How to Safely Store Oriental Rugs

How to Safely Store Oriental Rugs

Protect your Oriental Rugs in Storage

Why worry about storing Oriental and Persian rugs?  There are many reasons why the need may arise to properly store your woven treasures. Here are a few:

1/Maybe you're moving and are downsizing. Perhaps you're beautiful, but enormous rug that once sprawled across your living room floor will sadly not fit into your new condo.

2/You've just inherited a lovely rug from Grandma (lucky you!) but the size is just not suitable for your current living situation.

3/You're in the midst of a large home renovation. The project has grown larger and is taking much longer to complete. You need to protect your Persian Rugs from all of the work and mess!

4/While shopping, you were fortunate enough to come across a gorgeous handmade rug. You just had to have it! You just knew you couldn't live without it and would forever regret not bringing it home. The problem is you have no idea where to put it or need time to decide on its placement. Whatever the reason, most of us at some time or another will encounter an issue like one of the above.

If your Oriental Carpet is not stored properly you might have to deal with some even bigger issues, such as water damage, mould, or the very dreaded evil moth and other bug infestations.

Any of these problems could turn into a complete nightmare unless you are safely storing your precious Persian rugs. Here are some tips on safely storing your Oriental carpets:

1/ A Professional Rug Cleaning is a must!

First and foremost, you should most definitely give your rugs an expert oriental rug cleaning before you even consider storing them. This would be an ideal time to check them over very thoroughly and to make sure that they're not in need of a rug repair that need to be done.

Why would you want to store a dirty rug? A professional rug cleaning will put your mind at ease and help to further extend the life of your rug. Especially if it's a rug that you've inherited and may not have had a regular carpet cleaning.

Or an Oriental Rug found at an antique shop or estate sale that might seem clean enough but has harmful dust and dirt, or insects, deep in the pile. Giving your new Vintage Rug a professional rug cleaning is imperative before the storage even begins.

2/ Roll those precious Persian Rugs

Never leave your Oriental Rugs folded while in storage! It might seem ideal if it's thin enough to fold, however you could be doing some severe damage to the construction of your rugs.

You could be creating some creases or cracks in the foundation of your rug. You could possibly be damaging the fibres, especially if it's an antique or a delicate rug.

Your Oriental Rugs should always be rolled. To roll up your Oriental Rug correctly, the pile of your rug should always be facing inwards. During the rolling, try and keep your rug as straight as possible so that it's rolled up evenly.

This can sometimes be a two-person job, especially if you're dealing with a very large area rug. You will need to roll the rug in tandem, making sure you're rolling the rug at the same pace to ensure it comes out evenly rolled. Also, try and use the same tension as your helper. You might have to roll it a few times over just to make sure it's rolled up right.

3/ Properly wrap Oriental Carpets while in storage

Wrapping your Oriental Carpet might be an option for its safety but it depends on the area you've chosen to store it. If the rug is being stored for a short term and in a dry suitable room, you could use a clean sheet of cotton.

This will need to be laid out and then wrapped. The ends of the cotton should be taped, not tucked inside the ends of the roll. However, the very best material for wrapping your rug would be polyurethane. This is the sort of protection a professional would opt for.

The polyurethane is the superior choice for wrapping an Oriental Rug. The polyurethane will provide protection from dangerous dampness and even the dreaded insects that would love to find their way into your rug! The polyurethane will allow the fibres of your rug to breathe.

Never use plastic as this will trap in any moisture or insects and could potentially rot your rug. You can find this polyurethane wrap at a home improvement store or a hardware store. You could also have your rus experts wrap it up for you.

4/ Use Climate Controlled Storage Unit

A very good place to safely store Oriental Rugs would be in a temperature controlled storage unit, especially if the rug is going to be stored for a long period of time.

However, it's still advised to check up on your rugs even while in the storage unit on a regular basis in order to ensure that the surrounding environment has not contaminated your rugs in any way.

5/ Safely Store Oriental Rugs at home

If you've decided to store your Oriental Rug at home it should be a cool and dry room or area. The light must also be controlled. While you don't want it kept in complete sunlight, you also don't want it in complete darkness.

The blinding direct sunlight could do some major fading of your Oriental Rug's colours. Also, a place that is completely dark without any light at all is not ideal.

For example, the darkness and stillness of an attic is never a good option because moths and other insects love a dark and undisturbed rug, and would happily eat your precious area rug in a minute.

If you decide on a basement or garage, putting your handmade rugs on a concrete floor is not advisable. The concrete floors change temperature and have too much moisture in them causing the concrete to sweat. This is not something you want your rug on top of.

Moisture is an enemy that could also mean trouble. Any moisture could easily turn into mould, which could greatly damage your Oriental Rug, leaving it with awful damp or foul smell.

A finished basement or a spare room is a better choice. A wrapped and rolled rug could be kept on a table or on a shelf. Or even a couple of two by fours could help by elevating it.

Never stand your Persian Rug up on ends as this could very easily change the shape of your rug, making it uneven when unrolled. No one wants to unroll their rug and find a warped looking rug.

The one benefit of storing your rug at home is being able to unroll the rug and check on it. Even though you might have taken all of these precautions into consideration, a check up on your rug once a month is ideal.

If it's going to be stored for 6 months or more in your home, it wouldn't hurt to also give it a regular vacuum. After any length of time in storage, it's always a great idea to give you're a rug professionally carpet cleaning again.

It's also exciting to re-open your Persian rugs that you haven't seen in so long. Even though these storage steps seem like a lot of work, it's all worth it to protect your treasured rug.

If you are safely storing Oriental rugs, you'll help extend the life, value, and beauty of your precious rugs. After all, a beautiful Persian carpet is meant to be enjoyed for generations.

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  • Azar Sheazadeh