What Is Rug Shading or Pile Reversal?

what is pile reversal in oriental rugs

What Is Rug Shading?

If you run your hand over the soft pile of your oriental rug, it’s easy to see that the fibers tend to lie naturally in one direction. If you brush against the direction of the pile, that area of the rug appears darker. Smooth the fibers with the pile, and it appears lighter. In an ornately decorated rug, a variation in light and dark due to shifts in fiber direction is called shading. The naturally occurring variation in the direction fibers point can add to the charm and texture of a design. Lightly grooming the rug with a carpet rake or brush can reorient the fibers and create a more uniform appearance if desired.

Pile Reversal Is a Problem

In contrast to shading, more serious distortion of the natural pile of the rug is referred to as pile reversal or pooling. This effect may occur in new oriental rugs, but it most commonly appears in rugs that have seen some use. Pile reversal is typically a result of repeated pressure causing the tufts of fiber to reverse their natural direction. Furniture placed on the rug, foot traffic, and incorrect storage may all lead to this pooling effect.

A thorough washing, drying, and grooming of your oriental rug by a professional like Ayoub N&H™ Carpet & Rugs may help reduce the appearance of pile reversal. But once this type of damage has occurred, it may be too late to do much about it. The best way to prevent permanent pile reversal is to rotate rugs regularly to distribute the forces of foot traffic more evenly.

Do you have more questions about Oriental Rug maintenance? Use Ayoub N&H™ Carpet & Rug’s contact form for your inquiry.