Manx Tomkinson Blog

We understand the need to select the carpet that best matches your needs in terms of durability, appearance and colour, and all of our ranges have been developed to assist your requirements in these areas.

Carpet Types: Which One is Right for Me?

Once you have started the search for a new carpet, it is very easy to be quickly confused by all the differing styles on offer, and sometimes it can be very hard for you to make the right decision.  So below is a brief summary of the key types, and what may or may not make them suitable for your particular needs.

Twist (sometimes referred to as cut pile)

This is by far the most popular form of carpet on sale today. It gets its name from the way the fibre is twisted in production. It is twisted to give the carpet added protection against flattening, and helps to create a number of appealing textures. 

Tomkinson Twist Walnut 001

Twist carpet is produced in different weights to reflect different room uses. For example, a carpet fitted to a staircase is likely to be subject to harder wear than one fitted in a bedroom, so is traditionally heavier than its bedroom equivalent.

Twist carpet is also available in a number of different looks – Plain, or Solid, where one single colour is dominant, Heather, where a number of colours are blended together to give a multicolour look, and Berber, where the fibre is mixed with small solid pieces of a single colour to give a more rustic look.



Saxony carpets are also produced using twisted yarn, but they differ from twist carpets in that the strands of fibre tend to be tufted closer together to give a less open feel to the surface. In other words, when you run your fingers over the surface of the carpet, the fibres tend not to move left and right, rather they remain fairly upright. 

Saxony fibres tend to be less twisty than those used on traditional Twists. As a result, this, combined with the tighter surface, means that, over time, most Saxonies show footprints and vacuum marks. This creates a texture which is appealing to most people, but you should be aware of this aspect before choosing a Saxony carpet.

Loop Pile

Loop Pile is the other major carpet type. Again, the clue is in the description. Rather than the fibres being tufted in a linear, vertical way, they are tufted in small loops, which creates a totally different finish. The loops can then be produced as big, chunky loops, or small, tight loops, or a mixture of different dimensions – the options are limitless!

Classic Berber Romeo DesertThe fibre used in Loop Pile carpets tends not to be twisted to the same degree as that used in Twist carpets. Whilst the fact that it is produced in loops gives it a natural resistance to flattening, most manufacturers give it added resistance by twisting the strands of fibre together before producing the carpet. If 2 strands are twisted together, the fibre is referred to as being 2-ply, 3 strands makes it a 3-ply fibre, and so on. As a rule of thumb, the greater the number of strands twisted together, the harder wearing the carpet will be, although most 2- or 3-ply products will perform perfectly well in a typical domestic environment.

If you have a cat in your home, Loop Pile carpets may not be the ideal choice for you. History has shown that many cats naturally paw at the tufts in the carpet, which can, on occasion, lead to the tufts being pulled out of the carpet, leaving tiny gaps in the flooring.

Hopefully this helps to allay a few myths about different carpet types and will give you a better understanding of the choices that are available to you when selecting your new floor. Happy hunting!

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What is the average life-span of a carpet?

We are often being contacted by consumers enquiring about the expected life of a carpet. Our response to this question is always the same: it depends! Some of the key factors that can influence the life-span are:

  1. Room usage: carpet installed in a busy living room is obviously going to face more wear than one installed in a bedroom.  Bear this in mind when considering the quality of carpet to purchase.
  2. 1. Members of the household: a carpet installed in a home with a young family is clearly going to be subject to more traffic than one installed in a house with just one or two people. In addition, don’t forget the impact pets can have on the wearability of the carpet, both in terms of foot traffic and the level of staining that the carpet will endure.

  3. Underlay: never underestimate the importance played by a quality underlay beneath the carpet. A good underlay will support the carpet, making it comfortable to walk on, as well as providing a degree of sound absorption and insulation. Some people ask if a 10-year old underlay will need replacing when changing the carpet: our response is, if you were to buy a new car, would you consider taking the tyres off your old car and fit them to the new one??

  4. Maintenance Programme: it is important to have a regular maintenance programme for your programme.  Follow the care and maintenance guide issued by either the retailer or the manufacturer, and always look to have it professionally cleaned on a regular basis, usually every one to two years based upon the level of wear it has encountered.  If you purchase a wool carpet, the WoolSafe Organisation is a great source of cleaning tips, and it has a database of local, professionally-trained carpet cleaners – for more information go to
  5. The initial cost of the carpet: as is the case with many products around the home, buying a cheap carpet may end up costing you money in the long run.  Provided your initial decision is based around the criteria outlined above, a good quality, wool carpet should provide at least 8-10 years of performance before you may need to consider replacing it.  If you choose to save money upfront, a cheaper product may only last 2-3 years before its appearance changes dramatically and you are then forced to either go back and buy another carpet, or buy a couple of rugs and move the furniture to hide the stains and the places where it has flattened.

Think also about the cost spread over the lifetime of the carpet.  A good quality wool carpet, professionally installed with new underlay, should cost you in the region of £50 per square metre.  Based upon a minimum 8 year life cycle, for an average 18m2 room, this equates to just over £2 per week for the life of the carpet – not a lot to pay for such an important addition to your home. 

In short, take time to think of the key criteria when considering your purchase of a new carpet. A bit of time taken before your purchase will help to ensure you buy a product that will meet your expectations.

Barefoot flooring of OAKHAM have fitted natural shades pinstripe       WOW roundall cmy with text 02       

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Dr Mike Madden demonstrates wools natural Unflammability!

Unflammability - a new word that is finding its way into everyday use....

We asked Dr Mike Madden to demonstrate the natural Unflammability of wool carpets and rugs in order to explain why all homes, hotels, cruise ships, planes and cars should consider them as the best choice. 

We at the Wool Carpet Focus Group are fully aware of the benefits of wool and these can be seen on the website. Seeing is believing and we will produce a video of Dr Mike's demonstration but on a larger scale!

Dr Mike builds a small bonfire on a piece of wool carpet; 


You can see that Dr Mike won his bonfire building badge at Scouts!


A simple fire but with sufficient heat and flame to cause a nasty fire on the wrong surface!


Well alight, the paper and wood burn at very high temperatures. Dr Mike is in his laboratory so do not try this at home, you never know you might not have a wool carpet!


Look carefully, very little smoke, no melting plastic or toxic black fumes.You can see the singed and charred carpet, with virtually no spread of fire. This charring protects the lower wool pile from the flames and also the underlay and floorboards.


Dr Mike is scraping away the charred part with a coin.


Of course there is a bit of singing but the point is there is no spread of fire and it self extinguished. Wool doesn't burn in our normal atmosphere! It is naturally Unflammable.


We are not claiming the impossible with wool but just ask you to give it some thought. If there is an accident in your home we think you would be naturally safer with wool carpets, rugs, bedding and upholstery.


Common sense backed scientifically by Dr Mike of ENco Ltd, Global Testing Services - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ;

This message has been approved by Fr Mike Madden and the Chairman of the Wool Carpet Focus Group - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

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The use of the colour wheel when selecting décor for your home


The colour wheel is made up of Primary, Secondary and Tertiary colours.

There are three Primary colours- red, blue and yellow. These cannot be made by combining any other colour.

Secondary colours are produced by mixing equal amounts of two of the Primary colours – red and blue make purple, red and yellow produce orange, and blue and yellow make green.

Tertiary colours are formed by the mixture of a Primary colour with a secondary one in the ratio of 2:1.

Once you have mixed all the various combinations, you have a total of 12 colours. These can then be laid out side by side in their various combinations, in a circle or “wheel”. Please see the example below.

By laying the colours out in this way, the ones on the left-hand side of the wheel (yellow/green round to purple) are described as cool colours, whilst the ones on the right-hand side are described as warm.

Cool colours are often described as giving an impression of calm, leading to a soothing atmosphere in a room.

Warm colours, associated with sunrise and sunset, are vivid and energetic, and tend to give the impression of greater space.

Colours that are opposite each other on the wheel – for example, red and green - are said to be complementary colours. Their high contrast creates a vibrant look. This is one reason why the organisers of the Wimbledon tennis tournament use purple and green on their logo, as they are almost opposite each other on the colour wheel.

Colours that are next to each other on the colour wheel are described as analogous: these usually match well and and create a serene atmosphere. They are often found in Nature and are pleasing on the eye.

Hopefully this gives you a few more ideas about the importance of mixing and matching certain colours when putting together your plans for the appearance of your home.


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Carpets: Loops or Twists


So, you’ve moved into a new house, or perhaps you’ve come to the conclusion that your old carpet is worn out and needs an upgrade. Maybe you may already know exactly what design you’re trying to achieve with this new carpet. And, of course, you want this new carpet to look lovely in your home, so that your friends can admire it next time they visit. But which carpet do you choose… Whether it’s a loop or a twist carpet; the choice is entirely yours.


Loop carpets are made from uncut loops of yarn which are available both flat and textured. Generally these loops have a more rugged appearance and are often favoured for use on the stairs, in hallways or in other high traffic areas.


The loop pile carpet, such as our Classic Berber and Macbeth collections, are often preferred by families due to being hard-wearing, durable and practical. With its affordable price and contemporary looks, this is the ideal carpet for any modern family home.


Loop pile carpets come in a variety of different looks: level loop, where all the loops are of the same height (for example, Macbeth); multi-level loop, where the loops vary in size to create random textures which are very forgiving for marks and stains (Tempest, for example); and Berber loop, named after a traditional carpet produced by the Berber tribes of North Africa (Classic Berber being an example).


Due to its flexibility and practicality, a loop pile carpet collection - such as Tempest, Arden, and Harvard – is made from thick, bulky yarn, which gives a cushioned effect underfoot. These loops are really comfortable and boast a long-lasting design that guarantees a great looking carpet for many years to come.


At Mr Tomkinson Carpets, we have a wide variety of loop carpets in an array of colours and styles to choose from. To see all our collections, visit


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