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Proper Rug Storage

Find the Best Rug Storage Location

For those of you who like to switch your rugs out to create a fresh look in your décor, or to save them from too much wear, take care to properly store your rugs according to theTextile Museum in Washington, D.C.

The best location for the storage of your collection would be in a room that is cool, dry and where blinds or curtains block natural light. Few of us have the luxury of having a spare room that we can devote to storage, and have to make do with closets, cupboards and under beds.

While it is possible to adapt many spaces in the house for storage, avoid using attics and basements, which are usually without climate control and suffer the largest swings in temperature and relative humidity.

How to Roll a Rug Carpet

When storing a rug carpet, it's best to roll it. Never fold a rug for short- or long-term storage, as permanent creases may form.

It is generally best to roll a rug carpet with the pile facing in since it is not as strong as the foundation.

First, lay the rug face up with the pile going away from you. Try to keep the rug as straight as possible while you roll. To help you keep it straight, use a rod, such as a wooden dowel, a thick curtain rod or one that is specifically used for rugs (ask your local rug dealer).

If using a rod, it may help you to get it straight on the rod by using a piece of cotton or muslin material the width of the rug. Cut a two-foot strip of muslin to match the width of your rug. Wrap the muslin over the edge of the end you wish to start rolling. Do the same when you've reached the end of the roll to help protect the rug against insects and dirt. This material should roll around the rug one and a half times. Finally, secure the roll with cotton tape or polyester tape.

how to roll up a rug for storage

Museums often wrap rugs in polyurethane wrapping instead of cotton or muslin. Polyurethane will provide a superior barrier against dampness and insects over muslin.


Rug Storage Tips

  • If you live in a climate where humidity is high during some part of the year, make sure that there is some way to circulate the air to avoid mildew problems - even a fan will help. Consider using a dehumidifier to bring humidity down to a more moderate level.

  • If you live in a climate where humidity is low during some part of the year, consider raising the level of humidity slightly with a humidifier.

  • Block sunlight with shades or blinds.

  • Have a housekeeping plan for your storage area(s) because dust and dirt attract insects.

  • Avoid storing rugs directly on the floor; carpet beetles in particular like to take up residence between the floor and the back of your rug.

Maintaining Rug Storage Areas

Most moth and carpet beetle infestations appear in rugs that were improperly stored. Sometimes infestations will start while the rug is in use, and then quickly accelerates when the piece is stored. It is, therefore, important to have a good housekeeping plan for your storage areas.

Once each month, unroll at least one rug to make sure that there is no evidence of infestation. Choose a different rug each month. Wipe off shelving and shelf padding, and if necessary clean or replace dustcovers and padding. Vacuum the room thoroughly to eliminate insect-attracting dust. Remove dust from all baseboards and windowsills as well.

Read aboutMeasuring for a Rug next.

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