Characteristics to Consider

Different types and style of carpet exhibit different characteristics that may make them more suitable for some applications than others. The information in this section will help you understand the characteristics of carpets and make a more informed choice.

Colour variation

Minor colour variations between samples you may view and the production runs in which your carpet are produced are normal and to be expected.

The perceived colour of a carpet colour can also vary due to factors such as the light in which it is being viewed or the angle from which it is seen. We encourage you to view carpet samples under conditions similar to those in which it will be laid to gain the most accurate impression of the finished effect.

Appearance change

To varying degrees, the appearance of a carpet will inevitably change. Like all dyed textiles, carpets will fade if exposed to direct sunlight. Therefore, we recommend you limit the amount of time to which your carpet is exposed to sunlight. Curtains, blinds or exterior canopies are popular ways of managing light ingress. All Victoria Carpets products have been tested and meet the standard for light fastness as defined by the ACCS guidelines.

Pile disturbance

Matting, marks and tracking are all evidence of the pile flattening owing to foot traffic in high use areas and turning points. Placing rugs in heavily used areas and offering alternative routes (where possible) will minimise symptoms of tracking and matting.

Transient pile reversal (shading)

Perceived colour differences, which appear on installed carpet, is known as pile reversal shading. This is an optical effect that results from the reflection or absorption of light from disturbed carpet pile.

If caused by vacuuming or foot marking, brushing the carpet in the direction of the pile lay will reverse the differences in shading.

Permanent pile reversal (shading)

Irregularly shaped lighter and darker patches appearing on cut pile carpet are known as shading, puddling, or watermarking. Areas of disturbed pile that reflect light in a contrasting way to the body of carpet surrounding it is caused by permanent pile reversal shading.

This phenomenon is permanent and cannot be removed by brushing or vacuuming. While it remains unclear why permanent pile reversal shading occurs, it is not perceived as a manufacturing fault or is detrimental to the durability of the carpet. As yet, it is an unexplained industry phenomenon.


In the initial weeks or months of use, carpets may shed small fibres. This primarily occurs in cut pile and wool styles. Over time, the carpet will settle and shedding will diminish, until it ceases altogether. It is not detrimental to the life of the carpet and the symptoms can be controlled by regular vacuuming.


Fibre particles rising to the surface of the carpet are known as fuzzing. Occurring as a consequence of loose fibres in the carpets construction, fuzzing occurs predominantly in loop pile carpets and in areas of heavy foot traffic or under furniture such as tables where foot shuffling occurs.

If vacuuming  is unsuccessful in removing fuzzing, it can be removed by a professional carpet cleaner who can shear it from the carpet in situ.

Pile flattening

Regular, frequent use of a carpet can cause various degrees of flattening. This is quite normal and is not a manufacturing fault. Regular cleaning and vacuuming will reduce flattening and prolong the service life and appearance of the carpet.


Well-worn carpets can show signs of matting which is the result of merging carpet tufts becoming less defined. A degree of matting naturally occurs in all carpets and is not considered a manufacturing defect.


Missing or damaged tufts

Carpets can be damaged by accident, inappropriate use or other factors. Damaged or missing tufts in newly installed carpet can be replaced and repaired by skilled hand sewing. The manufacturer of the carpet is usually able to repair the carpet by manually replacing missing tufts or areas of tuft damage. When performed by a skilled tradesperson, the repair should not be visible or affect the durability or quality of the carpet.


Sprouting is the result of extra-long tuft legs that were trapped in the carpet pile during manufacture, installation or initial use, being released to the surface of the carpet.

Sprouts can be carefully trimmed with napping shears or scissors without damaging the carpet.


Carpet snagging is the result of the forced removal or disfigurement of tufts from a loop pile carpet. An experienced carpet tradesperson can repair snagging in situ.

Pattern matching

Slight variations between the length and width directions of loop pile are the result of stress and pressure differences during the manufacturing process. Consequently, the pattern running along the length of the carpet may not exactly match that running across its width. This is more likely to occur in large areas or situations where the carpet has been sourced from more than one production run.

Special care needs to be taken during installation, but even then some irregularities may be visible, especially when viewing across multiple width installations. An experienced installer who is familiar with pattern matching can usually minimise the effect of any pattern variations and achieve a visually acceptable result.

Shift Lines

Parallel lines appearing at regular intervals on the surface of loop pile carpets are known as shift lines. These are more evident on carpets with large designs or more elaborate patterns, however they are not visually intrusive or considered a manufacturing defect.