Carpet Wear and Phenomena

Aldiss.com – Norfolk’s largest range of home furnishings

This week’s guest blog is from Glyn Charnock, Owner of Chameleon Cleaning.  Glyn is also Training Director of the National Carpet Cleaners Association, helping to keep members up to date with the latest cleaning methods and products.

Carpet Wear Areas

The biggest mistake any Carpet & Upholstery cleaner can make is to tell their customer they can make their carpets like new, especially when they haven’t been cleaned for several years. Over time carpets will have natural wear areas.  Like the main walk areas to and from rooms, the area in front of a favourite chair, along the front of stair treads and at the bottom of the stairs where people turn as they change direction.

The unknowing public can believe their carpet is still dirty, even after it has been cleaned. It is not the dirt that remains but damage to the fibres that absorb and deflect light in different ways to the rest of the undamaged carpet. Sometimes the wear areas don’t show signs of damage until after the carpet has been cleaned.

Untrained carpet cleaners will often go over and over these damaged areas trying to get them clean, this is not a good idea as this can over wet the carpet causing long drying times, making the carpet re-soil rapidly and even damaging the backing.

I must admit though, many a carpet cleaner including myself in the early years of my career, have tried cleaning a dark patch on a carpet, only to realise that it was a shadow caused by a light shade. I once spent 20 minutes trying to remove a red mark from a cream carpet, only to realise it was sunlight shining through a red vase on the window sill but I am happy to say I am a lot wiser these days!

Carpet Pile Reversal

Some carpets can suffer from a problem called pile reversal. The pile of the carpet drops in different directions, often quite soon after being installed, causing what look like water marks. Mostly occurring in high traffic areas, these can appear anywhere, even areas which are never walked on, like under stairs. This phenomenon can appear in all sorts of carpet fibre types, in rugs and some fabrics like velvet and silk too. Dark areas look light when looked at from the opposite direction, and the light areas look dark. This is not a manufacturing fault, as no one knows what causes it to happen and oddly enough, the better the quality of the carpet the more likely it is to happen.

These are pictures of a hotel reception carpet suffering from pile reversal which is only a couple of months old.

Carpet Pile Reversal

The sight of pile reversal can be minimised by choosing a carpet with a highly patterned design, or one with a loop pile instead of a cut pile.

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