What is Carpet Shedding?
Shedding is a term used to describe the release of loose fibre from the carpet. According to the Carpet and Rug Institute, carpet shedding is defined as: “Appearance on carpet surface of loose fibre fragments left during manufacture; not a defect, but a characteristic that disappears after carpet use and vacuuming.” Depending on the cause of the problem, carpet shedding may present itself overtly, as wads of fluff gathered up like tumbleweeds, or covertly, as tiny fibres in your vacuum canister or sticking to your clothing.
Why do some carpets shed?
Every carpet is constructed differently, the way the fibres are bound, and the type of fibres used all affect the amount a carpet may shed. After the manufacture of a carpet, it is possible that there is some loose or unfastened yarn that is leftover on the carpet that is agitated from walking on the carpet causing it to appear in the air or on surfaces. This is normal and after some use and vacuuming it is expected that the shedding should reduce to the point it is no longer noticeable.
What about my rug?
Rugs are also susceptible to shedding. Some rugs are sheared after being woven, this process can release small fibres that get trapped in the pile of the rug and are later released when the rug starts to be used. In some cases, a rug may shed some of its fibres early on in its lifespan. This is completely normal and will stop within a couple of weeks or months depending on the material the rug is made from and the quality of this material. Constant shedding is much more common with synthetic fibres (such as acrylic, nylon, or viscose), which are weaker and more susceptible to the impact of foot traffic, which leads to lots and lots of shedding.
Can shedding impact my health?
Many often wonder whether such fibres may be inhaled and cause respiratory infections or other similar ailments. After all, dust that settles on furniture usually consists largely of fibres and often fibres can be seen floating in the air in beams of incoming sunlight. However, the fibres that your carpet sheds are far too large to cause any serious impact on your health.
Carpet fibres are as much as 100 times the size of fibres used in such things as apparel, upholstery, and bedding materials. Due to their size and density, carpet fibres that are launched into the air tend to find their way back down onto the floor rather quickly. Respirable particles are understood to be typically smaller than 4 micrometres in size, this is far smaller than carpet fibres and even smaller than clothing fibres.
The bottom line is that the shedding of new carpets should generally be limited to the first few weeks of ownership as the loose fibres escape from the carpet or rug and are vacuumed up from general housekeeping. However, if you own carpets that are made from artificial fibres that are in high traffic areas, they may continue to shed no matter how much you vacuum them. The best solution is to move them to a lower traffic area so that the fibres aren’t put under so much stress.
What if I want the shedding to stop as soon as possible?
If you have purchased a new carpet or a rug and want the shedding problem to be resolved as quickly as possible you can have the carpet or rug professionally cleaned. Professional cleaning can speed up the normal shedding process by extracting loose fibres all at once instead of waiting weeks or even months for your regular vacuuming to resolve the problem. This will also ensure that the carpet is clean from the moment it is installed so that you do not experience any negative health impacts from the carpet. Although some believe that new carpets should not be cleaned right away, this is a myth, modern carpet cleaning methods ensure that even a brand-new carpet or rug can be cleaned with no impact on its lifespan or characteristics.
Big Red Carpet Cleaners is a certified member of the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration (IICRC) and Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI), which means we continuously update ourselves with the latest scientific and most effective carpet cleaning techniques. We only use the chemicals and cleaning equipment that will provide the best results without causing any damage to your carpet in the process. Do contact us today if you want to understand how we can help reduce the shedding of your carpet or rug.