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  • Writer's pictureHayley Goddard

Carpet Shading

I'm sure you've heard of shading; you know the term used when fabrics turn a lighter colour if left in the sun for too long.

Well carpets can change colour or show shading after a while too – let me explain.

All carpets, but especially cut pile carpets, those ones that are super soft, and in one shade, regardless of their quality, method of manufacturing or pile content, may show a shading effect when in use.

Unfortunately, when or where this may occur cannot be predicted.

Sometimes this change can be referred to as water-marking, pooling, tracking or pile pressure. Shading is sadly characteristic of all textile materials. But the effect is particularly noticeable on velvet carpets or carpets with a high proportion of open ground in the pattern.


We all know that when you're redecorating or renovating your home, purchasing a new carpet and choosing that perfect colour is so fun. But what if shading occurs after installation?

Let's be honest here, shading will occur at some point, but the areas of shading may be irregular in shape and small in size, or only seen from an angle, and lighter when viewed from the opposite direction.

The shading effect is just caused by changes in the angle of the pile, or the position of furniture over the carpet, which may be permanent. But may also not be.

Take wool carpets - The degree of shading or fading as it can be known, can happen if exposed to, too much ultra violet light. Which is found in daylight, so if you have a particularly bright sunny room, just as the sun would lighten your hair in the summer months, if you go out too often without a hat on, too much sun exposure can effect your wool carpets too.

Something else often mistaken for carpet shading is Pile Reversal. That's the term used when the pile changes direction. In other words, that piece of carpet that's under the door, getting brushed left and right all day when the door is opened or shut.

Unfortunately there is no known cure for this. Meaning it's not a manufacturing fault, and the good news; that means it also doesn't effect the quality of your carpet.

So what can you do to prevent shading?

Not much - I know that's not what you want to hear, but the reality is, shading will occur at some point. You may never notice it, especially if your room doesn't have the best lighting. But you may also have a huge patch of shading.

Our best advice would be to treat your carpet like any other furniture or fabrics, that you would protect from sun shut those blinds or curtains on the sunny days, move your furniture around a little more often and have them professionally cleaned each year.

Does your carpet have shading spots?

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