How to Ship an Oriental Rug

Oriental rugs are highly sought-after collectible items.

Proper shipping techniques will prevent damaging the beauty of an oriental rug.Proper shipping techniques will prevent damaging the beauty of an oriental rug.
Their rich colors and detail make them ideal centerpieces for some interior designers. Many oriental rugs date back centuries and are considered invaluable. Because of their value, you must take great care when shipping oriental rugs. The larger the rug, the more potential damage you may cause. Knowing the recommended methods for shipping oriental rugs can prevent unnecessary stress on your prized floor covering.

Determine whether you can fold or roll your rug. Some rugs cannot be folded or rolled without damage. Check for dry rot by feeling the rug for stiff, brittle areas. If you find dry rot, you will want to have this damage repaired professionally before you ship the rug. If at any point during this process you hear a crackling or snapping sound, immediately stop and seek professional assistance. That is the sound of damaged fibers in your rug breaking.

Lay your rug flat on a clean surface. Fold one of the longer edges toward the center of the rug, a little less than 1/3. Repeat this with the opposite edge, folding it over your initial fold. Be sure not to have your folds overlap, otherwise there may be needless stress applied to the rug in shipping.

Fold the rug again. Fold both the opposite shorter edges toward the middle of the rug. Rug Rag recommends that you let the rug fold where it falls naturally.

Roll the rug starting from one of the shorter edges.

Tie the rug to secure the folds using rope or a strong twine.

Wrap the rug with a towel or padding for protection. Add additional padding on the ends of the rug, because rugs tend to be dragged during shipping. Rug Rag warns against using newspaper, because newspaper will bleed onto the rug if wet. Secure the additional padding with more twine or rope.

Wrap the rug in a heavy-duty, nontransparent plastic or Tyvek polyethylene material. Mark the plastic clearly with "Do Not Use Hooks." Tape off any ends to make sure it is waterproof. If the rug will be stored for a long time before it is unpacked, throw in a few moth balls to prevent moth damage before you seal the plastic.

Package your rug in any packaging material you wish, and ship with your preferred shipping carrier. Purchase insurance to ensure peace of mind when shipping.

Things You Will Need

  • Nontransparent plastic or Tyvek polyethylene material
  • Rope or twine
  • Packaging or duct tape
  • Moth balls
  • Shipping box


  • If the rug will be in storage after shipping, have the rug professionally cleaned by a plant before shipping.