Carpet Shedding: How Much Shedding is Normal?

Shedding is common to all new carpet, especially cut-pile carpet. Some fuzz is produced by the shearing process and remains in the pile. Both continuous filament and staple yarns shed fuzz and fluff when new. You must vacuum out this excess fiber. It takes anywhere from two weeks to three months to remove most of the fuzz. It may appear that a lot of fiber is disappearing into the vacuum bag, but compared to the overall weight of the carpet face yarn, it isn’t much at all.

One advantage of carpet made with continuous filament yarn is that once the initial fuzz is gone, the fabric stops shedding entirely. Staple yarns always shed, at least a little. Cheaper plush carpets sometimes are made with short staple-spun yarns that can shed a lot throughout the life of the carpet. Sometimes shedding is not normal. If the filaments that are spun together to form a tuft are not properly locked into the primary backing by the latex glue, filament slippage results. If you’ve had your cut pile carpet for more than a few months and the vacuum bag fills after each use, you may have a problem. Likewise, if you have a Berber or other loop-style carpet and you see the loops getting fuzzy, call your retailer.

One note: Wool loop-pile carpets are sensitive to vacuuming. If the vacuum brushes are set too low, or the brushes are too stiff, the vacuum will pull wool fibers from the backing even if the carpet is made properly. This type of fuzzing is considered to be maintenance related, not manufacturing related.

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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.

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