Carpet Dye Problems: Bleeding and Crocking

dyed yarns

Bleeding and crocking are two problems that refer to dye fastness.

Bleeding refers to color loss from a wet carpet, either from cleaning or flooding. It is most common with darker shades, especially reds and blues, because large amounts of dyes are used to achieve the rich colors. Even when rinsed thoroughly at the mill, some excess dye residues can stay in the fabric. When you have your carpet cleaned, the technician (hopefully certified) should detect the condition during pre-cleaning tests. Then the technician will adjust the type of cleaning solution used to stop the bleeding. If the condition seems excessive, tests by the mill can determine if the bleeding is within tolerances.

Crocking means color rubs off when the carpet is dry. You might notice it when the soles of your white socks begin to turn the same color as your carpet. Or, if you have a dark carpet seamed next to a light color, the light area near the seam can darken. It is caused by improper dye penetration or dye fixation. Sometimes the condition is corrected by cleaning the carpet with an absorbent powder cleaner. If the color transfer is severe, the carpet must be replaced.

Mills, however, do an excellent job of rinsing and fixing the dyes in the fabric. Bleeding and crocking problems are quite rare.

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Who is Glenn Revere?

Glenn Revere has been a carpet expert since 1973. He’s a certified flooring inspector and the author of All About Carpets, the only book written to protect and inform you about your carpet choices, from carpet buying and carpet warranties to carpet care and maintenance. You can find him on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter.


Photo: “Dyed yarns” by Kelly Radding is licensed under CC BY 2.0

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