Carpet Troubleshooting

Shedding
All cut pile carpets will lose short fibre, which is created during during production when spun yarn is cut for tuft formation.  These fibres fall on to the surface of the pile and appear as ‘fluff’.

The effect varies with yarn type and may be removed without detrimental effect upon the carpet by vacuum cleaning.  This excess fibre is only a small fraction of the total fibre contained in the carpet.

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.

Sprouting
Occasionally an odd tuft or two can work its way to the surface and stand proud of the rest of the pile.  This is probably due to one end of the tuft being longer than the other i.e. J shaped tuft instead of V shaped.  Remedial action merely requires the offending tufts be scissor trimmed level with the rest of the pile.  They should never be pulled out.

Shading
Shading occurs because the pile of the carpet has become crushed, flattened or brushed in a different direction to the natural lie of the pile whilst in situ.  This causes light reflection at differing angles resulting in the creation of light and dark patches on the carpet.  This will occur on all pile fabrics but can be more noticeable on plainer carpets because the shadows created by pile pressure will not be disguised by a heavy pattern or design.

Static
Carpets do not produce static but like other household fabrics and objects they 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).

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 or in situ carpet treatments.

Indentations
When a carpet is subject to a heavy point load, such as under the legs of furniture, it is unreasonable to expect the carpet not to indent.  Usually, the longer the load is in place, the longer the time will be for the pile to recover.

The use of cups below furniture legs can spread the load and the net result is a larger area of less deeply indented carpet.

The ability of a carpet to recover from a static heavy load can be measured in the laboratory, using the test method described in BS 4939 and many manufacturers will have data on this aspect of carpet performance.  In this test the carpet is loaded for 24 hours and the degree of recovery is measured after periods of 1 and 24 hours.

Often normal maintenance (vacuum cleaning with a rotating brush machine) will speed up recovery but in the case of serious indentations the use of an iron and a damp cloth or a steam iron together with a blunt darning needle to carefully tease up the pile can be beneficial.  Care must be taken not to over wet the carpet.