ICS Magazine

Room Dyeing Procedures

January 11, 2005

Last month we concluded our series on spot dyeing. But what about situations where you just want to enhance the overall color of the carpet? Sometimes it is necessary to dye or tint an entire room, or a large portion of a room that has faded from fume fading or sun fading.

It is this author's recommendation that the color repair technician not attempt to completely change the color of a carpet, or try to dye a light-colored carpet a darker color. Most residential carpet is treated with stain-blocker material during manufacture, and it is nearly impossible to achieve an even color when applying a large volume of dye to the carpet surface.

As long as the degree of change is not more than 20 percent to 30 percent darker than the original color, achieving an even color should not be a problem. The following is a set of procedures to follow when dyeing a large faded area or tinting an entire room.

Clean the carpet before applying dye. Thoroughly clean and rinse the areas or rooms to be dyed. This process dampens the carpet fibers and allows for good reception of the dye stuffs.

Mix dye bath and test. If you are dyeing a faded area back to the original color, most of the time a color that is similar to the original color is necessary to restore the faded area. If the entire carpet needs to be tinted, then an application of dye that is similar to the original color of the carpet is generally the best choice.

There are several considerations for the dye technician to be aware of when dyeing large areas:
1. Follow the manufacturer's recommendations for mixing color and for adding dye-prep chemicals to the dye liquor. Some dye manufacturers even have liquid dyes already prepared with dye prep chemicals mixed in a high-pressure sprayer container.
2. After selecting and mixing a color that is similar to the original color of the carpet, apply a small amount of dye to a corner or an inconspicuous area in a closet.
3. Once the dye bath is properly tested and adjusted, spraying on the surface of the carpet is best accomplished by the use of an electric sprayer or a pump-up sprayer. Some manufacturers have pre-mixed dye that can be applied by means of a high-pressure injection sprayer. When spraying the dye bath, hold the tip of the spray gun 12 to18 inches from the carpet surface and overlap the spray by 50 percent.

Protect walls. Use plastic shields or apply wall shield chemicals to adjacent surfaces to prevent staining. If staining does occur, a 50-percent bleach-and-water solution will remove the staining after you have finished applying the dye liquor.

Extract excess dye bath. A thorough extraction is necessary to remove excess dyes and moisture from the surface of the carpet. Generally, rinsing the carpet surface is not necessary during the extraction phase.

Apply additional dye as necessary. After extraction, you may notice some areas are lighter or uneven. Continue to apply the dye bath and extract as necessary to achieve an even appearance to the carpet surface.

Groom the carpet surface. Finish the task by grooming the entire carpet surface by using a grooming tool. This creates a quality, finished appearance to the job.

Sometimes tinting the entire surface of the carpet is a good solution for evening out the color if there are numerous areas in the carpet requiring color spot repair. The technician does not have to be as meticulous in the spot repair as the application of the overall color will blend in any areas that are still noticeable.