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Lines, Streaks, & Bands

Lines, Streaks, & Bands may run in the length or in the width of a carpet. They may be straight or bent, continuous or intermittent; have a pattern or not; and they may occur due to color or texture variations. If they are from a color and/or a hue, they may be lighter due to a color loss, or darker due to soil attracting substance. If they are from texture, they may start out that way and not change, or they may develop due to loss of twist in the yarn.

The term "Line" or "Lines" can apply to specific problem or a general description in any direction.

Streaks are any abnormal lengthwise narrow defect in a carpet. They can be from dye, but are more often from some aspect in the carpet's texture such as a single row of yarns having a different twist from the others. All Saxonies will have a slight amount of streaking.

Bands are any unusual widthwise variance in the carpets' appearance. Some experts disagree that this can be from texture. In many cases, they are true color problems from continuous dye systems.

The legitimacy of a claim depends upon its severity or whether the problem is common to other products in the market place. The causes will be from manufacturing, installation, maintenance, or nature.

Manufacturing can make lines, streaks, & bands:

    1. From tufting:

    1. From Sheering

  1. Widthwise Manufacturing Problems Could Occur From:

  1. From dye:

    • problem from rollers, that contaminates the yarn prior to dyeing.

Installers can make lines from:

  1. Fold Marks

  2. Roll Crushing

  3. Knee Kicker Tears

  4. Double Cuts

  5. Creases.

Maintenance can make lines from:

  1. Corn Rowing

  2. Swirl Marks from rotary machines

  3. Chemical Residues: Chemical residues from detergents and protectants creating:

  • Soiling

  • Color loss.

Nature can make serpentine lines in a problem called Pooling.

For the history of the problem, record the following:

  1. Who, where and when were they first noticed?
  2. Have they become more or less visible?
  3. If they change under different lighting conditions, then they are likely from some type of texture variation.
  4. Record what effect vacuuming has had on them. If vacuuming has had an adverse effect, then cut pile yarns may be loosing twist.

In your observations, record the following:

  1. Length or Width - Determine if they run in the direction of manufacturing or not. If the secondary-backing is an ActionBac or a woven polypropylene, there is a flat ribbon like yarn that runs in the direction of manufacturing and a rounder yarn that runs in the width. If you cannot get to the backside of the carpet, then do a pile direction test using a pencil and piece of paper.
  2. Color or Texture - Determine all observable differences between the affected and unaffected pile.

Color – Determine if the color is lighter or darker than the surrounding pile. Lighter colored problems are due to a color loss; darker problems mean that something was added.

    • Foreign yarns commonly make this problem. If so, then the problem will travel in the direction of manufacturing.
    • If it is a lighter band and in the direction of manufacturing, it could be from a dye loss i.e. a dye defect. A roller from manufacturing likely left a residue that affected the dyeing process. This kind of problem was not noticed at first, but has gotten worse with time.
    • Dark lines in the direction of manufacturing that wash out could be from oil steaks. This kind of problem was not noticed at first, but gets worse with time.

Texture This problem could be in the form of line or band and could be in the length or width of the carpet. Determine if it reverses when seen in the opposite direction or if there are any differences in yarn size or bulk, number of piles, and tangled tufts. Be sure to check for high or low stitch rows fallen or kinked tufts. Count the number of twists and check for tip flaring. Determine if the tufts or pile within the line stand above or below the surrounding pile. Finally, do a pile direction test on the line or band. Lines that reverse when seen in the opposite direction could be from pile direction variations from shearing. Other possible causes are:

    • Roll Crush – This appears across the width of the carpet where yarns are crushed from improper storage. The lines occur in the width at progressively short or longer intervals. It normally happens at the dealer’s place of business, but could happen at the mill too. It can normally be fixed by steaming.
    • Fold Marks– This line travels at odd angles to the width or length of the carpet and happens during installation when carpet is creased. Fold marks are an impression left in the carpet from severe bending. It is often characterized by bending and crushing of the face yarn, and stretching and possibly slight delamination of the secondary backing at the line of stress.
    • Stop Marks – This widthwise line travels continuously as if yarns are missing. It is inherent in manufacturing and on cut-pile, it can be minimized by steaming.
    • Low Lines – This can occur from manufacturing from a bent needle in tufting.
    • J-Cuts – This can occur from manufacturing from bad cut in tufting.
  1. Bands or Single Yarns - Determine if the problem is wide or narrow. Determine if they are in the length or width. Note the lengths and widths of either problem.
    • Lines are made of a single row of yarns. If the lines are straight and in the direction of manufacturing, then they could follow individual stitch or gauge rows/ If this is the case, it is very likely that the problem is from tufting i.e. inherent in manufacturing. If they run in a zigzag pattern, then tufting could be a step-over stitch.
    • Bands are wider and affect multiple rows of yarns in the width. Record the width.
  1. Straight or Bowed - Determine if they are straight or bowed.
    • If they bowed or skewed, then you may have a problem likened unto a pattern match.
    • If they are crooked then it could be from a fold mark.
  1. Continuos or Intermittent - Determine if they are solid or does it breakup into section.
    • If they repeat at regular intervals, note the distance between repeats.
    • Do they appear in regular, repeating patterns? Note the distance between repeats.


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