Since no one makes perfect carpet and no mill puts out products with zero claims, regardless of how much the product costs, I thought I’d share with you some of the types of problems listed on manufacturers defect lists so you’d be aware of them.
Let’s look at color related items on the list first. Color Mismatch to Sample. This is when the sample you have in your store doesn’t match the color of the carpet installed in your customers home. To make sure the color is off you have to bring the sample to the house and see it under the same light your customer sees it under. It may be that the lighting in your store is different than what they have in their home. If this is the case you’re going to have frequent color differences and you must be aware of this. You have to let the customer know this and you should go out to the house with the sample, when you go to measure the job, to insure the consumer is getting the color they wanted by seeing how it looks to them in the home. It’s not a defect unless the sample color is actually off shade from the installed product where it’s installed. If the color is off, the mill failed to achieve the proper color match or shade and the product will have to be replaced.
Color/Texture Mismatch at Seam. This can fall under the category of side match shade variation. A particularly bothersome problem very prominent today as a result of continuous dye processes where the color will vary from one end of the roll to the other or from side to side. The faster the line runs the more difficult it may be to achieve color uniformity in a run. If there’s a texture variation from side to side or a pile height variation, you will also have a shade variation in the product at the seam. This can even occur in solution dyed products, even if the yarn is all the same color, the shade can be different at the seam if the texture varies at all. It is not impossible to have a color variation in solution dyed products regardless of what the yarn system is.
Bad Print or Bad Tak. In a printed carpet or a continuous Tak type dyed product, where various colors will rain down on the carpet, there can be several types of color related problems. In printed goods the pattern can be off register, that is the color application is off and it makes the colors misfit in the pattern. The depth of color penetration can also be minimal and traffic can make the carpet base, or white of the yarn, reflect back at you. With traffic or vacuuming the consumer may see white looking back at them in a patterned piece of goods and wonder why this is happening. Color should penetrate deeply into the yarn to prevent this from occurring during the dyeing process. With Tak dyeing you can also have poor penetration, light or deep dyeing, shade variation from side to side and a random pattern in the carpet that won’t side match at the seam. If this is the case then you have to try to match the tufted pattern and not the color pattern or you have to jockey the carpet to get the color to match. Sometimes however this can be a futile effort since the carpet may look bad at the seam no matter what you do. Since this is a random coloring of the carpet dye process, it is difficult to control but it is the manufacturers responsibility to make the carpet so that it looks uniformly even when installed.
Dye Spots. These spots are most often fugitive dye spots from dye that either did not get rinsed from the machinery between different color runs or from running the dye lines out of color sequence. For example, if the mill is running a very light beige product they would or should start with that color and then progress to darker shades such as a darker beige, light brown, medium brown and then dark brown. This way any fugitive colors from a previous run will not alter or damage subsequent darker runs of these color shades even if they should mix. If the process gets out of sequence, a dark shade then a light shade, then darker color can get on the lighter subsequent run of carpet and result in dye spots. These dye spots will have the same luster as the overall color on the carpet which will tell you that they are fugitive dye spots. If the spots don’t look this way, are faded, muted, dull or a different color all together, then the spots are most likely something else. A fugitive dye spot cannot be removed with any cleaning agent, only a knife will take them out.
Crocking. We covered this in the last issue in the context of another problem. Crocking is color coming off wet or dry from unstable or unfixed dye stuffs.
Fading. We also spoke of this last issue. It is color loss, fading, due to sun, ozone, nitrogen oxides or any internal or environmental color compromising agent. All carpet must meet minimum standards for the influence of such natural oxidizers.
Bleeding. This is caused by unstable dyes in the carpet which will run when wet. For example when water gets spilled on the carpet. Most often visible in a printed type carpet or a carpet of various colors that has been yarn dyed. This is not the same as wet crocking because the two conditions can be different. Bleeding is when colors run together. Wet crocking is a solid colored carpet giving up color by transference.
We’ll continue in the next issue with the list of manufacturing related problems. The descriptions are brief because of the space constraints.