Yesterday, a woman called me with questions about storing her Oriental Rugs. They were recently inherited. She wanted to keep them in the family but just didn’t have a place to use them.
I get this question a lot.
First, the rug should be cleaned and moth-proofed before being stored away. A dirty rug invites moths, other bugs and vermin. Second, wrap the rug in paper, Tyvek is best, and seal both ends. I don’t recommend using plastic. It doesn’t allow the rug to breath, and moisture can build up and cause the rug to mildew and rot.
Where to store them?
It is always best if you can find a place in the main living area of the house- maybe under a bed or in a closet.
Attics are prone to big swings in temperature and get especially hot in the summer. Over time, this can cause the paper to get brittle and crack . Roof leaks can also present a problem. If you do store your rugs in an attic, be sure to check them often.
Basements have the advantage of being more temperate, without drastic swings from hot to cold. They can be a little moist however, especially at floor level. So, always store your rugs on a platform, table or shelf and away from potentially leaky pipes. A dehumidifier is a great idea in a basement, for a lot of reasons.
In the end, especially if the rugs are antique and hold a great deal of value, the best advice I can give you is to call your local rug dealer for specific advice. They may even offer long term insured storage.
All the best,
Sy…the rug guy
Ed. Note: Sy is the older one on the right. He turns 60 this month!