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flooring maintenance tips

This information has been provided to help you choose and care for your carpets.

Carpets are produced in batches (known as creels), usually producing between 500m2 and 3000m2 in a single width per batch. While the recipe used in the dyer remains constant and is followed to the letter, in each separate batch production the colours will vary slightly. The colour is matched back to the original (or master) sample to ensure that the colour remains ‘within a commercial tolerance’.

This process is not an exact science and is usually the professional judgement of the head dyer based on their experience.

A greater level of tolerance is required on blended colours. To ensure perfect colour matching we would recommend making sure that your carpets come from the same batch.

Please note that carpets which are laid with the pile ravelling in different directions will appear not to match, even is they are from the same batch.

Wool carpets can and do fade in use. The degree of fade will vary depending on the colour chosen and the local conditions to which the carpet is subjected.

Fading can be cause by exposure to daylight, but is accelerated when sunlight shines directly onto the carpet. This can ‘bleach’ the colour in the same way human hair is lightened by sunlight.

Carpets should be protected from direct sunlight in the same way you would protect other farbrics and furniture.

Soiling is usually the result of something that has happened to the carpet when it is in place and being used. There is nothing manufacturers can do to prevent soiling in use. Common types of soiling include:

Spillages: liquids such as soft drinks, cordials or any drink that that contains sugar, particularly hot drinks, are likely to leave a stain. In such cases, professional help should be sought.

Shampoo: if incorrectly applied shampoo can leave sticky soap residues in the fibres which can result in the soiling reappearing quite quickly.

Dust: dust carried on draughts can soil carpets in various ways, including soiled edges at gaping skirting boards. Dark lines on the surface may be caused by airborne dust being drawn through poorly-fitted floorboard by vacuum cleaners. Airborne dust sometimes shows itself as spots on a carpet – where air carried on a draught under the carpet  escapes through minute holes in the underlay and carper, leaving a dust deposit on the pile. In such installations the use of lining paper is essential as a preventative measure. 

Occasionally the odd tuft or two can work its way to the surface and stick out further than the rest of the pile. This is usually due to one end of the tuft being longer than the other – ie a J shaped tuft instead of V shaped. To resolve this, scissor-trim the offending tufts so they are level with the rest of the pile. They should never be pulled out!

Shedding is common in new carpets. During production when spun yarn is cut for tuft formation short fibres get released into the pile, and these fibres appear as ‘fluff’ when the carpet is walked on or vacuumed.

The amount of fluff varies with yarn type will reduce over time. You can remove it by vacuuming.

Carpets flattening is caused by everyday use as well as furniture and other heavy objects.

All pile fabrics will flatten to a greater or lesser degree dependant on the amount of traffic it is subject to and the construction (tuft density/pile fibre/height/weight) of the product concerned.

In the case of indentations, the longer a heavy object is in place, the longer it will take for the pile to recover.

When the pile is indented, the underlay can also become indented.

Often vacuum cleaning will speed up recovery, but in the case of serious flattening or indentations you can revive the carpet pile using a damp cloth and a steam iron. Place the cloth on the carpet and put the hot iron on top for a few seconds. Be careful not to touch the carpet with the iron directly as this will leave a mark. Ensure the cloth remains damp.

You can minimise damage to your carpet pile by regularly moving furniture and other heavy objects placed on the carpet, and using rugs in high-traffic areas to protect the pile.

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 has caught in the loop in situ and has resulted in a pull. Pulled loops are easily dealt with by trimming the offending end level with rest of the pile. They  should not be left as this could result in further loops being pulled and developing into a ladder.

Static electricity is the build-up of a charge on the surface of an object. It’s caused when two objects are repeatedly rubbed against one another – so for example feet moving across a carpet. Carpets do not produce static but they do have the capacity to store it, and it can be discharged when you make contact with an item that can conduct electricity, such as a door handle. 

Some conditions will make static more intense, including if a room is very dry or the materials socks are made from. Static is usually associated with synthetic materials, which so not retain moisture well,  but it can also occur with wool in very dry rooms. 

Sometimes a carpet can appear to have patches that are lighter or darker than the rest of the carpet, particularly in areas that have been walked on, or after vacuuming. This occurs when the pile has been flattened, crushed or brushed in a different direction to the rest of the pile, and light is therefore reflected differently. It is caused by use and will occur on all pile fabrics but can be more noticeable on plainer carpets.

Occasionally the change of direction can become permanent. A lot of research has been carried out into what causes this phenomenon, but it has been inconclusive as it can occur in carpets regardless of how they are manufactured and what fibres they are made from. 

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