How to Pack a Rug for Shipping, Storage, or Transport
Often it is necessary, whether due to lifestyle changes or a move, to pack a rug and prepare it for shipping, storage, or transport. However, packing a rug is not something that should be done without proper preparation. Improperly packing a rug can destroy its integrity, resulting in permanent creases, dry, brittle fibers, as well as texture changes and color runs.
If you need to pack a rug, make sure to read this blog and watch the included YouTube video, as that will ensure you treat your rug with the respect it deserves to remain in pristine condition.
Not all rugs are the same, and the size, material, origin, and style of your rug should influence the way you prepare it for transport. There is a certain way to fold or roll your rug to preserve the integrity of its construction.
Let’s discuss the first reason you may need to pack your rug.
For whatever reason, you have decided to place your rug in storage. That means you need to prep your rug for an extended stay. It is best to store a clean rug, therefore you should seriously consider having your rug professionally cleaned by experts in traditional hand washing methods such as Behnam Rugs. If you elect not to wash your rug, thoroughly vacuum the face and back of the rug. If the rug is handmade, do not use the beater brush extension. In addition, you can sweep the rug as well. Find out how to vacuum your rug properly.
Rolling is the best method to prep a rug for storage, as it works for rugs of any size, quality, and material. Always roll your rug from the fringed ends, do not roll from side binding to side binding. In order to roll your rug, you need to go against the nap. Use your hand to determine the direction of the nap. When the nap goes in the direction your hand is rubbing, that is the direction you roll opposite of. So, if you stroke the rug towards yourself and you can tell that your hand is rubbing with the grain of the rug, you want to roll the rug starting from that side. Rolling against the nap ensures that no wrinkles or crushing occurs. We know this can be confusing to understand, so we have included a visual in the video below.
If the width of the rug is wider than the storage area, you will need to fold it carefully. There are two methods of folding your rug- the one fold roll and the two fold roll. We have recorded the proper execution of these folding methods in the video above.
These methods affect the width, height, and girth of the rug once done. After you roll or fold and roll your rug, you need to wrap it up to prevent mice and moths from damaging it. Always use a breathable fabric, such as muslin, cotton, or a bed-sheet. Why? Wool contains organic materials such as proteins and oils that need oxygen. Without oxygen, wool becomes dry and brittle.
Never wrap your rug in paper or plastic for long-term storage. Paper deteriorates, leaving a feast for moths and mice. Plastic can cause moisture to accumulate, resulting in color runs or texture changes.
Always store your rug in a climate-controlled facility. Temperature variation, in garages and attics for example, is bad for most rugs in storage. The storage room should be dry, with good air circulation, clean, and secure so that insects and mice can’t get in. Common pests that damage rugs in storage include cloth moths, carpet beetles, mice, and carpenter ants. Make sure to store the rug a foot or more above the ground to make it harder for pests and flooding to reach it.
If you have decided to place your rug in storage, you may want to use moth balls to repel destructive moths. We do not recommend using moth balls on your rug in your home. If you use moth balls, be sure to air the rug out in the sun for several days to get rid of the odor before bringing the rug home. Note that this odor is quite stubborn and that your rug may require professional hand washing with an enzyme rinse to get rid of the smell if you do decide to use moth balls.
Perhaps you are moving and need to ship your rug to a family member or friend. If you are shipping your rug via mail carrier, you will need to follow their instructions. Luckily, we have included FedEx and UPS’ shipping parameters for rugs so that you can prepare the rug for shipping.
With FedEx Express® U.S. services, you can ship packages up to 150 lbs.; up to 119″ in length and 165″ in length and girth. With FedEx Ground® services, you can ship packages up to 150 lbs.; up to 108″ in length and 165″ in length plus girth. UPS packages can be up to 150 pounds, and 165 inches in length and girth combined (girth = 2 x width plus 2 x height). Size and weight determines shipping costs. We recommend FedEx Ground services as the cheapest option.
Roll the rug and secure it with rope or tape. If the rug is 6 x 9 or larger, you will need to employ one of the fold and roll techniques. Once the rug is rolled, wrap it in durable plastic and leave about 8 inches at each end. Secure the ends with zip ties. Wrapping your rug in plastic protects it from any liquid spills that soak through the box.
All dry rugs contain moisture, so you never want to leave your rug wrapped in plastic for more than a month. Why? The moisture that is trapped in your rug can cause long-term color and texture changes after being wrapped in plastic for more than a month.
If you are shipping a rug that weighs more than 150 pounds, you will need to hire a freight or trucking company. To find one to work with, search Google for a company in your area that transports items to the final location where the rug will go. This brings us to the last reason you may need to pack your rug.
If you are working with a moving company, make sure your rug is properly rolled and wrapped. Label each rug with the size and location you will use it in, such as the dining room, to make unpacking simpler. Do not place it at the bottom of the truck with heavy items placed on top of it. Always put your rugs on top when using a moving van.
When you lift your rug for transport, lift from both ends. Lifting the rug in the middle creates tension that puts undue pressure on the fibers and causes creasing that can be permanent. If you aren’t lifting the rug yourself, let the movers know to pick up the rug at both ends. If the rug is 6 x 9 or smaller, you may be able to roll it and fit it inside your SUV. For larger rugs, or smaller cars, you will need to employ one of the roll and fold methods.