Clients often ask us what the difference is between our Grizzly FX and our Kermode entrance matting – and the short answer is that Grizzly FX is made using a tufted loop construction, and Kermode is made using a needlepunched felt construction. But what does that actually mean?
What’s a tufted loop?
Tufting is the process of creating carpet matting on specialized multi-needle sewing machines. These large industrial machines use several hundred needles to simultaneously stitch hundreds of rows of pile yarn tufts through a backing fabric. This initial backing fabric is called the “primary backing”. The sewing needles push the yarn through primary backing, where a hook holds the yarn in place to form a tuft as the needle is removed. The tuft of yarn is then caught by loopers and held in place for loop-pile carpet. For our Grizzly FX, the primary yarn textile used in the tufting process is nylon, but we also add individual polypropylene strands as “scraper fibres” that stand taller than the rest of the loops to providing that initial cleaning action. Nylon provides outstanding water absorption capabilities while looking more “carpet-like” than conventional entrance matting products.
What is needlepunched felt?
The construction process for knob matting begins with spunbond fabric. Spunbond fabrics are produced by depositing extruded spun fibres onto a collecting belt. The fibres are laid down onto the collecting belt in a uniform – but random – manner. Once the fibres are deposited, they are bonded by applying heated rolls or hot needles to partially melt the polymer and fuse the fibers together.
After the spunbond fabric is manufactured, it’s ready for use in the needlepunching process. Needlepunched nonwoven (or felted) material is created by mechanically orienting and interlocking the spunbound fabric’s fibres. This mechanical interlocking is achieved with thousands of barbed felting needles repeatedly passing into and out of the web. As the needleloom beam moves up and down, the felting needle blades penetrate the fibers, picking up fibers on the downward movement and carrying them through the depth of the penetration. The draw roll pulls the batting through the needleloom as the needles reorient the fibers from a predominately horizontal to almost a vertical position. The more the needles penetrate the web the more dense and strong the web becomes. For our Kermode matting, the polymer used in the spunbond and needlepunching process is polypropylene as it’s completely impervious to water and very resistant to staining.
So what does that mean for me?
Choosing Grizzly FX or Kermode boils down to two primary factors: appearance, and application. Grizzly FX provides a more-refined, more carpet-like appearance, while Kermode provides a more traditional “entrance matting” look. Grizzly FX’s nylon construction gives it outstanding water absorption capabilities like a sponge, but restricts its use to indoor-only applications. Alternatively, Kermode can be used both indoors and outdoors because its polypropylene construction doesn’t actually absorb water like a sponge, it only physically holds it within the mat like a shallow tray.
We’d be happy to help you choose the right product for your entrance – email or call us today!