Rugs are meant to be enjoyed and used, in all traffic areas, with wear and tear, and plenty of light. It’s the everyday use that helps each rug develop its unique characteristics.
But in the event that you have to store your rug for any reason (i.e. a gift that doesn’t match your decor, a keep sake, moving, seasonal residents), there are certain guidelines you want to follow to avoid damaging your rug.
First and foremost in storage of oriental rugs: you should never store your rug where there would be major shifts in temperature and humidity – This includes attics, basements, garages, or any non-climate controlled storage units, and sometimes closets. I once went to a customer’s home to check out a Persian rug they wanted to sell, and they had stored it in the garage for over a year. As we unrolled the rug, we noticed the middle of the rug was completely rotted and destroyed due to prolonged moisture, heat, humidity and moths! It was heart-breaking, as it was such a nice and valuable rug.
Your rug should always be stored in a cool and dry place, or at the very least, a climate-controlled area. Personally, I like to wrap them in porous fabrics like a bed sheet or blanket, where some circulation is possible. I tie the ends and tuck them in the end of the roll, covering the entire rug perfectly. Many like to wrap their rugs in a sheet of clear polyethylene, and while this is good at keeping moisture and bugs out, it could be damaging if your rug had any moisture in it at the time that you wrapped it, and condensation occurs.
Avoid folding your rug for prolonged time periods, if possible, as it may create creases that are sometimes hard to get rid of. Rolling your rug against the lay of the nap will form a nice, tight roll. For extra protection, you can use a cardboard tube that is slightly wider than the width of your rug, to roll the rug around. Do not store your rug directly on concrete floors, as it can allow moisture to be seeped up into the rug fibers. If possible, place on a shelf or at least put a paper barrier underneath.
Make sure your rug is vacuumed clean before storing, as bugs may be attracted to food residue and spills. To be safe, I also sprinkle some cedar chips on the rug before rolling / wrapping it. Red cedar contains natural oils that kill moth larvae. It may not be as effective in extreme infestations, and does not protect against carpet beetles, but the odor is much more tolerable and less harmful than traditional moth balls or moth crystals.
Lavender is another natural moth repellant. They also have a pleasant scent. But keep in mind that lavender is more of a repellant and will not kill moth eggs or larvae, so if you already have a problem with moths, you may want to make sure the area is moth-free first.
Oriental Rug Bazaar offers storage for your valuable rugs. You can contact us regarding any questions you may have.