How to flatten a curling rug

Updated February 21, 2017

After purchasing a new rug or removing one from storage, you may encounter difficulty in flattening it out. Rugs left rolled for an extended time allow the fibres to conform to the curved storage shape, resulting in curling when you display them. The curls normally occur at the rug ends or sometimes hump up in the middle. These rug curvatures may result in falls and injuries if left unfixed.

Roll the rug in the opposite way from how it has curled. If the rug sits on the floor with one end tucked under, roll that end up and over. Allow the rug to remain rolled up in this position for one to two hours. Unroll the rug slowly on a flat surface, pushing it smooth with your hand as you unroll it.

Heat an iron to the lowest heat setting. Spray the curled end of the rug with water. Avoid drenching the rug; mist it only. Lay a white cloth over the moist end. Glide the iron over the cloth, pushing the iron into the rug so it lies flat. Remove the cloth when you finish ironing and smooth the rug with your hand.

Spray the curled end of the rug lightly with water. Set a plastic sheet over that area. You may also use two to three large plastic bags to cover the wet area. Lay heavy objects, such as books or boxes, on top of the plastic covering the rug. Allow the heavy items to remain on the rug overnight. Remove them the next morning and smooth out the rug.


Do not use water or an iron if the care instructions prohibit washing or ironing, as colours may bleed on the rug.

Things You'll Need

  • Iron
  • Spray bottle
  • White cloth
  • Plastic sheet or plastic bags
  • Heavy objects
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About the Author

Constance Barker, located in the hills of southern Ohio, is the owner and writer of several financial, credit report and travel websites. She started writing in 1999 for private clients and began creating website content in 2004. She gained expertise in home improvement after she and her husband built their home themselves.