How does carpet get its color? Understanding the different ways carpet is dyed

Carpet DyeingDyeing is the process of adding color to a fiber. Many different types of dyeing methods are used to give carpet its color. Explanations of the different methods are below.

Pre-Dyeing of Yarn

Pre-dyeing involves various dyeing processes where the yarn is dyed prior to tufting. The most common of these methods is solution dyeing, space dyeing, stock dyeing, and skein dyeing.

Solution Dyeing

Solution dyeing is made from BCF yarns where the dye pigments are dispersed into the polymer prior to being extruded. Yarns made with solution dying have color throughout the fiber, rather than impregnating dye into the fiber. This method of dyeing produces the most effective stain cleanability of all fibers.

Space Dyeing

Space dyeing, also referred to as yarn dyeing, is a process used primarily in various types of commercial carpet loop constructions made from or including the use of BCF nylon. In this process of dyeing, two or more different colors are essentially printed along the length of the fiber to create a multi-color affect in short lengths of the fiber that typically appear as horizontal or diagonal stripes.

Stock Dyeing

Stock dyeing is considered to be the oldest method of dyeing carpet yarns. In this process, large quantities of staple yarns are placed in a large vat (“kettle”), and are dyed under pressure using non-water soluble disperse dyes. Once dyed, the kettle is drained and the yarns are then centrifuged to remove excess water.

Skein Dyeing

Skein dyeing involves a process where yarn is gathered into large skeins (yarn holders) that are hung in dye vats and then dyed to produce smaller dye lots. After dyeing the yarn is then wound onto cones. Skein dyeing is often used to dye custom colors.

Post-Dyeing of Yarn

Post dyeing involves various processes of dyeing yarn after it has been tufted, but prior to the addition of a secondary backing. These yarns are extruded as a white fiber that does not contain dye pigment, and are then tufted into a greige roll. In most cases, post dyeing is done by continuous dyeing, beck dyeing, or printing.

Beck Dyeing or Piece Dyeing

Beck dyeing is a process where the tufted, 12 foot wide greige rolls are immersed individually into stainless steel tank containing dye (i.e., “dye bath”). The temperature of the negatively charged dyes is elevated at this point in order to open the positively charged dye sites on the fiber to better accept dyes. Although used primarily to dye solid colors, carpet fibers dye affinity can be modified to produce stripe and moresque colors. Beck dyeing is the most expensive means to dye fiber, beck dyeing is still considered necessary in order to obtain the dye penetration needed on heavier carpet fiber constructions.

Print Dyeing

There are a number of methods for printing patterns onto greige carpet. There are flatbeds where screens are used to print the patterns onto the carpet or there are jet applicators that spray the ink deep into the carpet to create the color patterns.

Continuous Dyeing

Continuous Dyeing is the process geared toward maximizing production, where the greige carpet is passed under the dyeing equipment, and the dye solutions are “flowed on” to the carpet, rather than the carpet being immersed in the dyeing solution.

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Posted May 7, 2015
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