What is Pile Reversal Shading?
Have you ever had to deal with permanent pile reversal shading, or PPRS, with your carpeting? This is a problem that can show up with any carpet that is from a cut pile. It happens randomly and is hard to understand why. Many people also call it puddling, pooling, or watermarking. When a cut pile carpet has darker or lighter areas on it that are differentiated from the rest of the carpet piling, it is considered shaded. It looks shaded because the light reflects on the pile tufts that are laying in different directions in a different way.
This problem looks a lot like the brushed appearance that you will often see with other types of fabrics like velvet, velour, and suede, except the PPRS is a permanent issue. This will have a big impact on how your carpets will look, so keep that in mind when you are planning to buy a cut pile carpet.
There are a few terms you will need to know to better understand this carpet issue:
Shading: some use this term to describe several of the characteristics of carpeting that are not referring to PPRS. This can be thought of in terms of light, as if you are standing in the shade and the light isn’t hitting you the same as in a sunny location.
Puddling, Pooling, and Watermarking: These are terms that are describing areas of dark or light that are in the carpet that may look like an area with a water spill. This is a permanent change, though, and will not be simply removed by a professional carpet cleaning company in Mobile, Alabama like ours.
Footmarking: this is a small, localized marking on the pile of carpet that is normally due to the scuffing and dragging that can come with normal foot traffic on the carpet. This is a temporary change that can be reversed when the fibers are laid back in their normal position through vacuuming or brushing. This problem is not normally associated with PPRS, though it is seen mostly in cut pile carpets.
Tracking: This happens in areas with a lot of foot traffic when the carpet pile is crushed or flattened. Any carpet can have tracking as part of the normal wear. This problem isn’t only seen in permanent pile reversal shading.
Even through much research and techniques to reduce the shading associated with PPRS, this problem is not able to be predicted. The expert consensus is that this issue can show up in any kind of cut pile rug or carpet. It has no effect on the carpet’s durability, though, and does not lead to the carpet wearing out prematurely.
If you think your carpets are being affected by permanent pile reversal shading, the best thing for you to do is call a professional carpet cleaner, like us at Carpet Cleaning Nurse's Touch. Perhaps the problem isn’t as bad as you think and is just a water mark from a spill. They will be able to tell you your problem and any possible solutions to help your carpets look better.