How to Clean Old Navajo Rugs
Listed below are some tips for cleaning your Navajo rug. Although Navajo rugs are woven from wool, they are not suitable for dry cleaning. Dry cleaning ruins the delicate dyes used to weave the rugs. Rather than dry cleaning, you should vacuum or hand wash it. Using a damp cloth to clean light stains is the best way to keep your rugs looking new.
Navajo rugs are woven with chemical dyes
Although Navajo rugs were traditionally woven using plant-based dyes, they have undergone changes over the years. Weavers have used vegetable dyes to produce the distinctive colors of the rugs. Vegetable dyes are extracted from plants native to the Navajo reservation, boiled to extract the pigment, and cooked in a mordant. The result is a rug that features earthy tones. Around 1870, Navajo weavers began using chemical dyes. The process of applying aniline dyes produces vivid colors, which made Navajo rugs famous.
Although the process is more expensive than natural dyes, Navajo rugs are still a great investment. They tell the story of a people’s beliefs and lifestyle, their struggle against subjugation, and the emergence of a commercial market. Although traditionally produced for use as a blanket, Navajo rugs are now being used as decorative items in homes all over the world.
It is important to know how to clean old Navajo rugs properly since minor damage can reduce their value by up to 80 percent. In the textile conservation field, “repair” and “restoration” are two distinct processes. The former involves stabilizing the textile and the latter entails restoring it to its original condition. However, it is important to note that a good repair or restoration will always exceed a poor one, and very poor ones will even further diminish the value of the rugs.
To properly clean an old Navajo rug, blot it dry with a damp cloth. Light stains can be blotted with a cloth. If the blotch is too deep, you can use a rug beater, a metal or steel racket that is bent like a tennis racket. It was traditional to besat rugs as part of the spring cleaning process. However, it is not recommended to dry clean your Navajo rug regularly, as this will remove the natural lanolin oils from the wool.
They should never be dry cleaned
You should not dry-clean old Navajo rugs yourself. They are delicate and need to be treated with care. Avoid direct sunlight and excessive heat. Bright light can damage textiles, particularly rugs. If you can’t avoid bright light, rotate your rugs regularly. You should also vacuum them frequently to prevent moth activity. Also, dry cleaning may not be necessary if you store your rugs on the walls.
Unlike modern rugs, Navajo rugs should not be dry-cleaned. These rugs are considered delicate pieces of art and should not be handled roughly. Do not attempt to dry clean them if you don’t know how. You can check their colorfastness by rubbing a damp white cloth over them. If the color comes off easily, it is likely that the rug will bleed during the cleaning process.
They should be vacuumed
The first step in maintaining your Navajo rug is to vacuum it regularly. It can cause damage if vacuumed improperly, so you should purchase a rug vacuum with a rug attachment and make sure to use a high-quality suction hose. Once a month, turn the rug over and vacuum it again. Vacuuming Navajo rugs will help maintain their color and value.
Vacuum your Navajo rug regularly, but make sure not to use a vacuum attachment with a rotating brush. It may cause holes and weak spots in your rug, so make sure not to use a vacuum with a rotating brush. Instead, flip the rug over and place it on a flat surface. If the rug is still dirty, clean it thoroughly. If necessary, dry clean it. If you cannot afford a professional rug cleaner, you should get your Navajo rug cleaned by an expert.