Shipping a rug is something that many are nervous about. There are many shipping companies but not everyone knows how to ship a rug. High among those items that expatriates are typically loath to leave behind are area rugs. Even if you ship and insure your rug, you don’t want anything to happen to it. Often expensive heirlooms, area carpets can hold much sentiment for their owners. Likewise, it is often suggested that consumers buy the best carpet they can afford, even if that means living with bare floors for a while. Like a favored piece of art or grandmother’s china, carpets are usually a top concern when it comes to the logistics of care and preservation when moving overseas.
People have been collecting oriental rugs, just as they do fine art, for centuries. In fact, the first known exhibits of oriental carpets were in the 1880s in Europe. Of course, carpets from the East are not the only ones that are valued for their beauty and quality- area rugs both old, and new, come from all over the world and, regardless of their origin, the sentimental and monetary value is often high.
Here are a few suggestions for things you can do to ensure that your carpets get from point A to point B, with the beauty of each thread and loop intact.
Clean your carpets before the move. Your belongings can spend weeks, or even months, in transit, or in storage, before you settle into your new home abroad. If your carpets have debris from foot traffic, food or pets, they can be a real attraction for destructive rodents or insects. The last thing you want to encounter when you lay out that beauty on your new hardwood floors is a big gaping hole where an adeptly woven flower should be.
It may be tempting to do the cleaning on your own; unfortunately, do-it-yourselfers often damage their carpets. If it is valuable to you enough to ship it over, it is probably valuable enough to spend what it takes to have it cleaned by a professional.
Check the label on the carpet (if there is one), or do some research online, for the best way to clean the carpet you have, according to the material it is made of. Never assume you can just drop it off at your local dry-cleaners. The chemicals they use may damage your rug beyond repair.
There are a number of companies that specialize in cleaning expensive, antique, or heirloom carpets and most will pick them up; some will even come to you to do the cleaning in your home.
Finally, lay a sheet of plastic or paper down on your rugs and then roll each one into a tube; secure your “rug-tube” with long plastic zip ties. Finally, you will need to bag them; you can purchase large plastic bags that are made specifically for area rugs from any moving supply company or your NYC international movers.
Alternatively- and this may be best for more expensive or antique rugs- you can have your moving company pack them up for you, thus leaving the responsibly for their care to the professionals.
Carpets can be a warm and beautifully artistic addition to your home; there is never a need to leave them behind if you don’t want to. When handled correctly, your lovely area rugs will arrive to your new home safely and continue to give you comfort and enjoyment for years or even decades to come, no matter where you are in the world.
Einat Mazafi is the owner of NY International Shipping, an International Shipping and moving company based in New York. She is also a specialist in providing the best relocation solutions to clients worldwide.