Navajo Rug Cleaning: Chatham, Durham and Wake Counties

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We offer on site inspection and estimates for water & fire damage restoration and disaster cleanup services.

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Regular Vacuuming

The first step in Navajo rug cleaning is regular vacuuming on both sides. Vacuuming should be gentle, avoiding the harsh power bar. In addition, shaking or beating these rugs to remove dust is not recommended. This rough treatment may fray ends and eventually unravel the rugs.

Professional Rug Cleaning

When more serious cleaning is called for, it is best to have professional rug cleaners inspect and hand wash the soiled rug. Dust and debris piling up in the fabric contribute to wear by rubbing and scraping the yarn. In addition, pet urine and food spills are very attractive to insects and moths and are very damaging to the rug. Spills should be blotted immediately. To prevent color runs, professional rug cleaning should take place quickly, and to prevent moth infestation, cleaning should be followed by moth treatment.

Navajo rug cleaning should not be attempted at home or at the local dry cleaners. Cleaning a Navajo rug is not a simple task, as dyes commonly bleed, sometimes irreversibly. To make sure dyes do not run, they are set prior to washing.

Professional rug cleaners specifically with specific Navajo rug cleaning background are best suited for the job. Navajo rug cleaning begins with a thorough inspection, as different rugs require different cleaning methods. At the time of inspection, the rug is also evaluated for repair needs. All repairs take place prior to rug cleaning.

Rug repair

Navajo Rug Repair and restoration work, rug wear and tear, holes and frayed areas could be due to heavy foot traffic, pet accidents, moth infestation, or even cigarette burns. Rug damage should be attended to promptly to avoid making small repairs much bigger ones. Most professional area rug cleaners in any large metropolitan area provide rug assessment and repair services.

Rug Rotation

Rugs in high traffic areas are best rotated every couple of months or so for a more uniform and even wear. Rotating rugs is also advantageous to even out the fading of dyes in direct sunlight.

Rug Storage

Prior to storing Navajo rugs, it is highly recommended they be professionally cleaned and have an insecticide applied to prevent moth and beetle infestations. Rugs should be rolled, rather than folded because rolling a rug will create creases. If rugs are to be stored for an extended period of time, they should be covered with acid-free paper. This type of paper protects rugs from excessive moisture and insects. Professional preservation specialists also recommend wrapping rugs in an additional layer of clear polypropylene. The advantage of this layer is two-fold. It protects rugs against water damage from leaks and floods and it adds another barrier of protection against bugs. With all these precautions, it is still a good idea to inspect the rug periodically to make sure there is no mildew, insect infestation or water damage.

Navajo Rug Characteristics

Most Navajo rugs share certain characteristics. These attributes are not universal, as there are always exceptions. However, the following are pretty consistent features that could help buyers tell authentic Navajo rugs from imitations.

No Fringe

Navajo weavers use vertical looms, where the waft thread is a long, unbroken piece of yarn that is attached to the loom in a continuous figure eight pattern. With very few exceptions, Navajo rugs do not have fringe. The ones that do are either antique Navajo Germantown rugs from the late 1800’s, where fringe is an add-on, or Gallup throws with knotted, one-sided fringe and cotton warp.

Wool or Cotton Yarn

Most Navajo rugs are woven using wool or cotton for warp and wool for weft. Very few genuine Navajo rugs are woven using synthetic yarn.

Selvage Cords

Another unique feature of Navajo rugs are the selvage cords that follow through the weft loops on the sides of the rug. These are used to keep the edges aligned and also to add durability to the left and right sides of the rug.


Navajo rugs have tassels at the corners, which are created by introducing cords into the rug during the weaving process. The tassels add a decorative touch while reinforcing the edges.

Lazy Lines

Lazy lines are by no means flaws. Rather, they are a feature of Navajo rugs, where weaving is divided into segments. Since the Navajo weaved sitting on the ground, it was more convenient and efficient to weave from bottom to top of a segment and then moving over and connecting each angle edged segment to the next one, rather than weaving in a continuous edge-to-edge pattern. This type of ingenious weaving creates unique diagonal lines that are particular to Navajo rugs.

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