Carpet shift marks are one of the most controversial claims in the carpet industry. Carpet manufacturers will tell you that these lines or bands are a normal characteristic and not a defect. Others in the industry often disagree. So what are shift marks and are they a defect or not?
What Shift Marks Are
Most commonly, shift marks appear as narrow lines or bands. They repeat across the width of the carpet at regular intervals. The surface of the carpet may have narrow widthwise gaps in the pile. The actual gaps can sometimes be difficult to see. Shift marks are most common with graphics or stepover stitch loop-pile carpet. They can also occur with cut pile carpet.
Carpet Shift Mark Creation
The needle bar on a carpet tufting machine can hold up to 1,800 or more needles. Tufting machines set to manufacturer 12 foot wide 1/10 gauge carpet hold 1,440 needles across its width. With step-over stitch the needle bar shifts in a side-to-side direction. The needles stitch the yarn through the primary backing material. The shifting needle bar places tension on the yarn as its pulled down.
Shift marks result from the yarn being starved or pulled down as the needle bar is shifting back and forth. This added tension results in the appearance of bands or short, little row lines that appear on the face of the carpet. These bands are the most noticeable where they line up at a seam. They often start appearing more after the carpet has been down for a while. These marks are not correctable.
Are Shift Marks in Carpet a Manufacturing Defect
No, with commercial looped carpet that is manufactured using a shifting needlebar. Sometimes its an unwanted characteristic that is not correctable.
Yes/Maybe, with residential cut pile carpet. If the shift marks are not seen in a large sample of the carpet that the consumer ordered from, they may not have received the appearance they bargained for. This may be a visual defect though the manufacturer may see it otherwise. It does become the dealer/installer responsibility not to install carpet with visual defects. While these marks do affect the appearance of a carpet they do not affect its performance.
To discuss your concern use this form. A certified carpet inspector will contact to to discuss what you are seeing and determine if you need an inspection. There is no obligation.
yeah but does this affect finding a row for seaming
Please expand on your question.
trouble finding rows says
How come in some carpets you simply cannot find a row no matter what you do?
Not all carpets are tufted in a straight row, an example of this would be a stitch that is more of a crossover or zigzag. Also, if you are trying to find a row going side-to-side instead of lengthwise you will not find a true row as stitch rows run in the lengthwise direction of a carpet.
Does first-grade carpet have tape on the back of the carpet? I noticed a 3 to 3 1/2 inch piece of tape running across the back of my new carpet as it was being installed…when I asked the installer, there was a language barrier, or so he said.
It is possible for a strip of tape to be across the back though not likely.
After 7-8 months of light use by myself and my husband we began to notice several spots that were very worn. After 12 months of weekly vacuuming , sometimes more as needed the spots appeared old. I wrote the store and asked them to forward to the manufacturer. I also hired a certified carpet cleaner according to the warranty. After several months a carpet rep came to look at the carpet. He suggested we should replace our vacuum. We did that, but the carpet still looks old and worn in the same spots that were called pivot abrasions. I feel that we have kept our part of the responsibility. I feel that the manufacturer and the store should stand behind their produce and replace at least the living room portion. The bedrooms, family room and hall we can live with if we have too, but the living room looks really old. I am truly disappointed in it. What can we do?
Sorry to learn that you are experiencing problems with your carpet. The softer yarns used in many of today’s carpet show pivot point traffic changes quite quickly. Unless you have a texture retention warranty, an added warranty that not all carpets have, there is not much you can unless you can show that the product was misrepresented when sold to you.
Fran ajax says
I have berber carpet in my house. Here when I bought the house. To say the least, I really am not happy with it. Several rooms are occupied by “The Mr. Carpet”,,..and they need to be cleaned.
Do you have any solutions as what I should Do?
THANK YOU , Fran
I would suggest that you call a couple of good professional carpet cleaners for an estimate on cleaning. They should be able to assist you.
I notice on some carpets backing is mesh and some are not, is mesh the better? Plus some carpets twist pile is closer otgether where some eco twist piles they are gaps between piles meaning not so dense.
Wendy geiselhart says
My husband and I were referred to a Carpet Mill Outlet Store by a friend, We did purchase a plush carpet and on the spool seemed like a tight plush that you could walk on and would probably show you foot prints to a degree,,boy were we mislead! After two day the part of the carpet leading from the livingroom to the kitchen became worn and I mean as if we had this carpet for years! It continued to happen in a number of places in our living room and hallway, I did call a Certified Carpet Inspector in Chicago and he sort of thought it would be wasting our money to have him come out to our place due to the hi charges related to travel charges, We live about two hours away.
We had the owner from the store come to our home and blamed the ware on everything but defective carpet. We are looking for a CCI closer to our home and would like to know what to expect as far as cost for an inspector. I have MS and really need to take care of this My feet are effective as well. The are swollen and red in color. We feel this all started when the carpet was installed. We would so appreciate your view on this situation.
As an elderly woman living on her own I recently moved into a newly built condo. The carpet started to show lines in the downstairs hall going across from baseboard to baseboard within two months, and has only increased with time. The manufacturer has denied a claim stating “all textile-tufted material have inherent variations in their nature, this is the nature of the product” I am contesting the ruling but not sure what arguments to use. Any help you can give me would be greatly appreciated
Liz, if you are able to submit an image, please do so as there are several causes of lines in carpet.