CARE AND HANGING OF YOUR NAVAJO WEAVING
There are many methods for hanging Navajo weavings. The manner of hanging should facilitate the regular vacuuming, turning and moth-proofing of your weaving, all of which are discussed herein. We provide the following summary as a reminder and mini-guide.
1. We prefer the use of Velcro to hang weavings. (We provide Velcro with all weavings that will be utilized as wall hangings as opposed to floor rugs.) We provide a 2" wide, sticky-backed, medium hook, white or black and acid free Velcro. This can be applied directly to the wall via the sticky back by removing the protective backing or, as we recommend, leaving the backing on the sticky surface and attaching to the wall with flat head thumbtacks pushed through the Velcro and the protective backing along the entire length every four to six inches. This method allows for moving the location of the Velcro and weaving without pulling the drywall down with the Velcro. Once the Velcro has been put in place, the weaving can be hung by merely pressing the weaving to the Velcro. This method allows for easy removal and turning during periodic cleaning. When removing a weaving from the Velcro, do so by pulling perpendicular to the wall rather than parallel. This will be the easiest on the fibers of the weaving and require the least exertion on your part.
2. If the weaving is small and/or a tapestry, you may desire to have the piece framed. Even with framing, however, Velcro is the medium for holding the weaving in place inside the frame. We do not recommend framing the weaving under glass, as this limits access to the weaving for cleaning and rotation.
3. Most damage to a weaving hung with nails or tacks occurs, not during the hanging process, but with the passage of time due to the weight of the piece pulling on the warp and weft, thereby stretching and distorting the piece. This stretching can be reduced by increasing the number of suspension points to more evenly distribute the weight. However, no matter how many suspension points you have, there is still a concentration of weight at the nails or pins, and this should be watched carefully.
4. There are commercial hangers available which are marketed under various names, e.g., "Wall Hugger," "Rug Hugger" and "Rug Hanger." These consist of two thin strips of wood between which the weaving is clamped and suspended. These hangers minimize localized distortion, but they cover up a portion of your weaving and detract from the aesthetics of the piece.
1. Normal vacuuming with the suction attachment will keep your Navajo rug in good condition for years. When vacuuming a rug do not neglect the areas that are under furniture. Periodically reverse (flip the down or floor side up) and turn the rug end for end. This will allow for uniform wear on both sides and each end due to traffic patterns, as well as more even mellowing of the colors.
2. A weaving used on wood or tile floors should have a pad to prevent slipping and increase the life of the weaving. A selection of acceptable pads or padding materials is available at many department stores as well as any reputable carpet store.
3. Care should be taken should you decide to shake out your weavings. Snapping during the shaking process can break the warp or end cords, resulting in a need for costly repairs.
1. Vacuum the piece thoroughly on both sides prior to storage. If the weaving needs additional cleaning, it should be professionally cleaned before storage.
2. Roll the weaving! Prolonged storage of a piece that has been folded can result in bad creases that are almost impossible to remove.
3. Wrap the weaving in a clean cotton sheet or other fabric and store in a cedar chest or closet. Alternatively, wrap mothballs or crystals in an old sock or muslin bag and roll the weaving around this. Wrap the weaving in brown paper or an old sheet and seal ends and edges with masking tape. If the piece is to be stored for a prolonged period (longer than a year), it should be inspected annually, vacuumed and fresh mothballs/crystals added as needed.
4. Never store a Navajo weaving in plastic. Plastic can "sweat" and cause damage to the weaving.
CLEANING AND RESTORATION
1. Never launder or hand-wash a Navajo weaving. No matter what you have heard or read, this method will almost certainly result in damage to the piece.
2. Do not clean a weaving unless it really requires it, and then select a cleaning establishment that either has experience with Navajo weavings or other fine textiles. Improper commercial cleaning/treatment can also destroy a weaving.
3. Should disaster occur and your weaving is badly soiled or damaged, do not panic. There are several highly reputable and qualified people/establishments who do restoration work on Navajo weavings. Give us a call and we will be happy to provide you with information on those we have on file. 800-525-0384
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Since 1957, when Jackson Clark Sr. started trading for Navajo rugs,Toh-Atin Gallery has been a one of the most respected sources for quality antique and contemporary Navajo rugs and weavings, Navajo and Pueblo jewelry, Pueblo pottery, Hopi Kachinas, Native American Baskets and Indian and Southwestern arts, including sculpture and paintings. Today the business has expanded to handle collections and estates of quality Native arts.
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