Almost every interior textile (carpets, area rugs, upholstery, draperies, and wall coverings) will lighten in color or fade over time. The extent of damage depends on the item’s exposure to light and elements, the item’s color, the intensity and type of dyes used, and the dyeing method used.
An interior textile that has been solution-dyed is least susceptible to sunlight fading. The pigments are added to the polymer before fibers are formed, sealing in the color. Most olefins (polypropylene and polyethylene), many acrylics, and some polyester and nylon fibers used in carpet are dyed using this method.
Lighter shades usually will fade more quickly than darker shades because they contain less dye. Most dyes are composed of two or more color components. If one color is affected more than the other, the fading may appear as a color change rather than a lightening of the color. For example, many greenish hues are made from yellow and blue dyes. If the yellow dye is affected and the blue is not, the green textile may seem to be turning blue.
In other instances colors may fade uniformly, appearing as a lighter shade of the original color. In severe cases the color may be completely removed, appearing to be “bleached” white. The fiber itself may also deteriorate. This is especially true with silk textiles.
You may be able to prevent or reduce fading in sunny locations by keeping the windows covered in sunny weather with window coverings (which may fade, too) or by treating the windows with a protective coating that filters out the ultra-violet rays of sunlight.