Sandy from Oregon writes:
I'm looking for new carpet, but I absolutely hate seeing sweeper marks and footprints. What should I be looking for?
That's a very common question Sandy. These marks are a result of the carpet fibers leaning one direction or another. If all the fibers in your carpet are standing straight up your carpet has a uniform appearance, but if any of them lean towards or away from you they reflect the light in different directions, causing areas of your carpet to appear lighter or darker.
Every cut pile carpet will show these marks to some degree. Some extermely short and dense cut pile carpets may show the marks less, but with the advent of today's super soft carpet fibers even density is no longer the safe haven from sweeper marks it once was. A rough twisted carpet might have enough texture by itself to mask some footprints, but it is usually very loose and may show a pronounced change in appearance when you sweep it.
If you are concerned about footprints and vacuum marks on your carpet you should be looking at looped carpets, such as berbers. That is the only way to truly avoid the issue, however many customers today have simply come to terms with that fact that some marks may be the price you pay for a soft and luxurious carpet.
Hope this helps!