Carpet Cleaning Issues - Carpet construction, upholstery cleaning, stain removal, equipment, events, etc.

Pretty coloured fabrics.
Posted by Derek (Derek), 4 September 2003

I have been asked recently to have a look at some fabrics which have changed colour.

It started out with one cushion, then two and within ten days I had four cushions and two fabric samples on my desk for assessment.... plus a photograph.

Three of the cushions which were originally beige had turned pink or had pink patches. Another (sculptured acrylic pile fabric)  in green had some lovely brown stripes whether there shouldn't have been brown stripes.

After 'playing' around I have managed to link the problem to certain dyes which are being used for manufacture.

The two fabric samples were woven fabrics with 100% loop Rayon fibres. One had a red backcoating which released colour through to the surface whilst the other had a brown Rayon yarn which formed part of the pattern...this too released colour


I also have a lovely photograph of a suite sent to me from a colleague in Nottinghamshire where a customer of his had removed the cushion covers to put in the washing machine. The predominently blue suite now has predominently pinky/red cushion covers

Happy cleaning
Posted by Derek (Derek), 16 September 2003
Hi Guys and Gals

I will have some photographs with me at the NCCA show at Wolverhampton relating to my previous post. Come and have a look ...a picture is worth a thousand words.

Posted by woodman (woodman), 17 September 2003
Hi Derek

did you establish why  they changed colour,was this due to atmospheric conditions,spills etc and do you know where the fabrics and dyes came from (what retailer sells them).I know Habitat had problems with some Indian dyes they were using in their fabrics on sofas.

Posted by Derek (Derek), 17 September 2003

The colour change is due to pH sensitive direct dyes which have been used (cos their cheap) coming into contact with chemicals (usually acidic but can be alkaline) left in the fabrics.
These dyes are used mainly on natural fibres ie Cotton and the regenerated fibres Rayon. A lot of the manufacturers still use the reactive dyes but if cost is a factor then the cheaper direct dye may be used.

The fabrics should be left neutral after cleaning and that is a pH of 7  and NOT the trade recognised pH neutral of 'somewhere' between 5.5 and 8.4

The nasty bit is that the colour change doesn't show straight away if the normal tests are carried out.
Don't forget to test on both the alkaline AND acid sides for colour change / bleed

Hope this helps

Posted by woodman (woodman), 18 September 2003
Ah ha,

you hadn't mentioned that they had been cleaned in your original post I assumed they had changed colour with out any such treatment which can occur (habitat)
on rare occasions.

All cleaners should be aware of the different strengths as measured by the ph scale to avoid costly mistakes and try to leave materials neutral if possible.

Spot cleaning on upholstery has caused many a problem with cleaners leaving lovely little tide marks all over the clients cushions or the housholder has done this herself and then expects us to wave the magic wand.

All good fun.
Posted by Derek (Derek), 18 September 2003
Hi Woodman

Some had been cleaned others had been protected with a water based fabric protector.

The Habitat ones you refer to are colour loss by wear abrasion... these fabrics shouldn't, by rights, pass the British Standard crock test... but they still get into the retail outlets.
It isn't just Habitat fabics that react in this way many of the deep dyed colours will 'wear off'

I have one that has allegedly passed three tests and I have seen the certificates... I even tested it myself at a testing house... it passed
It failed when tested by the British Standards Institute so I assume that all testing houses are not singing from the same hymn sheet. I reckon they are carrying out the various tests on for clothing and NOT upholstery fabrics... just a personal view


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