How to Roll a Carpet

1. Use a round wooden or cardboard rod or cylinder that is at least 2-inches (5 cm) longer than the width of the carpet. It doesn't matter whether the cylinder is hollow, so long as it will not break or bend under the weight of the carpet. If a cylinder is not available, you can roll the carpet without, as evenly as you can.

2. Lay the carpet on the flat surface - table or floor depending on the size of the carpet - while the pile facing upwards. Make sure the carpet is lying completely flat because wrinkles or creases could get pressed in as you roll.

3. If you're using a cylinder or rod, place it on this end of the pile. Begin rolling on the end where the weaving of the carpet began. You can tell this by feeling the pile. If you run your hand towards your body, the pile should feel soft and velvety; if you run your hand away from the cylinder, it should feel rough.

4. Roll the carpet as evenly and tightly (around the rod/cylinder if you're using one) as you can. If the carpet is wide, you may need assistance to ensure the rolling is even.

5. Secure the carpet with string at about 12-inch (30 cm) intervals, tightly enough to hold the carpet firm, but not so tight that it cuts into the carpet.

How to Fold a Carpet

1. Lay a carpet on flat surface with the pile upwards.

2. Fold the carpet into half lengthwise, with the pile inwards. If the carpet is still so large, fold into half lengthwise, again. Then fold it in half along the other axis, and again until you have a manageable size.

3. You can also fold a carpet lengthwise and then roll it into a short roll. Protect the fringe by folding the carpet inwards the first three feet (91 cm) at each end, and then roll.

4. Thick-piled carpets such as Kirmans, Heriz and Chinese should be folded with their pile facing outwards. This will prevent crush marks and lines (from folding) on the pile, and prevent strain on the foundation. Because such carpets have more volume, folding them with the pile outwards will also reduce stretching of the warp threads, and making folding easier

5. Never press hard on the folds to get a more compact package. You should also, if possible, carry a folded carpet as hand luggage to save it from being thrown about or worse, being flattened under heavy suitcases.


Just like an living thing, a carpet requires a little more than just being kept clean. In this chapter, we'll discuss some of the ways to keep your carpet healthy, and some of the things you should avoid.


The best to shake dust out of the pile is to brush its back as often as necessary. To do this, just flip the carpet pile down and brush firmly. This will loosen particles that are embedded in the pile, and cause them to fall out. This "loosening" process also makes a subsequent brushing or vacuum cleaning of the pile side more effective. Occasionally, a heavier-duty version of this can be carried out by using a flat carpet beater to beat the back of the carpet. Smaller carpets can be hung on a clothesline and beaten gently on the back; larger, heavier carpets should be placed pile down on the floor, after which parts of it are elevated by hand and beaten. It is essential that the beating is not too harsh - remember that you're not trying to beat the dust out of the carpet as such, you're loosening it. Of course, old or antique silk carpets should not be treated in this way. Only soft brushing is required because the low pile in such a carpet will not hold much dust.


Just like human beings, every carpet needs some sun once in a while. And just as we need the sun for warmth, the carpet needs the sun's heat to absorb any moisture that may be trapped in it. Moisture is easily absorbed by carpets, and will, if not checked, eventually make the carpet brittle and rot the foundation. Moisture can come from the air, from mopping the floor around the carpet, from the wall on which the carpet is hung, and spills from potted plants and flower vases. Carpets should be sunned under direct sunlight. After placing it on a flat concrete surface and leaving it under the sun for about 30 minutes, you will find that the ground underneath is damp. Shift it to a new dry spot, then check again after 20 minutes. The area underneath will again be damp. Keep doing this until the ground no longer becomes damp. You now know that your carpet has completely dried.


This is the enemy of all carpets, and occurs when they are stored or used in damp areas, or when they are not sunned for too long a period, say two to three year. Moths and insects are also attracted to damp. Dampened dirt is also dangerous because it forms splinters when it dries. These are sharp enough to cut the knots and the foundation warp threads. Severe damp rot is impossible to repair.


High-level heat such as that from open fibres, spot lights, heaters or heated flooring, dries the natural oils in wool, making the carpet brittle and lifeless.


While carpets should be placed in well-lit areas so as to discourage insects moving into them, unrelenting direct sunlight can fade a carpet's colours within three month. If your carpets is in the path of sunlight, be sure to draw the curtains or blinds.


The heavier the traffic,the more often a carpet needs to be turned. By this is meant turning it around so that every part of it receives an even amount of wear and tear. This should be done every six months. For instance, carpets in the entrance hall or doorway need more regular turning than bedroom or study carpets because the latter experience less wear and tear than the former. It is also advisable to replace carpets which have withstood a lot of wear and tear with those that haven't.


Heavy furniture can be placed on hand-knotted carpets. To prevent the weight of the articles crushing the pile and weakening the foundation over time, furniture cups (resembling small ashtrays and available in most hardware and department stores) placed under the furniture legs help distribute the weight and prevent sharp furniture edges from damaging the carpet. Every few month, lift - do not drag - the furniture and move it slightly to allow the depressed pile to breathe. This pile may be flat and matted but this can be rectified by coaxing the pile back into shape with your fingers or a brush.


These occur most often in tribal carpets with a wool foundation because wool fibres shrink , and if folded for long periods, they stretch but do not spring back into original shape. The causes are many - differing thickness of the warp strands, uneven weaving, folding for too long, excessive wear on one side or part of the carpet. Professional stretching of the carpet is your first option. If this fails,there are others. If the bump is minor, new foundation threads can be inserted if old ones have been stretched or damaged. But if the damage is more severe, the wrinkled section of the carpet may have to be removed or resewn so that it lies flat. In both cases, it is advisable to seek professional help. The thing to do, when you first spot a bump or fold, is to shift the carpet to an area where it will be walked on less. This won't make the bump disappear but it will prevent unevenness in wear. Bumps and folds can also be caused by damp floors. Prevent this possibility by sunning the carpet and then using an underlay. If the problem appears severe, seek professional help.


It's best to keep them away from the carpet unless you're confident of their toilet training. Pet accidents, which contain acid, can severely affect the carpet's colours, and repeat occurrences will rot the foundation altogether. Cats and dogs, especially the former, also enjoy exercising their claws on the pile and fringes of a carpet. This is obviously a danger to the carpet, because not only can this break the fringe, but cat claws can make deep tracks across the pile. These, if unchecked, can become permanent. Cat and dog fur is not a problem so long as it is regularly brushed off.


Moths, like cockroaches, lizards and innumerable other insects, are attracted to undisturbed spaces such as that corner of the carpet behind the sofa, or that dark area between the carpet and the wall it's hanging against. They also like damp patches. Moths are especially dangerous because they feed on the wool in carpets, and have been known to completely ruin valuable carpets that have been stored in dark damp places. The thing to remember is that carpets that are clean and dry are not attractive to moths and other insects.


With the world becoming such a small place, it is commonplace today for families to spend time in many different countries in the course of their lifetimes. Executive overseas postings are commonplace, and the hassle of packing and unpacking is an accepted part of life. The storage and transportation of your household effects is a mundane affair which can usually be left to the moving company that you hire. Most companies also provide long- and short-term storage facilities to cater to your requirements.

But the one thing you should trust to your mover only with the strictest instructions is the packing and storage of your hand-knotted carpet, even if only a short distance is involved. It is a reality that a carpet can be damaged severely in incorrect packing, temperature extremes, dampness and even folding. And it is important for you to prevent these occurrences by knowing at the outset the best way to handle your carpet. When packing carpets for transportation to another destination, the preference is to roll them, although folding may sometimes be necessary.


The following types of carpets should be rolled and never fold
  • Finely-knotted carpets, such as Sarouks, Bidjars, Isfahans, Qums, Nains, and Araks. They usually feel hard and leathery because the knots are so tight. There is no room in-between knots for the warp threads to bend, and if you fold such carpets, the warp threads may snap.
  • Carpets containing goat hair such as Afghans, Buluchis and Shiraz. Unlike cotton, these fibres do not contract after they are stretched. When you fold them, the warp and/or weft threads stretch, and if it kept folded for a time, can lose their shape.
  • Carpets containing silk such as Herekes, Tabriz and Qums. This is because these tend to be tightly knotted, and folding may simply break the foundation threads and damage the pile.
  • Antique carpets. These require more careful handling. Over time the foundation threads and knots become "set". Folding such carpets may display this, and because of the age of the fibres, they will not spring back into shape.
  • Runners: their shape lends itself to rolling.


The following types of carpets may be fold:

  • Small, pliable coarsely-woven carpets.
  • Large carpets which would be of unmanageable length if rolled. You should only fold a carpet for one to two days, after which it should be laid out flat.


Sometimes you may need to store your carpet, either because there is no room for it, or because you are in transit. Before you do this, you must ensure that it has been completely cleaned and dried first, this will be some measure of protection against insects and rot from damp. You should also spray the carpet on both sides with a moth spray or insecticide to further protect it. Then, after you've rolled it - carpets to be stored should never be folded - wrap it in a protective fibre such as burlap or any other natural-fibred fabric, and secure with string. You can also drop some mothballs or silica gel into the centre of the roll.

If you're planning for long-term storage, on no account should you use plastic sheeting, which prevents the carpet fibres from "breathing". The damage that results can be serious. Only use plastic when the carpet is being stored for a short time, such as four to six weeks. If you're storing the carpet at home, pick an area that receives some natural light (to discourage moths and insects) and is completely dry. The place you pick should not be subject to extremes of heat or cold. Normal living conditions are best, while garages, attics and the spaces underneath beds are out. Lay the rolled package on the floor, shelf or table, and not standing or leaning against an object. Try not to place carpets on top of each others, but side by side with no heavy articles on top.

If you are entrusting your carpet to the warehouse of a storage company, be sure to explain the above points. It is risky not to do so because these companies do not speciallise in the handling of any particular kind of household item, and may treat your carpet as they would any other piece of furniture. Even with all the care you take to ensure safe storage, you must still inspect the carpet at least annually. Open it out and let it breathe for a couple of days. If there's sunshine, all the better, although natural light will do as well.

Avoid laying it on the lawn, which may appear dry out by which actually contains invisible moisture which the carpet will absorb. After it has been laid out to breathe and checked, respray it with insecticide and then fold or re-roll as before. Return to it s storage area after rewrapping. Avoid keeping carpets in storage for prolonged periods of time. For instance, if you have more than one carpet that can be used, rotate them every six months, instead of only using one and keeping the other in long-term storage.