Shading, also known as pile reversal or – wrongly – water marking, is the effect whereby areas appear to become lighter or darker in colour than the surrounding area. It is an optical effect caused by localised changes in the direction of pile lay and made visible by the way light is reflected off the carpet surface. It can also be brought about by traffic patterns or unevenness in the floor, but this is NOT a carpet defect.
Occasionally tufts may appear above the surface of the carpet. Do NOT pull them out, but cut them level with the surrounding tufts with small scissors.
The carpet may change colour over time for a variety of reasons, usually due to pile flattening, gradual soiling and slight fading of the dyes used to colour the fibres. A good professional cleaning will usually restore the carpet’s appearance. Evenly distributed sunlight actually helps the colours in your rug to remain brilliant. It is best to rotate your rug about once a year so that whatever wear occurs will occur as evenly as possible.
Many newly manufactured carpets with a cut pile, tend to lose fibre during the first few weeks on the floor. This effect, called shedding or fluffing, is caused by the way the yarn is spun and the carpet is made. It is no reason for alarm, but a natural phenomenon, which will stop eventually. Just vacuum the carpet a little more gently for the first few weeks and empty the dust bag or receptacle regularly. Wiping the surface with a lukewarm moist cloth helps to eliminate some fibre dust.