Why Is My Area Rug Fading?

Why Is My Area Rug Fading?

Area Rug Fading

What Does Rug Fading Look Like?

The rug pictured above has been exposes to sun fading. Just like the photo, area rug fading is most commonly to the face yarns on its “top” side.  Being there has been a loss of colors on the front, this rug would be worth many times its current value.

Almost every textile (which includes area rugs or oriental carpets, wall-to-wall carpet, upholstered furniture and draperies,) will lighten in color or for this blogs sake, fade over a period of time.  This is often referred to as ‘sun fading.  This usually happens over time as it happens very gradually, especially when a rug is placed near a sunny window.

The extent of damage will depend upon a few variables:

·         Where the rug is positioned in the home.

·         The amount of exposure to sun light.

·         The intensity of a color.

·         The type of dyes used when creating the rug.

·         The dyeing method.

Here Are A Few Ways Area Rug Fading Occurs:

  • Lighter colored rugs will usually fade more quickly than darker colored rugs, simply because they contain less dye to begin with.
  • In a dye which has multiple color components, if one color is affected more than the other, the fading may appear as a color change rather than a lightening of the color. For example, many greenish hues are made from yellow and blue dyes. If the yellow dye is affected and the blue is not, the green textile may seem to be turning blue.
  • Colors may fade uniformly (this is the main reason its hard to identify that its happening to your rug) appearing as a lighter shade of the original color.
  • In some severe cases, the color may be completely removed, appearing to be ‘bleached’ white. (See the picture below) The fiber itself may also deteriorate. This is especially problematic with silk textiles.

Rug Fading

Are All Rugs Susceptible to Fading?

An interior textile such as a carpet that has been solution-dyed (colored during manufacture) is least susceptible to sunlight fading. The pigments are added to the polymer before the fibers are formed, sealing in the color. Most olefins (polypropylene and polyethylene), many acrylics, and some polyester and nylon fibers used in carpets are dyed with this method.

How Can I Prevent Sun Fading?

The first thing to remember is that ultraviolet light is the main contributing factor. The majority of the light spectrum aren’t really a concern to your rug. So limit the rug’s exposure to UV. Here are a few things you can do which will prolong the the beautiful colors in your area rug.

  1. Rotate The Rug – If you have sunlight coming into the room at certain angles, only the few sections of the rug that get exposed to the sunlight will get faded, resulting in a rug that looks inconsistent with some faded patches and some bright patches. When you rotate the rug, it gets evenly exposed so that the area rug fading is gradual and unnoticeable.
  2. Window Coverings – If your rug looks best by a window, that is fine, just make sure to have some type of covering over it so its not exposed to the sun rays all day. Film on the window, blinds or shades
  3. Sky Lights – Don’t forget about sky lights that can bring in tons of light on your area rug.

Sun Already Damaged Your Rug?

If your rug has already been damaged from sun fading, there is still hope that it can be improved upon. If the fading is merely on the very tips of the pile, then a professional area rug cleaning may help the problem by simply abrading the faded tips of the wool. Though with more severe oriental rug fading, a rug cleaning professional that specializes in rug dying may be needed. There is also an option of clipping of the entire pile.

It can be frustrating to notice you valuable area rug has begun fading. Though unfortunately it is inevitable that a rug will start to fade once you put it in a place where it is going to be receiving a healthy dose of natural light. Sunlight will lead to fading of the color over time. It is not the only thing that can cause a rug to fade, but it is the primary cause.

As mentioned throughout this blog post, the main thing to do to prevent the fading of your area rug is to limit sunlight exposure. Its recommended is to purchase ultraviolet light blocking window treatments, which can help to prevent fading without you having to close your blinds in the daytime. Your local big box store will usually carry a fluorocarbon protector, which can help in this regard. These protectors will need to be reapplied from time to time, which you should keep in mind if you get one. If you have area rugs in some of the rooms of your house, what you can do is just pull your rug away from the windows so that the light does not shine directly on it.

We hope this helps identify and bring to rug owners attention about the severe damage sunlight can cause to your valuable textiles. If you have a rug that has fading problems give us a call and we can help steer you in the right direction.

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