An Oriental rug might not seem like the most delicate object one can move at first glance – after all, fabric breaks a lot harder than glass or plastic, right? In truth, moving an Oriental rug and storing it safely can be just as difficult as safely transporting that precious vase you own. Here’s an overview of the steps to take.
Before the moving and/or storage
The first thing you should do if you’re looking for maximum insurance and safety is to have your rug valued by a professional (referred to as an ‘appraisal’). This will cement the exact state of the rug before it goes anywhere and will eliminate any disputes along the lines of “I’m sure I didn’t cause this hole…”
It will cost you a bit extra but also protect you from unpleasant situations that could end up as a greater financial burden, especially if you let the movers/storage facility know that the carpet has been appraised.
When preparing it for transportation, make sure that it’s gently rolled rather than folded – not too tight, but also not loose enough to unhinge mid-transport. Likewise, be sure to have your rug cleaned by a pro before moving.
Don’t wrap the rug with a rough material that could damage or discolor the fabrics – plastic wrap with no holes or seams is an example of effective protection. For best results, place the plastic-wrapped rug inside a hard-shell casing of similar size that will protect it from any accidents on the road.
The actual moving and storing
If you’re moving the rug inside a truck, van or similar vehicle, make sure to eliminate the chance of hard objects falling on it, as this could easily damage the fabric and even tear a hole in the rug. Obviously, you’ll want to avoid placing anything on the rug as well – ideally, it should have its own place away from potential falling objects but not high enough to become bent or fall down and suffer damage.
Keep an eye out for the surrounding conditions, too – humidity should be kept in check, as Oriental rugs frequently have delicate colors that can fade or even wash away when subjected to certain kinds of moisture. Standard room temperature is preferred around the rug – slight deviations are acceptable as long as there aren’t any extremes (no freezers!).
Make sure that there are no pests of any kind around the rug when it’s being moved, nor in the place of storage. Sometimes, old vans or trucks can be home to pests and even mold (depending on what they were transporting in the past) unbeknownst to the driver – this can result in the rug getting eaten away at, infested or simply contracting a foul smell.
This brings us to the choice of vehicle for the moving procedure. You’ve no doubt seen rugs being ferried in the back of a station wagon with nearly half sticking out, or – just as bad – being tied to the vehicle roof in the rug owners’ attempts to save some money and effort. This is a bad idea overall – from exposure to elements (sudden rain, anyone?) to the ever-present possibility of the carpet falling out or off the car, hitting the road at high speeds and getting run over by the angry Buick behind you whose view you were blocking (and the dozen vehicles behind it), there’s no shortage of reasons to forgo this method of rug transporation.
Instead, transport and store your Oriental rugs with a dedicated company that knows how to handle expensive and fragile items – your rug will thank you later.