they will provide to your home and this can act as a guide to help you work out the best combination of underlay and carpet for your room.