Storing Wool Rugs: 6 Simple Tips to Storing Your Wool Rug Like a Professional

Natural Area Rugs Blog Staff

Natural Area Rugs Blog Staff

Your trusted source for Natural Area Rugs inspiration & information. ~ Nurturing your home with nature ~

Whether you’re moving, downsizing, or just moving rugs around, it can be helpful to know how to store wool rugs properly. Wool rugs are beautiful, but they can also be expensive, so you’ll want to keep them in the best possible shape. That’s why it’s important to know how to store wool rugs properly, so they’re in the best condition possible when they’re needed.

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What Is The Best Way to Store a Wool Rug?

There may be more than one way to skin the cat (or sheep 😉 ) when storing a wool rug. From extreme preventive measures like getting it professionally cleaned and pre-treated before storage, to basic wrapping with specific paper. But one thing is for sure, the best way to store your wool rug is by storing properly to prevent damage.

The following 6 tips will help you learn how to properly store your wool rugs.

Professionally Clean Your Wool Rug Before Storing

When storing your wool rug, professional rug cleaning is recommended before it is rolled up. This helps to keep the rug from matting and prolong its life.

It also helps to prevent dust from collecting on the rug and causing dirt to rub into the fibers. This will make the rug look dirty faster than if it were stored with the fibers exposed.

Treat With Insect Repellent

There are several benefits to using insect repellent on your wool rug before you store it. Insects can cause serious damage to your wool rug. They can also transfer their eggs from one area of the rug to another. This is especially true if the rug has been stored for a long time. Insect repellent can prevent this from happening. It can also prevent insects from crawling into the carpet pile and eating the fibers.

Make sure that the insect repellent is labeled “For Wools.” This will tell you that it is safe to use on wool rugs. Apply the insect repellent to the entire rug using an even coat. You will want to apply one coat in the morning and one coat in the evening.

The most common insects that are known to wreak havoc on stored wool rugs are:

Moths

damage caused by carpet moths
Damage by carpet moths

A common moth to find in stored wool rugs is the tineid moth. This moth fly lays its eggs on the wool fibers, usually between the warp and weft yarns. The moth larvae that hatch from these eggs chew through the wool fibers and make a tunnel that they use to travel through the rug.

Flea & Carpet Beetles

carpet beetle on rug

This is a carpet beetle. They are commonly found in the carpet fibers of wool rugs.

The flea beetle or carpet beetle can be found in the pile of wool rugs. These beetles are often found under the rug and can cause severe damage to the rug if left untreated. 

Because they feed on fabric and animal products, carpet beetle numbers can grow in wool rugs if left alone and nor properly prevented against. 

Dust Mites

dust mite on rug

The dust mite is a common insect found in stored wool rugs. These insects are known to live on the surface of the wool fibers and can cause irritation to people who come into contact with them. 

Wrap Your Wool Rug Before Storing

We’ve all seen the horror stories about wool rugs being incorrectly stored. This is because wool rug manufacturers don’t recommend storing your wool rug for any length of time. They recommend wrapping your wool rug to prevent it from absorbing moisture and mold. If you do decide to store your wool rug, be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and use the correct storage bags and tools.

When wrapping, its best to NOT USE plastic. Plastic wrapping will not let the wool rug to properly breathe. Instead, the very popular Tyvek wrapping paper is ideal. Tyvek paper is a breathable wrapping paper that is lightweight, very strong, and suitable for wrapping your wool rugs safely. It helps prevent against the elements, pests and insects and any possible moisture encounters. 

Avoid Folding Your Wool Rug

If you want to store your wool rug – or any rug, for that matter – you should avoid folds. Folding a wool rug causes creases in the wool fibers, which can be permanent. Also, if the wool area rug is folded too tightly, it can cause the wool fibers to become flattened, and the color in the rug will fade.

Store Your Wool Rug In a Safe Place

Store your wool Rug in a well-ventilated area. A clean environment is important for your wool rug. Dust and other contaminants can easily become trapped under the rug and can cause mold and mildew to grow.

Short Term Storage

If you are moving or traveling, then you may need to store your wool rug for a short period of time. Attics and basements are not ideal for storing wool rugs, but if they must be used, ensure you keep them elevated off the ground and in a place with low moisture and humidity. 

Closets would be a better option if you have the extra space. 

As always, avoid direct sunlight exposure. 

Long Term Storage

If you plan on storing your wool rug for a long period of time, then you may want to consider storing it in a climate-controlled unit at a storage facility. Many facilities have special units for wool rugs. These units are usually well ventilated and well-lit, which allows you to keep your rug safe and in good condition. You will need to ensure that the storage facility is climate controlled and has humidity controls.

Additional to climate control benefits, storage facilities are a great option as they usually provide clean, flat surfaces. This will help the rug to dry out and prevent mold and mildew from forming.

If you plan on storing your wool rug for a longer period of time, such as several months, you can either purchase a rug bag or cover your rug with a breathable material. 

Inspect Your Stored Wool Rug Regularly

When storing your wool rug short or long term, its important to regularly check on it and if possible, roll it out to help keep its natural shape. 

To inspect your rug, simply unroll it and look for any damage.

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