How to Uncurl a New Rug

I buy most of my rugs online and have them shipped to my house. Some rugs, like vintage Turkish kilim rugs, uncurl almost immediately after I unroll or unbox them from whatever package they arrived in. But newer rugs tend to have a curl to them that lasts for days and days. So, I thought I would share the three things I do to uncurl a new rug. Feel free to share any tips you have in the comments below as well!

Here is the rug that is now in my main bedroom. This is what it looked like just after I removed the packaging it arrived in.

If I am pressed for space, I will simply roll the rug back up, the opposite way it rolled before, and let it sit that way for a day or two to try and reverse the curls.

If I have the space, or I’m just itching to put my new rug out (usually the case, ha), I will put it out and then place heavy objects over the corners or curled spots. You can use whatever you have around your house, just aim for objects that won’t put all the weight in one condensed spot, leaving an indention. Above, you see I used books and hand weights.

This is not the best method for rugs in high traffic areas, as it can be a little bit of a tripping hazard. So take that into consideration if you plan to use this method.

For thinner rugs, usually the kind you can wash in a standard washing machine, I can sometimes get the curls out by steaming the rug. I have a small steamer I use for clothing that I occasionally use on rugs like this as well.

In case you are curious, both of these rugs are from Well Woven and here are a few of our other favorite rugs right now!

I could definitely find a spot for one of those cuties as well. Let me know if you have other methods you use to uncurl new rugs! xo. Emma

Other sources: PaintingSofa / Similar Coffee Table / Chairs / Curtains / Similar Light Fixture 

Credits // Author and Photography: Emma Chapman
  • There are various new tapes and we have tried steam cleaning for flooring that I use and did not work so we used double sticky tapestry and put the new tapestry on the tapestry pad. Then for a few days, I used painter’s tape to help keep it down. The tape is not residue left by the painters, however, I would urge you not to step on it

  • Emma,
    Could you proved the link for the natural fiber rug under the washable one in the living room? I’ve been looking for one like that. Thanks

  • We have several new rugs and tried the steam cleaner I use for floors and it didn’t work so used double sticky carpet tape and taped the new rug to the carpet pad. Then I used a piece of painters tape for a couple days to help hold the corner down. Painters tape don’t leave any residue to the wood floor but I’d advise not to walk on it.

  • I just bought a rug online and the runner is curled. Uncanny on the timing. Tried the weights and still curled. Thanks for the suggestion.

  • Can you please offer the credit to this wonderful artist who painted the painting in the first photo of this post? I would love to know who the artist was!! Great post! Thank you!

  • I just got a new outdoor rug (after the old one blew folded in the wind and got eaten by my Labrador). As it was very important that the new one lay flat I nailed it to the deck!

  • I use a hot water bottle on curled comers. Heat plus weight usually does the trick for me

  • If you have the space to do it, just letting them lay out upside down for a couple of days usually helps a lot.
    Thanks

  • Hey Elsie and Emma,

    That’s such great and simple advice to uncurl rug. I am gonna definitely try it on my new rug.

    Thanks!

  • Not a trick for uncurling rugs, but something I learned from my mom to get furniture indentations out of carpet – We put ice cubes in the indentations. Then when the ice is melted we vacuum the carpet. It helps loosen the fibers so they can be repositioned.

  • This couldn’t have been more timely as I just had a new rug arrive a couple of days ago, so thank you for the tips! How do you suggesting getting rid of the “waves” that are in the rug as well (from being rolled up for a while)? Putting a heavy item on one wave pops up the other one again!

    • I am having the same problem with a rug I bought several months ago that is under my dining table. I thought the waves might lay down with time but they have not. I really love the rug so I am living with it.

  • The fastest way I have found is unroll the rug and lay it right side down and then put weights on the ends. That way it’s receiving force two ways to make it flat.

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