What does it mean for my carpet?
Shading is a term often mentioned by the carpet or textile industry but rarely is it explained to customers how it occurs and what the results can be.
The pile of any carpet can move, no matter what its type (i.e. looped or tufty) and therefore it can be flattened or brushed in many different directions when you walk on it or vacuum it.
When you get this movement the pile that has moved from its natural position will refract the light back at a different angle. This shows as lighter or darker patches depending on which direction the light is coming from and even which end of the room you look at it from. Please see diagram from the carpet-rug organisation: https://www.carpet-rug.org/Documents/Technical_Bulletins/Pile_Reversal_Watermarking_Shading.pdf
Longer piled or smooth piled carpets, such as velvets, show the shadowing effect quite strongly (think of running your hand down a velvet curtain). The same is true with a plain single colour. If you want to avoid shading showing too much then choose a mottled, flecked or looped carpet which can help to disguise it. Ask your retailer to help you look at the options if shading is something that will bother you.
It doesn’t affect the wear of the carpet and it is perfectly natural in both man made or wool carpets. It can not be prevented, no matter how good a quality of carpet you buy.
Shading is a temporary occurrence unlike Pile Reversal which is permanent and which we will cover in the next bog.