Carpet Unusual Dye Defects
Defects in the dye inherent in manufacturing can come from a failure of the dye to attach to the fiber. Most defects are identified by quality control prior to leave the mill, but some defects do get through.
Carpet is a fabric and defects do occur. If you have purchased a carpet product that you feel is defective, be sure to review your right on warranty claims.
Defects Usually Related to Dye
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.
Unlevel Dye Application: Suppose you have examined all of the investigation tools mentioned above and still don't have an answer. The next logical choice is to look for manufacturing defects. There are scores of manufacturing defects that can cause a color change. The most common is unlevel dye application or "side-to-side" or "end-to-end" shading. In some cases, the production line may speed or slow and dye may be applied heavier at one end of the roll that at the other or dye may be applied heavier to the right side of the roll. This will cause a slight color change at the seams. This is rarely noticeable unless the left side of the roll is seam to the right side of the roll.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Graeme Stephens has been running the largest owned carpet cleaning company
in new Zealand for 24 years. IICRC qualified "master restoration technician"