Flooring installers should know that the bow and skew is important for their job. When installing carpet, tension is important so that any carpet pattern is accurately portrayed and not pulled out of line. A bowed or skewed pattern is a condition that can take place in printed carpets where there is obvious distortion that is visible to the eye. While a little tension is understandable, the industry sets the standard for bow and skew that installers and inspectors need to know. Sometimes a distortion of the pattern is the result of a manufacturing error, but often it is because of problems once the carpet is laid out.
If bow and skew are noticed within an installed carpet, the total should not exceed 2 inches (5 cm). Further, the carpet manufacturer must provide written specifications so that installers and flooring contractors can know the degree of variations expected as well as the degree of installed mismatch if any that is considered acceptable. The manufacturer should also include information on any guarantees or warranties of pattern match offered.