Use of the red carpet at Hollywood events, or in the entertainment industry as a whole, can be attributed to the famous Sid Grauman when he rolled out a red carpet for the premiere of Robin Hood in 1922 at his Egyptian Theater in Hollywood. We are in the thick of awards season and celebrities and guests are still guided by the regal rug from the car to the entrance of the hosting theater. It is a tradition.
Keeping the 500-foot red carpet in shape for roll out at the Dolby Theater for the Academy Awards is no small task. Properly storing the carpet plays a big role in keeping it awards show ready. If you've made an investment in purchasing a rug and need to put it in storage, these "red carpet" tips will help keep your rug looking great after long-term storage.
Clean the Rug
Rugs should be completely cleaned, insect repelled and then rolled for long-term storage. Having it professionally cleaned ensures that all dirt, crumbs, and debris are removed as well as proper rinsing of soapy residue. Professional rug cleaners can also apply an insect repellant appropriate for the rug type. Rugs improperly stored for years could become a snack for bugs that, unbeknownst to the owners, hitched a ride to the storage unit. That would be quite a feast, especially being undisturbed for long periods of time.
Roll and Wrap in Tyvek Paper
Rolling the rug is the best way to store a rug because it causes the least amount of stress on the fibers when compared to folding it. "Pet" your rug to determine when you are going with the nap, and against the nap. When you run your hand with the nap, it will take you to the tassels of the bottom of the rug (where the weaver began weaving your rug). Roll from this end. Wool and cotton rugs should be rolled with the pile side inside. Silk rugs should be rolled with the pile side outside because these fibers have less give than wool and cotton.
Wrap the rug in Tyvek paper. It is moisture resistant, imperative for storage of wool rugs due to wool's high moisture content, and tear resistant. Keep wool rugs away from plastic as wrapping them in plastic could cause a potential mildew problem. If you have ever stored your wool rugs in plastic before, you may have noticed a musty or moldy smell. That is because the lack of airflow has caused the fibers to "sweat" in a storage area with fluctuating temperatures and the plastic trapped the resulting moisture build up. For that reason, climate-controlled storage is a good idea.
Avoid storing your rugs directly on the floor, particularly on concrete as moisture can seep into the fibers. Keeping the rug elevated also keeps heavy items from being placed on top, which could damage the structure of the fibers. Using a table or shelf already in a storage unit is a good way to keep rugs off the floor and safe.
It is a good idea to inspect the rug at least once a year in long-term storage. Elevating it can help that process as you look for signs of insect damage or moisture damage.