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Rug and carpet dyeing techniques

When it comes to color brilliance and preservation, not all rugs and carpets are created equal. How well they perform here depends on dyes and dyeing method used. There are several common techniques of rug and carpet dyeing. In general, yarn can be dyed before it is inserted into the backing, or after that, when it is already a part of unfinished carpet or rug.

Yarn dyeing before it is used for rug/carpet construction can be "solution dyeing" and "stock" dyeing. In the former, a colored pigment is added to the polymer from which yarn fibers are extruded. This way, color becomes an inherent part of the fiber. Olefins, most commercial nylon carpets and some polyester fibers are dyed this way. It gives to olefin its color brilliance and retention. However, nylon fiber color still can get affected by acids from food spills or other agents, unless acid blockers are applied.

In stock dyeing, yarn is dipped into a bath of dye, where heat and pressure force the dye into the fiber. This method is commonly used for wool, acrylic, polyester and nylons. In general, stock-dyed fibers are more prone to fading, bleaching out and staining, but it also depends on the fiber and dye type.

Dyes can be natural or synthetic, with the latter being, in general, more stable.

Post-dyed carpets and rugs get their colors after the backing and face fiber have been put together. In general, dyes are either forced into the fiber by immersion, under the heat and pressure (so called "piece" or "back" dyeing, also "continuous" dyeing), or printed on, using printing screen, roller or ink jet. Printed rug/carpet is easy to recognize, since color doesn't go all the way down to the backing. It is somewhat less color stable (can be affected by strong cleaning solutions) than rug or carpet dyed with other dyeing methods.

Carpet and rugs terminology - This sounds like a school class - but this is the one you don't want to miss. An educated buying decision translates into a buying success, and that is your goal. Certainly, understanding carpet and rug terminology is something you need for enjoyable, successful shopping.  And it is not as simple as it may seem at first...

Construction - Simply put, rug or carpet construction is a particular way of putting it together. Whether produced by hand, or by machine, they are made in a certain way. This includes all that is done to come up with a finished product: from tufting or weaving the yarn to dyeing and applying chemical or other treatments...

Materials - Nearly all of materials used for rug and carpet construction are in their face-fiber and backing. It is usually the face-fiber material that gets most of attention and consideration. This is because the rug/carpet fiber forming its face is most exposed, both, visually and physically. Hence it is the main determinant of appearance quality and retention...

Environmental effect - Most materials, natural or synthetic, have some environmental impact, and those used for carpets and rugs are no exception. Health hazard comes mainly from rug and carpet being outgassing potentially toxic fumes, as well as from rug and carpet mold (mildew) infestation...

Label and warranty - Rug/carpet label and its warranty can give important information and indications in regard to its quality level. Getting familiar with their contents is time well spent. Here's what you should look for...

Area rug size and shape - In somewhat different ways, area rug size and shape have both, functional and aesthetic aspect. At first, one would say that area rug's size is pretty much determined by dimensions of the space it is intended to. In reality, the decision on how large area rug will be, and whether it is to be square, round or of some other shape, should come after careful consideration of not only room's size and geometry, but also typical traffic patterns, form and arrangement of other objects and decor elements present, as well as the intended use of the room, or space...

Colors and Patterns - Color of your rug, or carpet, creates certain visual effect, emotion, and an atmosphere. Individual perceptions vary, but most of us will be affected similarly. Here's a brief overview of what are out typical responses to colors and patterns. It may help you decide what rug color and pattern type is best for your room...

Design style - Possible variations in the visual characteristics of the rug/carpet face - its design - are literally countless. They come from visual rug/carpet attributes created by both, fiber coloration, and its dimensional appearance. Luckily, all this immense variety is being channeled, fairly efficiently, into a few main classifications...

Carpet and rug buying checklist - The two main aspects of every rug or carpet are (1) its aesthetics and (2) practicality. Once you find the one that has the right looks, the next step is to check out how appropriate are its materials and construction type to its intended use. In other words, what is its quality level. The following checklist will help you figure that out...

Rug and carpet care tips - From the moment a new rug or carpet enters your home, certain steps and procedures should be followed to ensure its functionality and appearance retention. They are related to placement and installation, as well as carpet or rug care and maintenance. Here are the main pointers.

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