Persian rugs remain a timeless interior design choice with a rich history. Large Persian rugs offer a classic look in your living room, creating a prominent centerpiece in your design. But sometimes you need a change, which calls for your rug to spend time in storage.
Proper storage of your Persian rug is essential in preventing damage to the foundation and pile. You also want to protect the floor covering from moths and other damaging pests. Moisture and odors can also be an issue.
When storing your rug, start by choosing a safe spot. Then, prep the rug carefully so it’s ready for long-term storage. Taking those extra precautionary steps now helps you avoid costly rug repairs when you take your Persian rug out of storage.
Follow these rug care steps to ensure your rug maintains its condition during storage.
Choose the Ideal Storage Spot
Whether you’re dealing with a vintage or antique rug, an ideal storage spot is one of the most important parts of keeping it safe. Poor storage conditions can increase the risks of damage, insect infestation, fading, or mildew.
The best spot for storing Oriental rugs is a dry area away from sunlight and off the floor. Placing a rug on a concrete floor in a garage or basement puts it at risk for severe temperature changes and moisture. If possible, choose a spot with minimal risk of pests.
A higher spot away from the floor minimizes the risk of bugs reaching the rug. If you place the rug on a wooden shelf, consider lining it with acid-free archival paper. Acids from the wood can cause damage to the rug.
Placing a dehumidifier in the space can help reduce moisture if you don’t have an alternative spot. Keeping the room dry cuts down on the risks of the rug growing mildew. If the room has windows, cover them with blinds to keep the sunlight away from your rug.
Clean Large Persian Rugs
Clean your rug thoroughly before putting it into storage to prevent staining or odors. Gunk left in the rug can also attract pests.
Vacuuming is a basic way to remove any dirt, crumbs, or other debris that can damage the rug over time. If your rug is antique or is fragile, vacuum carefully to prevent damage. Look for stains that need to be removed before you put the rug away.
If it’s been a while since you’ve had it professional cleaned, consider doing it before storage. A professional cleaning every 5 years ensures your rug gets cleaned with the proper supplies. It’s also less likely to get damaged when you let a professional handle the cleaning.
It’s also a good idea to handle rug repairs before storage. If your rug has damage, it could become worse in storage. The rolling process and the potential for other damaging effects could weaken the rug even more.
Prepare for Rolling
Rolling large Oriental rugs is the ideal method of storage because it keeps the rug smooth. Folding a rug, especially if you’re storing it long term, can cause creases and damage the rug. The rug also receives a lot of pressure at the fold lines, which can cause the foundation to become weak or even break if it’s already brittle and delicate.
If possible, get an acid-free archival tube or a cardboard rug tube to create a core for rolling the rug. If you use regular cardboard, cover it with acid-free tissue paper to protect your rug while it’s in storage. You can cover the paper with muslin to protect it from tearing.
Before you start rolling, you need to decide if you want the pile in or out. Whichever side goes inward gets the most protection during storage, so choose the side of the rug that’s most susceptible to damage.
Rolling with the pile facing inward is most common since the pile is the most valuable part of the rug. If the rug’s foundation is in poor condition or the pile is in much better condition than the rug, consider rolling it with the pile in.
Roll the Rug
Getting started with rolling is often the most challenging part. It’s difficult to keep it straight on your cardboard tube. When you’re dealing with large Persian rugs, it’s best to have at least two people to help keep the rug aligned.
Roll slowly, making sure the rug stays straight and even. Have at least one person on each end of the roll to keep it aligned.
Check your rug periodically to check for damage or moth infestations. Ensure it’s still properly covered and protected. You may want to unroll the rug occasionally to ensure it’s still in good shape.
Cover the Rug
An outer cover gives your rug a layer of protection against dirt and other debris. It can also help keep pests out of the rug. Breathable fabric, such as cotton or muslin, is ideal.
Wrap the fabric around your tightly rolled rug. Choose a piece of fabric that can go around the rug at least 1.5 times and that extends beyond the ends to ensure it’s fully protected. Tuck the ends into the tube, or tie the ends of the fabric to hold it in place.
Position It in the Storage Area
Place your rug in the selected area, ideally off the ground. If possible, place it on a shelf that’s slightly longer than the rug so the ends don’t sag. The sagging can place unwanted pressure on the foundation in those areas.
Avoid placing anything on top of the rug. Heavy items can crush the pile and damage the foundation.
Protect Your Rugs
Storing large Persian rugs long term requires some extra prep. The work is worth it to ensure your investment remains protected from fading, foundation damage, moths, and other potential damage.
Does your rug need help before it goes into storage? We offer several rug services, including restoration, cleaning, and care and preservation. Contact us today for help in preparing your rug for storage.
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