Owning a rug cleaning plant we see all kinds of rugs that come into our shop. They come in all shapes, sizes, colors, and fabric content. Storing them properly though is something that most people don’t know how to do. So we see some of these rugs that have been stored improperly for years and now need some TLC due to the years of neglect. With very little thought and planning these situations can be prevented.
First when you know you will be storing a rug for any length of time it is important to have the rug cleaned first. This should be done by a professional rug cleaning company in their rug cleaning plant, not in your home. Bugs and other critters are good at finding old food crumbs in rugs if stored dirty. Plus a rug stored with dog or cat urine in it could cause the colors to become unstable and migrate onto other colors while in storage.
Once the rug is clean, you will want to roll the rug, not fold it. Then wrap the rug in either brown paper or in a vapor membrane, such as Tyvek. The vapor membrane is preferable since it is more durable and will not tear or rip when you move it around. Usually a rug cleaner will be able to do this for you, if you are unsure about it. By storing your rug wrapped in this vapor membrane it will still let any water vapor evaporate out of the wool and escape the wrapping. You should never store a rug wrapped in plastic. Wool can hold up to 30% of its weight in water and still feel dry to the touch. So if you put a wool rug in plastic and store it, condensation will form inside the plastic and either cause the colors in the rug to run or cause the rug to mold and dry rot.
Lastly, the rug should always be stored in a climate controlled area. Do not store your rug in a space that is not climate controlled such as a garage or an attic. The area you choose to store the rug in should also be kept clean and free of debris. If you store the rug in a climate controlled storage building check on the area often and keep it clean. Bugs, rats and other animals like to get into areas that aren’t well kept and they could find their way into your rug and cause damage to it.
If you have stored your rug improperly and you have some damage to it either from dry rot, color bleeding, or animals chewing it take it to a rug cleaning and repair company, rather than throwing it away. Many times these rug problems can be fixed and the beauty and value of the rug can be restored. However, following the above steps before storing a rug can prevent these problems from occurring in the first place.