Westex Carpets Factory Tour
Our Timperley showroom manager, Carole recently went on a tour of Westex Carpets at their factory in Cleckheaton, Yorkshire to find out more about how their carpets are made and their many benefits. Here’s how her visit went and what she learned while there…
“I visited the Westex carpet factory with our regional sales representative back in August, a tour the company offers once a month to retailers to gain valuable insight into their carpet manufacturing process as well as a chance to meet other Westex Carpets retailers. With it only being a small group, three of us on the tour when I went, the day was relaxed and informal which made it easier for us to ask questions. The previous tour had twenty-eight delegates attending!
Once we arrived, we kick-started the day with an introductory talk from Simon, one of the three Directors of the business who has been in the carpet industry for forty years. He was very knowledgeable (as you can imagine) and went through all the different product ranges they manufacture before we donned our high visibility jackets and ear protectors and began our tour of the large factory.
The first point of call was a huge warehouse, full of large bales of wool from all over the world, and an impressive sight. The wools all differed in colour with the whitest being from New Zealand - the colour is influenced by the climate there and vast expanses of grass. The New Zealand wools have the longest, strongest strands which is important in the manufacturing process at Westex as they manufacture carpets with 2 & 3-fold yarns. At this point and before they leave the warehouse, the products undergo their first quality check to ensure the wool is of the required high standard.
Westex Carpets – high quality, unique advantages and unrivalled choice.
We went on to the blending shed, where the wool is blended with nylon – it’s blended three times to give it an even consistency. The wool is then carded and combed on a very large machine where it’s firstly made into single ply yarn, before then being processed into two-ply yarns and then onto three-ply. Once it has gone through this stage, the yarns get transferred off-site to the dye house which is situated about 10 minutes from the factory. The factory tour doesn’t include this, but it’s there where the wool is immersed into 4 tonne tanks to ensure a uniform colour finish and then a second quality check is done before the wool leaves the dye house.
Showing: Colours in the Westex Carpets Westend Velvet Collection
From the dye house, the wool is transferred onto creels (bobbins) where they are put on a tufting machine and the yarn thread through tufting needles. Checks are carried out at this stage and any broken yarns are withdrawn. We were watching the Velvet Collection being processed and for this the wool is cropped twice.
From the tufting machines, the wool then undergoes a process where moth-proofing, anti-bacterial and stain-proofing technologies are applied to be dissolved into the yarn. Following this, the carpet is stretched across huge tables where it is meticulously inspected by hand, by a gentleman with a pair of tweezers, to extract any imperfections.
Before the carpet goes to the final stage of customer orders, there is one final inspection, making four in total, which is no wonder Westex Carpets are famous for the highest quality. The business employs 220 local people some of whom have their sons working there too. They have attracted a lot of high profile customers over the years, such as Ferrari Cars for their showroom in Mayfair, London, for example. They also had a visit from the Countess of Wessex last year and photos of her adorn the reception area. Our tour guide Simon travels all over the world to promote Westex Carpets and is due to travel to Dubai later this month.
Showing: Westex Carpets installed in the Ferrari showroom in Mayfair, London.
The company prides itself on having one of the largest selection of carpet colours available, 80 in total as well as providing a unique colour matching service (40m² minimum applies); the carpets are also available in five widths. Another feature of a Westex carpet is that they keep looking newer for longer and will even hold a cup of coffee on the surface without staining the carpet (as demonstrated on the tour).
Visiting Westex Carpets and taking the tour has undoubtedly given me a lot more insight into their products and the processes involved in their manufacture, allowing me to be more confident when I discuss the carpets with our customers. And it’s great that Flooring4You, despite being a busy, small business has afforded the time for me to spend the day at Westex to get that first-hand experience. It’s testament to the service we offer our customers, making sure staff are as knowledgeable as possible about the flooring products we sell.”
Visit one of our showrooms to speak with our professional flooring staff and be shown samples, and talk more about the different ranges available from Westex Carpets. And if you’re looking for a specific carpet colour, Westex Carpets offer a unique colour matching service too. Prices of Westex Carpets start from £36.99m².