It Begins With Color

It is time we all think of floorcovering as a fashion statement. Color is one of the most important aspects of a floorcovering decision. Today there are more colors to select. Gone are the days of just green or gold, or just earth tones. How about peach, salmon, cherry, wine, spruce, jade, mushroom, vanilla, sapphire, emerald, pewter, ruby or clay to name a few. You can even have your carpet custom dyed to match that special piece of furniture.

When Selecting a carpet color remember to use some common sense. LIGHTER colors will show more dirt despite the most advanced stain resistant technology. DARKER colors hide lots of soil, but do require more frequent vacuuming to keep lint and crumbs from being noticed. Personally, I’d rather vacuum than shampoo. If you have a room that you want to make look bigger, then a lighter color is a must.

Color is a reflection of you. It tells others what kind of person you are. For example, blues, grays, mauves, black, jewel tones, and white are colors most often used by people who are very detail oriented, and like order and neatness. While earthtones, oranges, red, rusts, gold, olive greens, and other warm colors are used more often by those people who are more casual, less stressed, artistic, and more generous. If you cannot make up your mind about the kind of person you are, then I suggest beige!

Current trends in color are about one or two years behind the fashion industry. If you want to see the future carpet colors for the new century, visit your local department store and look at the colors of women’s fine clothes. Today we are shifting away from those silvers, grays, and mauves and into warm jewel tones. Gold and green are back, but in warmer tones. Khaki is the hot color, along with suede. If you are just now thinking of painting all the woodwork in your home white, stop! Its too late. New homes are going back to the real wood look.

The carpet color you see in the sample will not be the same as the carpet color that gets installed in your home. Short of custom dyeing, there is no way to assure an exact color match from store sample to roll of carpet. You can expect a slight difference.

Making the Color

Carpet gets it color through four basic dye methods. The most common is called jet-beck, where the carpet and the dye are place in a vat, and then placed under pressure (kind of like grandma’s pressure cooker). Since the beck is under pressure it does not take as long for the dye to penetrate the fibers. Thus, the term JET beck.

Another method is Kuster dyeing. Kuster dyeing involves running the carpet along a conveyer belt under a row of jets that apply computer controlled color. Kuster methods have to be controlled carefully. If not, the color could drift across the roll and cause a problem known as sidematch shading. This makes seaming the carpet impossible without a visible color break at the seam line.

The third method is called Atmospheric or Beck dyeing. Beck dyeing is simply placing the carpet in a giant vat of hot dye and cooking it for a few hours. This type of dyeing puts the color evenly through out the carpet and is the best way to eliminate sidematch problems. Beck dye carpets cost a little more because they take longer to make.

The fourth methond is solution or yarn dyeing. This is where the fiber is dyed in solution form, then made into yarn, and then made into carpet. This method is the most color fast, (fade resistant), and eliminates sidematch problems altogther. You will see solution dyed carpets most often in commercial carpet, and now in the new Triexta fiber (Smartstrand, a Mohawk trademark). This method of dying is why Mohawk puts a no fade warranty and lifetime stain warranty on their Smartstrand carpets.