Throw rugs and area rugs are a great way to add color, texture, and warmth to a room. Whether you purchase one in a store or online, or retrieve one you’ve had stored in a basement, attic, or closet, there’s a good chance that it will be rolled up. This, of course, makes sense for shipping and storing rugs, but it also can leave them creased, dented, and/or curling around the edges.
Fortunately, your rug won’t stay that way forever. Here are a few ways to flatten it out.
How to flatten a rug
Rather than unrolling your rug and waiting for it to flatten itself out, here’s how to speed up the process:
Before trying anything else, start by rolling the rug in the opposite direction. In other words, if it was rolled inward, roll it outward instead, applying pressure as you go. This will force the curled and wrinkled fibers to lay in the new direction, and eventually, flatten out. Sometimes, this is all you need to do. Other times, you may need to move on to one of the techniques below.
Keep it reverse-rolled
If reverse-rolling the rug doesn’t get the job done right away, roll it back up the same way (the reverse of how it was initially rolled) and tie it up. Depending on how deep the creases are, this could flatten the rug in a few hours, or it could take a few days.
Weigh down the corners
If your main problem is that the corners of your rug are rolling up, place heavy objects on each corner. Instead of using chairs or the corner of a couch—which would likely leave indentations where the legs were placed—opt for objects that are flat and wide, like heavy books.
Put it out in the sun
Although heat causes the fibers in a rug to relax, it can also melt or burn polypropylene, nylon, or other synthetic materials. One way to reap the benefits of heat without the risk of damaging your rug is to lay it down outside on a warm, dry day in direct or partial sunlight, on a clean section of concrete or asphalt. In the right conditions, your rug could be flat within a few hours.
Use a hairdryer
You can also use a hairdryer to carefully warm your rug up enough for the fibers to relax. To avoid burning or melting the rug, move the hairdryer in a sweeping motion across the rug, from a distance of at least five to 10 inches, using a low or medium heat setting.