Spot Dyeing Carpet and Oriental Rugs
Years ago I took a spot dyeing class just because it was close to me and I needed some continuing education credit at the time for my certifications. Little did I know that spot dyeing carpet and rugs would actually be a very beneficial skill for me to learn. While I don’t do whole room carpet dyeing we can fix just about any color loss issues that are small spots. This is also one of the few times when carpet and oriental rugs require the same processes.
So what can be fixed with carpet dyes?
Years ago the general rule of thumb was the spot had to have color loss, not color added to be a candidate for spot dyeing. This is because of the way most liquid dyes work, they add color back. They don’t work like paint and cover up the original color with a new color. The only way it could be done with liquid dyes is to bleach out the area in question and re-dye it the correct color. This can be tricky though. However, nowadays a color added situation can be corrected color modifying cosmetics (CMC). This is a completely different dyeing system than liquid dyes and does not involve bleaching the carpet out to re-dye it the correct color. Liquid dyes With liquid dyes I can’t have a tan carpet with a purple spot on it and expect to add tan on top of the purple and it work. On the same tan carpet though that is bleached out to a yellow, color can be added back in so that it will look like it never happened. Liquid carpet dyes are also permanent and so once you can get the correct color then it is there to stay.
Color Modifying Cosmetics (CMC)
CMC’s are different than liquid dye in that they allow you to take a color added spot and get it back to the original color. However what is different about these types of dyes is that after the color is back to where you want it to be then you have to “set” the dyes with either an iron or a wallpaper steamer. Once the dyes are set then it is permanent. If they are not set then a carpet cleaner could remove them or they could even be removed by simply walking on them. Another advantage to these types of dyes is that they are generally easier to work with then liquid dyes.
Rit Dye is Not Carpet Dye
Lastly is also important to note that going to the grocery store and buying Rit dye, which is not carpet dye, will not work well as a substitute for carpet dye. Over the years I have seen many people try to use Rit dye on carpet and it just doesn’t turn out well. Rather than messing up the carpet worse than it already is avoid using this type of dye on carpet and call a professional to do the work properly.