Area Rug Bleeding

Area Rug Bleeding

Area Rug Bleeding

What is area rug bleeding?

Dye bleeding, dye transfer or dye migration during cleaning is very common for many rug owners. When it happens, there is no argument that it does cause frustration and disappointment, especially when you have invested a lot of money in your oriental rug (not to mention the time you spent searching) on the perfect rug for your space. There are different types of oriental rugs you can buy but if you have a red, off-white areas the reality is the colors will most likely bleed into each other when the oriental rug cleaning Jacksonville gets wet.

 A lot of you may be asking the question as to what dye bleeding is. Dye bleeding or dye migration occurs when a colored fiber loses dye while wet. Uncolored or light colored fibers may soak up runaway dyes from the darker fiber and become stained with an unwanted color. This is most often seen in rugs where deeply dyed shades such as red, blue and black become fugitive and bleed into light colored areas.

We will do a thorough inspection of your rug which is one of the most important steps is our dye migration test. This involves testing the rugs PH level and most importantly, checking to see if there is a dye transfer from your rug to our rag. We first test with a dry clean white rag, this is to identify crocking, the most difficult of the dye migration concerns. This means the dyes are “homeless” aka the rug has been over dyed or the dyes have not been set properly in the fiber, and can move rather easily to other areas of the rug. The next step is to test with a cleaning solution designed for your rugs specific needs. This will identify if your rug has a bleeding concern, which is easier to control, and the more common of the dye migration problems.

The most common situations influencing a dye bleed are simply the result of poor or defective dyes. Other common factors are prolonged exposure to animal urine, under the counter cleaning products, and sometimes it can be from prolonged exposure to water. With animal urine, and improper cleaning products left in the area rug from previous cleanings, dye bleed may not occur until the rug is washed again.

Luckily, you can call a professional area rug cleaner Jacksonville FL like us, and we can take care of your rug concerns. We have stabilizing products that can help prevent bleeding, or set dyes properly in your rug. Of course, even an experienced rug washer can have problems, and even if pre-testing does not indicate potential concerns, surprises do occur. This is when we will have an open line of communication, addressing the concern with the customer, as we want to be open with all possible outcomes that may arise during the cleaning process. You can then decide if proceeding with the cleaning is what’s best for you and your rug.

Color run is going to happen, it usually happens early in the life of a rug, before a consumer has an opportunity to purchase that area rug. Most rugs are water-washed as soon as they’re taken from the looms, and sometimes one color will bleed in this initial water wash. Most rug dyes are acid-fasting in the sense that an acidic environment helps stabilize the dye and reinforce the bond of the dyes the wool. The water being basic in pH usually causes color bleeding. The alkalinity of the wash makes susceptible colors bleed. One bit of myth is to add a little white vinegar to the water if you’re going to wash your rug. This makes the wash water more acidic and lessens the chances of running a dye.

With that initial wash that caused the color to run is often fixable: the color bled initially, but now is more stable. This makes color run very difficult to remove but it’s possible to fix. The rug could be chemically stripped, but this usually affects other colors, and sometimes is so harsh as to affect the strength and appearance of the wool itself. Keep in mind that you can strip color from a rug with a strong alkali like caustic soda.

Once you’ve been sensitized to seeing color bleed you can find it in many rugs.  It’s kind of like the scenario when you buy a new car and then you see that car driving around all over town, even though you’ve never noticed it before. If the run is so apparent that you immediately notice it instead of the overall integrity of the colors and design, the rug cleaning should probably be passed over, or purchased at a big discount. If you have to look closely to find color run, you should often just ignore it since it’s so hard to find.

Never hesitate to reach out with any questions you may have! Our company is full of friendly and helpful team members who are always ready to help!


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