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!

Save a Pile

4 x 6 Caucasian Shirvan in sad shape

It is nothing short of amazing. Recently we sent a rug to our workshop in Turkey to create a “before and after” sample of the kind of work that can be done with the right materials in the hands of skilled artisans to restore an old oriental rugs.  The results even blew us away!


The before photo has an area taped off. The after photo shows that area in the lower left carefully restored as well as an area in the upper left that has been re-piled and not yet been sheared.

4 x 6 Shirvan being brought back to life!

Mildew at Work on a Kerman Rug (Iran)

This is a very busy time for Insurers and Restoration Companies.

With the tons of snow we  had this past winter, especially in New England, and the “big melt” this spring, dealing with structural damage keeps you hopping, but damaged personal property is often not far behind.

If you are involved in contents claims that involve fine rugs and want to avoid dispute, I invite all to email or call and we would be happy to help you understand what you are looking at and what your options might be. This service is free. Send either of us a note and we will get back to you.  Give us a call if that is more convenient. Our phone number is 603-880-7333

Steve can be reached by email at  steve@themeragroup.com

Sy can be reached at sy@themeragroup.com

I was recently reminded of an article that i wrotee for This Old House Magazine several years ago about how to set out to buy an oriental rug that you will love and live with for ever.
Check it out:

Over the past 30 years so much has changed in what we see, where we see it and how much it costs when it comes to Oriental Rugs. This makes valuation of rugs a real art. Don’t get fooled by inflated values that the seller may put on an “appraisal”.

So, what goes into the value of a rug?

When we started in this business, over 35 years ago, this was a much easier question to answer. Quality was king! Iran (Persia) was the largest producer of rugs and was the benchmark against which most other new rugs were compared. So much has changed.

Quality and Country of Origin are still very important, but, there is much more.

Today, the market value of oriental rugs is very dependent on the ever changing fashion trends that we see in other home furnishings and women’s fashion.

Here is what we look at when we evaluate Oriental Rugs:

  • Quality- Wool, Weaves and Dyes
  • Country of Origin

Great quality oriental rugs are made not only in Iran but also in India, Pakistan, China, Afghanistan, Tibet (Nepal) and other countries. So, with modern rugs, Country of Origin comes into play more when considering the cost of labor and getting the product to market than categorically whether one country makes better rugs than another. What Steve’s grandfather said decades ago is more true than ever today, “Look at the personality, not the nationality, of the rug”

  • Color and Design

The business for both new and old rugs is a fashion business. Color & design have a profound impact on market value.

  • Age and Condition

This refers specifically to used and Antique Rugs. Although age will most often enhance the value of a rug, condition can temper that. We go into more detail when we answer, “Can a worn rug still have value?”

  • That Little Touch of Magic

Oriental Rugs, after all, are an art form and their real value goes beyond the fundamentals we outlined. A great rug will speak to you. Listen.

The appraisal needs to clearly and accurately describe the rug. Don’t get fooled by many of the ornate diploma-like documents supplied by sellers. It has been our experience that they are often incomplete and inaccurate, and overstate the value.

Most importantly, should the need arise, an independent expert asked to review the appraisal must be able to support or challenge the stated appraised value based solely upon the information and photos that the appraisal report contains.

Before you hire an appraiser be sure that they are accredited (ASA) or Certified (CRA) and their report will include:
• Type
• Country of Origin
• Size
• Age
This can be a range, i.e., circa 1960 or Modern.
• Description
Color, design, and Quality. This should include photos.
Retail Replacement Value – what a willing buyer will pay a willing seller, in an open market, at retail, and with no pressure of time.
Value for Immediate Sale – this often applies to estate valuations, divorces or bankruptcies when assets are being divided or distributed

Above all, if challenged, the appraisal and report needs to be DEFENSIBLE. It needs to be done by an expert who has experience with the product and, when necessary, has done the proper research to back up his or her opinions of value.

That is the comment that I get when people call me after seeing me on an episode.

I always know when the segments I appeared in are re-broadcast because emails come in from viewers  all over the country. It’s great!

In Episode 1919 from Season 19, The Billerica House, I showed viewers how an Oriental stair rug is professionally installed, and in the  recently re-televised episode 2515 from Season 25, The Cambridge House, I took viewers on a guided tour explaining how fine rugs are  properly cleaned and restored. Unfortunately, they are not posted on youtube, so you will just have to keep an eye out for re-broadcasts of those projects and tune in.

If you are starting your search for a great rug for your home, go to http://www.thisoldhouse.com and type in “Choosing an Oriental Rug” before you start out.

And, if you have a rug that you need advice on value and how to care for, drop me an email and I will get right back to you.

I look forward to talking with you.


Thanksgiving is my favorite time of the year….We watch the news and all we get is the bad stuff- murders bombings and war.

Well I received a photo text from my daughter who has been living in Hawaii for the past several months and there she was with her boyfriend all bundled up like it was winter. I was in New Hampshire and it was 50 degrees and sunny. Something wasn’t right with this picture I could see their faces with pink cheeks and felt sorry that they didn’t have gloves on.

Then it struck us….my daughter was wearing a ring…….she never wears jewelry and then I got it she was engaged, that’s it, she wanted to surprise us because we were so far away.

Well it was an even better Thanksgiving, all our family and friends were with us and my little girl just grew up. Not only is her life changing but so is ours, our family just got larger with Tyler and his family. He is a wonderful guy….just perfect for my daughter Medina and we couldn’t be happier.

But what really struck me later is that this is a game changer, my wife and I are now moving to another chapter in our life one that should be filled with very happy occasions……weddings, grandchildren and moments that we will cherish in our later years.

So this year Thanksgiving for us was just perfect and we look forward to all the special occasions that are ahead of us and would rather turn off the news and focus on our family as it continues to grow.


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