Now that we’ve covered cleaning and display, we’re turning our attention to Navajo rug storage. As we’ve stressed in previous posts, these are works of art and should be treated accordingly. So whether you hang your textile on a wall or display it on the floor, for at least a portion of the year, you should also make sure that it is properly stored and not exposed to dust and light.
Small Navajo Rug Storage
Storage of small Navajo rugs is obviously a bit more straightforward than large Navajo rug storage. You can simply store smaller textiles between layers of acid-free tissue in drawers, trays, or shelves. It’s preferable to not layer rugs on top of one another, but if you must, make sure that lighter ones are on top and that brightly colored textiles are separated from more pastel rugs.
Large Navajo Rug Storage
Since flat storage generally isn’t feasible for large Navajo rugs, you can instead roll them and store them in cardboard tubes. A barrier material should be placed between the rug and the tube because the cardboard contains acids (acid-free tubes are available, but they are expensive and still not 100% acid-free). Rugs should be rolled in the warp direction, and acid-free tissue can be rolled up inside the weaving.
Do all you can to avoid folding rugs because this can damage the fibers and cause permanent creases. If you need to fold Navajo rugs temporarily, protect the folded edges with acid-free tissue and make sure to fold them very loosely. (We will share more about how to properly fold Navajo rugs in a future blog post.)
Dust Covers for Navajo Rug Storage
Additionally, shelves or other open storage should be protected from dust with sheets of polyethylene, tyvek, or prewashed muslin. Prior to storing the rugs, make sure to vacuum them well to remove any dust that was gathered while the textiles were displayed.
Let us know if you have any additional questions on rug cleaning, display, or storage. You can reach Charley at firstname.lastname@example.org.