Restoring Your Oriental Area Rug Treasure

Navajo Area Rugs: Weaving a Tapestry of Native American Heritage

Navajo area rugs, also known as Navajo textiles or Navajo rugs, are cherished pieces of Native American artistry and culture. Handwoven by skilled Navajo weavers, these rugs showcase the rich history, traditions and artistic expressions of the Navajo people and remain priceless with safe and effective area rug cleaning and care.

In this blog post, Heirloom Oriental Rug Cleaning will explore what Navajo area rugs are, what they are made of, their origins, their pros and cons, and essential tips for their proper care.

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What are Navajo Area Rugs?

Navajo area rugs are handwoven textiles created by the Navajo people, who are indigenous to the southwestern United States, particularly the states of Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah. These rugs are typically made from natural materials, primarily wool sourced from Navajo-Churro sheep. The wool’s quality and natural colors contribute to the rugs’ distinctive appearance and durability.

The weaving process is a labor-intensive art that involves using a vertical loom and traditional techniques passed down through generations. The weavers incorporate intricate patterns, geometric designs, and vibrant colors into their rugs, each reflecting a unique narrative and connection to the Navajo culture.

Origins of Navajo Area Rugs

Navajo weaving has a long and storied history that dates back centuries. The craft has its roots in the agricultural lifestyle of the Navajo people, who herded sheep and used their wool to create textiles for clothing and blankets.

With the arrival of Spanish settlers in the 17th century, the Navajo people adopted the upright loom, which allowed them to create larger and more intricate textiles. Over time, Navajo weaving evolved into a distinctive art form, with designs and patterns inspired by their natural surroundings, stories, and spirituality.

Today, Navajo area rugs continue to be an integral part of Navajo culture, showcasing their artistic expressions and traditions to the world.

Pros & Cons of Navajo Area Rugs

As with any handcrafted item, Navajo area rugs come with their set of advantages and considerations.


  1. Cultural Significance: Navajo area rugs are not just functional decor pieces but also a representation of the Navajo people’s heritage, beliefs, and stories.

  2. Artistic Beauty: The vibrant colors, intricate patterns, and geometric designs make Navajo rugs true works of art that add a unique and authentic touch to any space.

  3. Durability: Made from high-quality wool, Navajo area rugs are sturdy and long-lasting, capable of withstanding everyday use and foot traffic.

  4. Collectible and Valuable: Genuine Navajo rugs are highly sought after by collectors and art enthusiasts, making them valuable investments.


  1. Higher Price Range: Due to their cultural significance and labor-intensive production, authentic Navajo rugs can be more expensive compared to mass-produced rugs.

  2. Potential for Counterfeits: As with any valuable item, there is a risk of imitation or machine-made rugs labeled as “Navajo,” so it’s essential to purchase from reputable sellers.

How to Properly Care for Navajo Area Rugs

To preserve the beauty and heritage of Navajo area rugs, proper care is essential.

  1. Regular Gently Vacuuming: Vacuum your Navajo rug regularly with a handheld attachment or a vacuum cleaner with adjustable settings to avoid damaging the fibers and designs.

  2. Rotate Periodically: Rotate the rug every few months to ensure even wear and tear, especially if it is in a high-traffic area.

  3. Avoid Direct Sunlight: Prolonged exposure to direct sunlight can cause colors to fade, so position the rug away from windows or use UV-blocking window treatments.

  4. Spot Clean Gently: Address spills immediately by blotting the affected area with a clean cloth and mild detergent. Avoid rubbing to prevent damage to the fibers and colors.

  5. Professional Cleaning: Consider having your Navajo rug professionally cleaned by experts experienced in handling delicate handwoven textiles every few years.

Navajo area rugs are more than just decorative pieces; they are an artistic expression of the Navajo people’s heritage and traditions. The intricate patterns, vibrant colors, and symbolic designs make each rug a unique representation of their cultural identity and connection to the natural world.

By bringing a Navajo area rug into your home, you not only adorn your space with a stunning work of art but also honor and preserve the artistic legacy of the Navajo people. With proper care and appreciation for their cultural significance, Navajo area rugs can become cherished heirlooms that bridge the past with the present, weaving a tapestry of Native American heritage for generations to come.

Is it time to schedule professional cleaning for your Navajo area rug? Heirloom Oriental Rug cleaning serves Jacksonville, Northern Florida and the East Coast. Visit our service area page for more information.