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Carpet Dye Defects

By Michael Hilton

The U.S. carpet industry does a remarkable job of manufacturing millions of square yards of carpet with one of the lowest claims rates as a percent of sales of any industry. However, carpet is a fabric and defects do occur. Most defects are identified by quality control prior to leave the mill, but some defects do get through. If you have purchased a carpet product that you feel is defective, be sure to review our section on Carpet Warranty and Carpet Claims for a full description of procedures to follow.

The following descriptions are a few of the defects that are billed to the dyeing department of your carpet manual:

Off shade - Every carpet that rolls off the dye line is matched against the "standard" or the original color that was manufactured. It is important that ever roll matches this standard, because thousands of carpet samples are in-place in carpet retail stores across the country. Highly trained color specialists eyeball these comparisons to assure a color match with the samples in the field. If a roll doesn't match the standard, it is immediately shipped to off-goods. These items are plunder for Dalton, GA carpet wholesalers, who typically buy truckloads of off shades at a time and resell them to carpet retail stores across the country. These rolls need not match floor samples because they are sold and cut from the roll at your local carpet retailer.

Crocking/bleeding - Crocking is related to colorfastness. Though rare, this defect involves the transference of color from the carpet fiber to another surface. This should not be confused with color transfer from beck dyed products (crocking). Most darker hues must be dyed in a dye bath, where the fibers are saturated in a hot dye bath. in some cases, the fibers are so saturated that excess dye may transfer to your socks or clothing. This is a temporary condition in which only excess (unused) dyes are lost. Bleeding involved a long term transference in which the carpet slowly begins to fade. Bleeding involves unstable dye rather than excess dye. For beck dyed goods, excess color can be rinsed with one steam cleaning. Using an acid rinse (citric acid/acetic acid) will usually stop this crocking.

Streaks - Dye streaks may occur in widthwise or lengthwise directions. They can be as simple as machine oil dripped on the pile which attracts soil or clogged/worn dye jets that spray an unequal amount of dye. Some streaks, such as widthwise bands may be related to bunching/folding of the carpet in the dye beck.

About the Author
Michael Hilton was the original creator of Carpet Buyers Handbook. Having owned and operated a carpet wholesale company, Hilton has a vast knowledge about all-things carpet related as well as other types of flooring.

Other Helpful Links
Watermarking
Carpet Color Change
Carpet Color Fading
Carpet Dye Defects
Local Color Change
Filtration Soiling
Carpet Yellowing
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