Types of Problems
Home Pile Reversal Wrinkles Vacuum Cleaners Yellowing Fitting Shading Pile Flattening Back Separation

 

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Don’t you sometimes feel that those in the know are doing something similar to my horrible green friend.

 

 

 

CARPET FEATURES

The following information on key carpet features, will assist you during the early months of the life of your carpet, and will help you to understand certain phenomena that may occur. These key features are not evidence of manufacturing faults, but are merely normal phenomena that may occur in a product produced from natural materials.

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Pile Reversal Fuzzing Colour Matching
Shedding Indentations Pile Flattening
Pilling Samples Trafficking
Snags Carpet fitted to stairs Pulled Loops
Shading Fading on wool Wrinkling
Static Sprouting tufts Delamination
Grinning Fluffing Buried End
Bursting Dust Marks Flooding

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1. Sprouting Tufts

Often, small tufts will sprout above the carpet’s surface. If you do find one do not worry, simply cut off the sprouting tuft with a pair of normal scissors, this will not in any way affect the wear characteristics of your carpet. DO NOT use a knife, and NEVER attempt to pull the sprouting tuft from your carpet, as this can result in permanent damage.

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2. Shedding

All new carpets, especially cut pile constructions, will shed loose fibres, particularly to areas in front of chairs or under tables. Shedding occurs when fibres within the yarn work their way to the surface of the carpet. Do not become alarmed if your vacuum cleaner bag fills with fibre, your carpet is not disintegrating! The shed fibres are expanded by air and therefore appear to be a lot more bulky than they actually are. In fact, fibre loss from the total pile weight is negligible. Shedding has no timetable to its cessation, however, even a prolonged period of shedding will not affect the performance characteristics of the carpet in any way.

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3. Pilling

Pilling describes small balls of fibre, which have become anchored to the surface of the carpet, and is often seen in areas where heel abrasion occurs e.g. in front of chairs. Pilling however is not serious and is easily treated by taking a normal pair of scissors and clipping away any pills and excess fibre, this will not in any way affect the wear characteristics of your carpet.

In almost all cases pilling occurs where maintenance has been undertaken with the wrong type of vacuum cleaner.

For cut pile carpets, an ‘upright cleaner with beater bar attachment’ should always be used.

For loop construction carpets, always use a ‘suction only cleaner.

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4. Snags

Snags can occur when a heel or a child’s toy catches the carpet and brings fibres to the surface, this is not serious, as with a sprouting tuft simply cut off with a pair of normal scissors, DO NOT cut with a knife or pull the fibres out as this can result in damage to your carpet.

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5. Fuzzing

Fuzzing is associated with loop pile carpets, and occurs when loose fibre on the surface of the carpet, becomes entangled, but still remains attached. Where fuzzing occurs, it is simple to remove by carefully clipping with a pair of scissors. This condition could be caused from overuse, incorrect maintenance, poor quality underlay, or insufficient latex penetration during manufacturer.

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6. Indentations

Indentations appear as small dents or compression marks on the surface of the carpet, caused by the concentrated pressure from castors, chair legs or heavy objects. To reduce the effect of indentations, it is advisable to move furniture regularly and make use of aids such as; castor cups on castor grips so minimising the effect of compression marks.

Where indentations are found, then the gentle moistening of the affected area by rubbing with an ice cube, or alternatively the use of a water mist spray can help to aid recovery.

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7. Carpet Fitted To Stairs

If your carpet is fitted to the stairs, then the carpet should be moved once in the first six months, and once every following year to prevent excessive wear and tracking on stair nosings.

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8. SAMPLES


The samples held by individual retailers may not be from the same batch as current production and therefore should be used as a guide and not an exact colour match.

It must also be noted that the samples will usually be old and probably have lost some of the colour due to light.

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9. COLOUR MATCHING


Carpets are produced in batches - known as creels - and usually each batch produces between 500m2 - 3000m2 in a single width, depending on the creel size. Whilst the recipe used by the dyer remains constant, and is followed to the letter, in each separate production the colour reproduction will vary from batch to batch. However production is matched back to the original or master sample to ensure that the colour remains ‘within a commercial tolerance’.
This process if not an exact science and a commercial tolerance is subjective but nevertheless is usually the professional Carpets are produced in batches - known as creels - and usually each batch produces between 500m2 - 3000m2 in a single width, depending on the creel size. Whilst the recipe used by the dyer remains constant, and is followed to the letter, in each separate production the colour reproduction will vary from batch to batch. However production is matched back to the original or master sample to ensure that the colour remains ‘within a commercial tolerance’.
This process if not an exact science and a commercial tolerance is subjective but nevertheless is usually the professional judgment of the head dyer based on his/her experience.
A greater level of tolerance is required on blended colours (Heathers etc). To ensure perfect colour matching it is advisable that a single width be used in any installation requiring exact colour matching.
N.B. Carpets which are laid with the pile traveling in different directions, even though they be from the same batch will appear not to match.
For further information please check with the manufacturers recommendations.

Some manufactures can and will upon request colour / shade match different widths whenever possible.

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10. PULLED LOOPS


Pulled loops occur only in looped pile carpet where one or more loops in the continuous pile is pulled through the primary backing of the carpet. This is usually due to some local condition, possibly some sharp object which has caught in a loop in situ and has resulted in a pull. Pulled loops are easily dealt with by trimming the offending end level with the rest of the pile. They should not be left as this could result in further loops being pulled and developing into a ladder.

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11. STATIC


Carpets do not produce static but like other household fabrics and objects have the capacity to store it. Static is caused by the build up of static electricity upon personnel in a dry environment and is discharged when a person makes contact with an object which can conduct electricity (i.e. door handle or filing cabinets, etc). If the carpet acquires an electrostatic charge, it will tend to attract dust particles and hence be more difficult to keep clean.
The static charges will vary in intensity depending upon the individual, air humidity and the contact materials. Static is more usually associated with synthetic materials as they do not retain moisture very well but it can and does occur with wool in very dry room conditions.
Preventative measures include the introduction of moisture into the room i.e.. dehumidifiers the simplest of which can clip onto a radiator, even house plants can help, or in situ carpet treatment which can be applied via an aerosol spray this should be carried out with great care as the vapour may be flammable or may stimulate a sensitive reaction in some people and animals. Always test before proceeding. Some carpet cleaning companies can do the treatment and advise you.

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12. FADING ON WOOL


Carpets made from wool can and do fade in use. The degree of fade can vary depending on the colour chosen and the local conditions to which the carpet is subjected.
Fading can be caused by exposure to ultra violet light which is found in daylight, but is accelerated when sunlight shines directly onto the carpet. This has the effect of lightening or “Bleaching” the colour just as exposure to sunlight will lighten human hair. Wool is after all animal hair.
Protection should be given to carpets exposed to such conditions just as you would protect other furniture or fabrics.
A complaint on fading would be considered justified if it failed to meet the required shade standard when tested to the British Standard BS1006 (1990).

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13.Grinning

A complaint When the backing is visible through the rows of pile yarn, particularly in carpets having a low pile density.

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14.Fluffing

It is usually apparent in new carpets where a lot of fluff sheds to the surface of the carpet. It is not considered to be detrimental to the wear and tear of the carpet, just vacuum regularly.

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15.Burried End

A tufting Problem that can occasionally occur when a tuft curls and gets burried in the backing or if it hasn't been cut and remains in a loop.Not a real complaint and can be rectified if in a small area. 

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16.Bursting

When the end of the tuft is cut the yarn loses some of it's twist and the end of the yarn BURSTS out. This is where cheep twist shows itself as it hasn't been heat set. In extreme cases your nice twist pile looks like a velvet pile in the traffic areas. If it was heat set yarn and from a reputable manufacturer and suitable for the situation and location then you have cause to complain.  

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17.Burried End

A tufting Problem that can occasionally occur when a tuft curls and gets buried in the backing or if it hasn't been cut and remains in a loop. 

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18.Dust Marks

A well known problem DUST / DRAUGHT marks, the marks are usually about 2" wide and run round the skirting and air vents and follow the joints of the floor boards.

In the UK there is a British Standard for carpet fitting.
 
Where you have dust lines on the main field of carpet do they run in the same direction as the boards? If so what underlay was used? In the UK if a secondary backed carpet is laid on floor boards the following is required:-
Gripper to stretch the carpet, a paper underlay overlapped on joints by at least 3", then a good quality underlay stapled down and the joints taped, then the carpet laid. If the carpet is what we call a felt backed type the same fitting method can take place or minus the gripper and quality underlay but the paper must be used to form a dust barrier.
 The dust edges are caused by draughts.
1. Either yourself or the fitting company to put a silicone sealant in the gap of skirting and floor.
2. If you are ECO conscious then mix up flour/water to make papier mache and fill the space.
3. There is a product skirting/gripper sealer, this item has a flexible edge which is laid against the skirting edge, the gripper is laid on top and fastened as usual.
 
Any one of the above should stop the marks from returning around the edges.
The dust around the air vents is more tricky to resolve and requires you to investigate a little.
Is it possible to cover one of the air vent with a white cloth?
ONLY the air vent NOT the carpet.
(If the cloth goes the same colour you have part of your answer, more filtering.)
Next or at the same time cover the carpet with a small piece of white cloth about 1/2" back from the carpet edge/vent.
(If this goes the same colour then you have your answer Draught dust marks.)
 DRAUGHT DUST MARKS  are not a manufacturing defect. As they can't control enviromental in-situ effects.
Do the checks on air flow, external air vents, dust check process of elimination.

19.Flooding / Over-wetting

If your carpet has been flooded and is not woven the chances of its long term survival is slim. The reason being is that the glues holding the tufts and secondary backing in place will deteriorate. De-lamination will begin and through general wear and tear come away from the primary backing. You should insist the insurance company change the carpet. Your warrantee with the manufacturers will be voided. If the carpet has only had a small spillage the chances of saving it is greater, you may notice a musty smell, if this is the case go to a janitorial supply company and they can usually recommend a safe deodouriser or you call in a good quality cleaning company.

Woven carpets such as wilton or axminster can usually be saved by good quality professional cleaners who would dry out the carpet replace the underlay and gripper (the gripper may weaken as it is made from plywood and also may produce rust spots from the nails) then the carpet is re-layed and stretched.

Before you allow any works to take place speak to the supplier or better still the manufacturer to check what they say. After all the insurance company is not the professional in this case. Some cleaning companies will advocate that it should be ok but of course they would not be paid if they didn't at least try. It will be your warrantee that is affected, It's no good complaining about the wear appearance later and of course the insurance company wont want to know.