ARCS's First Quarter Newsletter 2021

Greetings from ARCS Board of Directors!

2020 threw us all for a loop, but we are here… in 2021…. Finally! We are starting this year with a newsletter full of great articles and the highlights of our spring education schedule. We look forward to what 2021 will bring and all the rugs to be cleaned!

Spring Education Schedule

Our spring education schedule is live! We have 3 classes. Each is limited to 6-8 people and PPE is required. Don’t miss these opportunities to have more one-on-one time with our world-class instructors!

For safety and accordance with the CDC health guidelines, a mask will be required and social distancing will be practiced for all live events.

If you have any questions, please contact

Our Best Practices Journey During COVID-19 by Scott Ring

We all are experiencing a situation that society has not seen since 1918 during the Spanish Flu. Many reading this article are experienced in dealing with the day-to-day issues of customer demands, staffing levels and managing a facility. However, none of us have ever had to deal with a worldwide pandemic. There are many different perspectives on this topic. Here are some best practices our company is using as we continue to serve our customers while navigating COVID-19.

Woodard Cleaning & Restoration

We first focused on ensuring our team members and customers are safe. We used the recommendations provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, also known as the CDC. We are not medical professionals and communicated to our teams our intentions to follow the CDC guidelines. Right from the start the recommendations included social distancing. We had to adjust the way we operated to allow for social distancing inside a cleaning facility. We moved our morning meeting to a much larger area inside the rug plant to allow for distancing. Our route teams remained in the same pairs to form work pods. Lunch times were staggered, and the break room tables were pulled apart and separated into 4 stations and capacity was limited to 4 persons. We positioned several other lunch stations around the facility to ensure distancing. Continue reading...

Navajo Weavings with Fringe by Mike Jensen

Let me begin by saying, in almost all cases Navajo rugs do not have fringe. It is for this reason that I have recently become intrigued by the many examples of Navajo weavings that do have fringe. When identifying a Navajo rug, many often first look to the fringe as a way to say, “Not Navajo”. While there are many ways to identify Navajo rugs, I would like to explore this one simple feature we often cling to and challenge you to look twice before writing off a rug as “Not Navajo”.

Navajo Weavings

Commonly we think of two types of Navajo rugs as having fringe, Gallup and Germantown (above, in that order from left to right - Germantown c. 1910). I too thought of this as an absolute until recently. Sure, you can find examples from the early days of Navajo weavings that have fringe on both ends, but who really gets to see those for cleaning. There are however some Navajos you will want to add to the fringe list: Saddle Covers and Samplers. There are certainly Navajo weavings outside of these four that can have fringe, but these are the four I have found to be somewhat common.

Saddle Blanket c.1920

Saddle Blanket c.1920

In most cases, if the fringe of a Navajo appears on both ends, wool yarn is looped on and not an extension of the warp threads. This would be the case with your Germantown Navajos, though my example below does not show it once had fringe on both ends. Gallup, Saddle Covers and Sampler weavings tend to only have fringe exposing from one end of the piece. Gallups will usually be rectangular with the short cut warps exposing themselves on the short end. Gallups are incredibly common as they are generally sold as a tourist item. Saddle Covers will be woven wide and have the warp fringe exposed on the long end. Saddle Covers can also have fringe looped on or other elements to make them more decorative. Samplers are mostly square with cotton fringe. I have seen samplers with both commercial spun yarn and hand spun yarn. I feel it is important to say that these descriptions are not exhaustive, nor are they intended to be absolutes.

Sampler c. 1920

Sampler c. 1920

I feel that when collecting any kind of rug or textile, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. In other words, if you like it, that is all that matters. My super tourist Gallup throw is probably one of my favorite Navajo pieces. Whereas my Germantown, albeit worn and therefore sad example, was much more expensive and would be considered more valuable. Originally, I started purchasing Navajos to practice washing and dye stripping, but now I use it as a way to help me understand them. When reading books about Navajo rugs and trying to understand how one even begins to feel confident in identifying them by age or region, I have found it helpful to have some skin in the game. The Sampler and Saddle Cover are my newest additions to understanding Navajos with fringe.

Dragon Motif by Meg Walker

The Dragon Motif design originates from a mythological creature whose claws are like that of a lion, whose tail is like that of a snake and whose wings are like those of a bird. Some versions of the dragon motif also include a beak, this stems from the Turks of Central Asia. Believed to be the great guardian serpent, the dragon is the protector of treasures, secret objects and the tree of life (the connection between the earth and heaven, or the afterlife).

Dragon Motif

The dragon is a symbol of power, force, and might because of its ability to produce flames from its mouth as well as by its supernatural appearance and ability to fly. The dragon is the sacred lord of the sea, sky, mountains, and forests. It is a figure that has been used in countless civilizations and branches of art, including on carpets and rugs.

Dragon Rug

Tyveking Video with Tyler

Watch Tyler Ferguson of Oriental Rug Cleaning Co. in Dallas, TX properly prep a rug for storage.

If you are a member of ARCS, please join our ARCS Member page on Facebook for great information and sharing!

ARCS Members Facebook Group

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