Carpet maker develops secret recycling scheme
Thu, 16 Aug 2012 6:44p.m.
By Samantha Hayes
Carpet manufacturer Cavalier Bremworth has unveiled a world-first carpet backing product it hopes will secure its environmental footing in the market.
It will reduce around 1200 tonnes of waste from landfills each year because it's made by recycling your old carpet – but only if it's made from wool.
It looks like regular old carpet, but replacing the usual jute backing with a recycled wool product has taken two years of development, so Cavalier Bremworth is quite excited.
"Jute is an imported product and it has variable supply and cost," says Desiree Keown, Cavalier Bremworth marketing manager. "We've now secured a product made entirely in New Zealand using New Zealand labour, made entirely from New Zealand recycled carpet so it's a perfect story."
It is estimated Kiwis dump 5000 tonnes of carpet in landfills each year. Synthetic carpet takes 50 years to break down – even pure wool takes a year.
But Cavalier Bremworth will slash that waste by a quarter. It plans to recycle 1200 tonnes of old wool carpet, turning it into new carpet backing.
"What we've got here is basically the tufted carpet without any backing on it having latex applied, which is foamed, which is the first part of the process before we stick the secondary recycled wool backing to it," says general manager Craig Woolford.
"They stick together, and then they'll go through our oven and be cured."
All the company's carpets will now be made like this, and the price won't change. In fact, there's saving for customers – their old carpet will be collected for half the usual cost. Cavalier Bremworth's process is a secret, and is awaiting worldwide patent approval.
So what's now on the way to the dump could be soon be earning New Zealand export dollars.
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22/08/2012 1:16:44 p.m.
I forget the moisture content used for woolen carpet weights. About 30-35%?Yarn is typically much drier, take 7%. So if take 50 oz the actual yarn weight when made will generally be around 37-38oz and almost 3 oz water (using 7%), for a total about 41oz. If the moisture content of the yarn was 12%, then it would be around 5oz of water instead.Carpet manufacturing is not exact so it has a +/- margin of error. Even testing one sample of wool from the same batch vs another sample of wool will variy some. So long as the margin of error, plus the moisture factor covers 50oz, its 50 oz carpet. All the carpet maufacturers do this.The 50oz is the weight of yarn per sq yard of carpet, and we have been metric since 1967, and buy carpet by the lineal metre (which is 3.66 mtrs wide, or the old 4 yards). All those conversions gives a bit more flex. NZ has no standard to enforce carpet weight claims, so the weights themselves are fairly meaningless.Clay in the filler? It was fairly stable so it didn't lead to a clay dust release, much like they use filler in pills for medicine. Why clay? It was cheap. In NZ we have tended to use jute backing, while US use the synthetic which is generaly much coarser weave. The main dimensional stability to the carpet is given by the carpet being stitched through a synthetic layer (primary backing). The glue (more latex now) helps bind the tufts in place. The secondary backing finishes the product with a better looking finish than the glue 'unfinished look'.How much does the secondary backing help dimensional stability? Take a sample of carpet and try tearing it apart, and the first thing that will come apart is generally the secondary backing from the rest of the product as it does the least for dimensional stability. The secondary backing does add a little dimensional stability, but its not much.
20/08/2012 8:30:32 a.m.
Mike your comments are highly inaccurate. The secondary backing serves a very important part in providing dimensional stability in the carpet its not just to look pretty as you put it. Our Flashbac provides excellent dimensional stability. We have done much testing of this new backing and know it stacks up very favorably against any other secondary backing on the market.
Clay as far as I am aware has never been used in any Cavalier Products, and I have never heard of it being used in NZ carpets.
The moisture process you are referring to, is used when selling yarn to external parties and is called "regain". With every batch of carpet made within the Cavalier Bremworth plant, the carpet is tested with all moisture removed to ensure that if the carpet is 50oz that the end user is getting 50oz.
19/08/2012 8:21:10 a.m.
The jute backing is cosmetic anyway. If took the tufted carpet, applied the latex to stabilise it on the back, without the jute final finish it would have almost no effect on the life of the carpet, just it wouldnt look as pretty.From this it sounds like they are moving away from the clay filler between the carpet and backing, which helped give quality carpet that 'Heavy' quality feel. Latex is much lighter and carpet layers tend to prefer less weight in filler to carry around. Norman Ellison, Calaliers Onehunga factory has been using latex around 20 years, when back then Cavalier carpets were almost all using clay filler for added weight.Its a new marketing ploy. Lets see how it stacks up.Every carpet manufacturer cheats on weights in carpet. Even the weight of wool is not exact, so they use moisture content in the wool at a set rate where the wool used in manufacture is almost always drier. Think of it like a 50gm bar that weighs more like 40 being sold as 50, as when adjust the moisture content up, its heavier. Its always a +/- percentage accuracy with manufacturing, yet almost all carpet comes in light, even with the moisture content adjustment.
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