Pile reversal

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Pile reversal refers to a permanent change in a carpet’s appearance caused by the difference in the way light reflects off the sides and tip of a yarn as the pile lays in different directions. Shaded areas appear light from one direction and dark from another direction. This effect is generally noted in smooth surfaced, densely constructed, plush carpets (i.e. not in looped pile). Its cause may be foot traffic and once it occurs it is a permanent condition. The effect is often more visible after cleaning of a textile as dirt and grime may lower the reflectance of the fibers and make the issue less visible.

Diagram showing distortion to fibers that leads to the watermarking/pooling/shading effect resulting from pile reversal
Section of 20th Century Limited carpet showing pile reversal seen as a squiggly dark line down the center of the carpet. This may have been caused by foot traffic in different directions on the left and right side of the carpet

Synonyms in English[edit | edit source]

watermarking, pooling, puddling, shading

Translation[edit | edit source]

English pile reversal
Chinese (Traditional) 倒絨

Discussion[edit | edit source]