Rug Storage and Shipping Tips

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Your rugs are valuable investments that need to be treated correctly. Sometimes, you have to take up a rug for storage or shipping. You need to know that certain rugs shouldn’t be folded. This applies to machine-made rugs, as well as hand-tufted and hand-knotted ones with stiff construction or dry rot. If you see dry rot, do not attempt to fold. If you hear cracking or popping as you fold, stop right away. Dry rot needs professional care, and your will want bring in an expert to do it right.

It turns out, the best people to do correct repair and maintenance of rugs and carpets are often the same people who do installation. One expert, who runs her own interior decorators Florida business, says “Make sure the people you deal with are certified and insured. Rugs are an important component in any home design plan and thus should be entrusted only to competent carpet professionals.”

The first thing you will want to do is clean your rug. You can have a reputable rug cleaner come to your home, or you can bring your rug to a oriental rug-washing plant. In either case, by cleaning your carpet before storage, you are much less likely to suffer a moth infestation. 

If you are putting up your rug for long-term storage, remember that the less folding, the better. Creases can get set in over the long term, though they should eventually settle out when you redeploy your rug. That would rule out a spur-of-the-moment opening of a rug for a special event. If a rug is in poor condition, folding it may cause irreparable harm, such as cracking.

For storage purposes, you must always roll a rug in the direction of the pile. This creates a loose roll that is more protected from crushing over the long term. However, for shipping without long-term storage, roll the rug against the direction of the pile, yielding a tighter roll that takes up less room. Check with your shipper to see if it imposes weight and/or size limits, and also whether it charges less for tightly-rolled rugs. If you’re measuring your rolled up rug for shipping, make sure to add extra inches for padding and wrapping material. You may have to weigh your rug, though most rugs weigh about 0.75 lbs per square foot.

There are three ways to fold a rug compactly for shipment:

1)    Fold it in half lengthwise and then rolling
      Fold into thirds and rolling
           Straight rolling

After folding your rug, wrap it in Tyvek or heavy-gauge plastic, and use extra padding on the rug ends if you’re shipping it to help prevent damage from dragging. For storage, let rugs have access to the atmosphere and make sure you include color-free moth crystals with the rug. You will want to vacuum you stored rug once a year.

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