Carpet pile lays in a certain direction. As long as all the pile lays in the same direction everything looks normal. However, sometimes a certain patch decides to slant in a different way. That spot will look lighter from one side and darker from the other due to how the light reflects off the nap. This is called shading.
Shading occurs most often on dense, deep, cut-pile carpets. It can happen in patterned carpet but it is much more visible on carpet of a solid color. It usually happens in high traffic areas, like in doorways or in front of commonly used furniture, although it may occur in other areas as well.
Shading isn’t something that just happens quickly and goes away. It’s a gradual process that occurs over time and, once it’s visible, it's there to stay. Sometimes shading will become apparent after a carpet is cleaned which leads some to believe the cleaning process had something to do with it, however, shading will not occur from the cleaning process. It will always develop gradually over time. Usually, the shading was already present in the carpet but went unnoticed due to soiling over the surface of the carpet, lighting, or the placement of furniture.
While little can be done to correct shading, as it is an inherent characteristic of certain carpets, there are things that can be done to help slow the process. When you vacuum, vacuum in one direction only. You may want to occasionally brush the pile in one direction, as well, especially in those high traffic areas.
If you’re not sure what that spot is on your carpet, call Steamway Craftsmen at 515-232-8938 or 800-798-7677 toll free. We’ll gladly take a look at your carpet and let you know what we can do for you. We’ve been serving the Ankeny, Iowa area for over 40 years and we would love to add you to our list of happy customers.