Posted by Mark Sublette on Mar 10, Are you attracted to the beauty and craftsmanship of Navajo rugs but confused by all the terminology being thrown around in the galleries? Navajo women learned weaving in the mids from their Pueblo Indian neighbors who had been growing and weaving cotton since about AD. Spanish settlers had brought their Churro sheep to the region in the early s and introduced the Navajo to wool. By the early s, Navajo weavers used wool exclusively, and became well known among both their Indian and Spanish neighbors for finely woven, nearly weatherproof blankets that became popular trade items. Navajo First Phase Central Fragment c.
In the late 19th century, synthetic dyes became available at the trading posts.
Navajo rug room at Tucson Indian Jewelry features vintage and contemporary Navajo rugs dating from the 's - 's. Tucson Indian Jewelry sold the Diamond Back Snake Cane, pictured in the corner of the cabinet above, to the set decorator of American Horror Story. Navajo Weaving: Yesterday and Today. The colors in a Navajo rug all have meaning and the very act of weaving a well balanced design is a part of the Navajo way of living in balance with natural order. Traditional weaving also involved the knowledge of weaving songs and prayers associated with weaving. Make Offer - Vintage NAVAJO Rug Blanket Textile Red Ivory Brown " x 28" Native American ANTIQUE VINTAGE AMERICAN INDIAN NAVAJO RUGS .
Initially they tended to fade but later better quality dyes became available. The availability of these dyes encourages the Navajo to experiment with more varying colors. Synthetic dyes continue to be used in some Navajo weaving. In the first half of the s traders began to encourage weavers to use plant based dyes again. The theory behind this was that Anglo-Americans would be more interested in rugs made with natural dyes.
They also resulted in a softer look than is seen with the harsher synthetic dyes. This revival of use of vegetable dye was far different from early yarn dying. An effort was made to find a multiple plant sources resulting in a wide variety colors that are now used in Navajo rugs. Over vegetal dyes are used today from a great variety of native plant sources including walnut hulls, rose hips, alder bark, onion skin, and many more. Leaves, stems, flowers, berries, roots and nuts were all considered possibilities for dye.
We cannot be certain when the first Pueblo weaver taught a Navajo to weave. We know some Pueblo people fled to hide with the Navajo when the Spanish were attacking the Pueblo villages during the 16th and 17th centuries.
The mixing of the two cultures included sharing of weaving techniques. Pueblo people used a plain basket type weave, one over and one under with equal both warp and weft threads showing on each side.
They continue to use it this plain weave today in making their ceremonial garments. Over the years the Navajo developed a tapestry weave which has been their dominant weaving technique for over years. In this form of weaving the weft is loosely placed then packed down tightly with the fork resulting in a textile in which the warp is not visible. The fork functions like a weaving comb but has a long handle.
The fineness of the weave can vary dramatically from course to extremely fine. The weaving is done in sections measured by the weavers reach. This means the color of the yarn used must be changed frequently. On a large rug you might be able to discern where the weaver ended each section. Until motorized transportation was common each scattered community was fairly isolated.
Over time, weaving designs evolved into several distinctive regional styles. Each trader's goal was to get the best price possible for the Navajo's rugs. Because of this Anglo-Americans taste has become a part of Navajo rug design. Following are descriptions of the major styles.
Dating navajo rugs
Each was named after the area where that style of rug originated. Wide Ruins style rugs have horizontal bands with stepped diamonds and no border. Colors are from natural and vegetal dyes. Its title is "The Legacy of Spider Woman. The plants are "mapped" onto a rug-in-progress. Toh-Ahtin does its own quality printing supervised by the artists of original-multiples, and of prints. These rug designs - like the process of weaving - postdate the Spanish introduction of fine merino sheep all of which were killed in the period of the forcced death marches to Bosque Redondo.
When U. Some of these were good - the use of traditional plant dyes, rather than harsh commercial chemical dyes - but there was also considerable rigidity about what the trader would accept in the way of designs - the ones known to please large buyers. As local governance and on-reservation financial control of Native arts and crafts marketing has gradually strengthened, rug weavers now have more freedom to take inspiration from the land, plants, skies, and their colors.
Too, easier travel and better communication means that patterns traditionally associated with specific locations are seen and can be learned by weavers all over the reservation. Weaving takes a long time, and it takes about as long, again, to prepare, spin, and dye the wool. Only pure wool is used for authentic rugs; those with cotton wefts are made for tourists.
In addition to the continuing art of rug-weaving, the Navajo Nation maintains a mill and a factory that produces inexpensive wearing blankets often seen at powwows in several patterns. Hand-woven, hand spun and dyed shawls and men's serapes so tight they are waterproof are still highly desired and expensive for gifts. A 3 x 5' rug takes about hours of work if wool and yarn preparation is also involve and longer if plant and mineral dyes are prepared and used.
Handspun yarn gives these rugs strength and durability - perceptible as part of their beauty - far beyond what is obtainable by commercial mechanized processes for any part of the weavers' arts. Photography by K. Publications, c.
STRIKING NAVAJO RUG,POSSIBLY KLAGETOH, BEAUTIFUL HANDSPUN WOOL, C,EXCELLENT. Navajo Native American Rug Textile Blanket 19" X 25" Rare Very Fine Weaving. $ shipping. Ending Feb 23 at PM PST. Very Finely Woven Navajo Rug - Vegetal Plant Dyes - Intricate Design " x 23" $ shipping. 3'7" x 5'11" Antique Native American Navajo. Navajo rugs do not have ridges at the ends. On occasion, someone who is trying to pass a rug off as Navajo or just make it look more Navajo will take the time to actually run the warps back into the rug to eliminate the fringe, but this creates ridges in the ends of the piece. Apr 24, The oldest surviving Navajo rug is a so-called Massacre Cave blanket, dated to aroun when a group of Navajo people seeking refuge in the holy cave, Canyon de Chelley, were shot and killed by the Spanish. The blanket wasn't retrieved from the cave until much later, as it was considered taboo for Navajos to enter the holy cave. And it.
The two posters are scanned from the Toh-Atin current catalog. The map, showing where different designs of rugs were produced at different communities on the Navajo reservation, was prepared by the late Tom Bahti, in a large-format bookfirst printed inand reprinted many times thereafter.
Katy, thank you for the kind words about the site.
The type of trade yarn influences value. The Navajo also traded for dye and made their own. Some dyes are rarer than others. Rugs of hand-spun Navajo wool typically use a combination of aniline and natural dyes as well as natural wool tones. The quality of the wool, of .
To do that, I need a clear close-up of a small area of the weaving, say about six square inches. What an interesting story and an interesting textile! The fringes on the ends look like they were added after the piece was finished, but they look like they match some of the yarns that were used in the construction of the rug.
I stumbled across it last night while trying to get some history on a rug we have. He was always under the impression that it was an authentic Navajo rug, but once I read your website, I realized it is not.
Could you leave me in the right direction as to where it might be from? I have enjoyed your website and knowledge greatly. I am asking my Pauite husband today if he will help me build a loom. I have always wanted to build a rug of love or story for my children. Hopefully he will help me.
It is a Tribal Persian Kilim rug. It is not a Zapotec. It is flatwoven and made of both cotton and wool. About 4 years ago I found a folded rug that was among some trash on a curb near Broadway.
Embarrassing but true. It is definitely woven,not printed. I took it home because it had an ethnic look to it. I thought it was too pretty to step on so I kept it folded in the closet instead of using as a rug. I am now looking at it again and have done some internet research for 2 days.
I think it is a Zapotec or a fake Zapotec. It has symbols of crosses and birds on it. I would greatly appreciate any information you can provide. Thank You. I love the Navajo rugs shown on this website, they are gorgeous. I wish I could fly to the Indian markets and buy the framed miniatures and the rug with the horses on it!
I should have called it a soumak stitch.
You can read more about it here. Someone who deals in Oriental rugs could give you a better idea of the origin and value. It comes from the Middle East probably from northwestern Iran or Azerbaijan. Hi, Can anyone help me identify this rug? It is clearly not Navajo. I think it was woven on some kind of a Jacquard loom an industrial loomso it may not meet the definition of handwoven. As you can see, it has some damage.
The rug is made of somewhat coarse but consistent wool. The warp appears to be white wool and the selvedge edge warps are of equal thickness. At each end a heavier final weft spirals through the warp loops. I expect it is Navajo but have been unable to determine from where or when.
The Ganado and Klagetoh style rugs continue to be made to this day and are among the most popular of all Navajo rug designs. J.B. Moore, who owned the trading post at Crystal, New Mexico from , was another visionary trader who exercised enormous influence over early Navajo rug design. Perhaps his most important innovation was to. Nizhoni Ranch Gallery. Teec Nos Pos Navajo Rug: Cara Gorman Yazzie: Churro $1 2, If you are you looking for genuine Navajo rugs for sale, you have found them! With Nizhoni Ranch Gallery you get access to one of the world's largest selections of authentic Navajo rugs available for sale today. Here are a few examples of Navajo rugs - some current contemporary and some dating from the 's and /'30's: Dealer's collection from '20's and later. - includes traditional Teec nos Pos, Storm pattern, Raised Edge, Two Grey Hills and a couple of optical "dazzlers" experimented with in the 's.
Your observations would be much appreciated. What dyes would have been used for the red and the dull gold? Can you suggest how we might find someone to repair the damage and clean it, someone whose work would be of a suitable high caliber?
Please contact me directly for information on repairs and appraisal. The practice of splitting a motif into different color zones is one that goes back to the Transitional period and suggests that the weaver or the person that she learned from wove blankets during that period. The weaving is in good condition considering the age. I hope that helps! Really like your website and all the information! Was hoping you could help us. Could you please tell us what we have and how old it might be or anything else you might know about it?
Could you help me. Size is about 3 X 5. Hi Mary, Love the website and the info.
Hate to ask, but I also have rug ID question. Inherited this several months ago, and I have not a clue about warp or weave or anything related to rug making.
Ive been to several sites just looking for info, and had no luck. Not really finding pattern match. Judy, it looks at least 30 to 50 years older than it was when you got it, making it 70 to 90 years old. It probably came from the Two Grey Hills area. The decision on conservation is very personal.
If the goal is to sell the rug, I advise people to leave that decision up to the next owner. It is a wee bit worn and needs to be mended, but I wanted to know if it was worth the investment. Could you help us with how to obtain the verifcation and identity of the weaving. I understand that the Susie Tom family would like to purchase the return of their weavings. Sincerely, Thomas R. You can post it with another comment or send one to me at mary.
I thought this was a Navajo rug, but the pattern seems not quite right. Any help would be appreciated. I will keep the rug because it is attractive to me. Philip, please send me a picture of the blanket so that I can tell you for sure.
My email address is mary. Just wanted to know where this blanket might have been woven. It has a fringe and it has a midline seam that makes it look double woven.
Any clues. I do not want to sell it. We just inherited this rug and was wondering if you had any idea where it comes from. Thanks for any input! Your weaving is a kilim. They are woven all over the Middle East and the weaving style is even used in parts of eastern Europe.
Someone who works with Oriental rugs can probably tell you more. The warp is not wool might be cotton. Where the pattern changes color, they do not interlock, there is actually a gap or opening in the blanket? The ends are damaged and coming unwoven. Any input would be greatly appreciated. I always thought it was Navajo, but if you find out what your is, could you let me know?
Hi, I bought a Large Indian design blanket this last weekend at Estate sale. Was wondering if you might be able to help me identify who might have made it? I will add pic below to see if you might be able to help meI just didnt know enough about it to call it Navajo, after reading your articles.
This is my page link if you want to look at more pics to help youmtraThank you for your time. Thank you for the kind words on the site. If can send along some pictures, I may be able to give you an idea of what you have.
Thank you for providing this valuable information. I am northern Paiute and was born about 10 miles from where almost all Panamint baskets were made. I have an extensive collection of Panamint baskets, both from Death Valley and the Owens Valley, however, I have no knowledge in Navajo textiles. When my mother passed away, I inherited a large truck with many early textiles in it that belonged to my grandmother, I do not know how or where she obtained these textiles.
Early Navajo weavings
I would love to be able to identify just what I have, it is not practical to travel around with a large number of textiles looking for assistance. Your suggestions or comments are most appreciated, and thank you again for providing the information in your website. Thank you for your very informative information.
I have a smallish rug that I got from my Dad before he died. It appealed to me a lot but we have never had the right place to keep it. The road runner is in the middle section has black legs, tail and head except for white spot for eyeball and brown center for pupil. Body is rust colored wing is reddish brown.
It is dramatic and can stand alone as art. This type of textile is most probably not a Navajo rug. You most likely have a piece that was woven in Mexico or New Mexico. Some of these are joined with extreme skill and are quite valuable. What about a rug that is seamed down the center?
It appears to be original with the weaver and done extremely well. Thank you for this information. Tho I live in Saratoga ,N.
I have Purchased directly from the weaver 3 pcs. Copyright Notice This site is copyrighted; please respect that. Facebook Comments.
Navajo Rugs Tips, How to Avoid Buying a Problem Weaving
Mary Walker on February 9, at pm. This is called an optical illusion rug. They were often used as covers for pickup truck seats. Mary Walker on February 2, at pm. Mary Walker on January 31, at pm. Donna Parker on January 31, at pm.
Mary Walker on January 27, at pm. Based in the pictures in the listing, the rug is Navajo. Elizabeth Mukerji on January 26, at am.
Mary Walker on January 25, at pm. Doug J on January 24, at pm. And one last photo showing the fade Thanks for your help Mary! Another photo showing the end cord Loading Best regards, Doug Loading Mary Walker on January 23, at pm. Becky Evans on January 22, at pm. Mary Walker on January 17, at pm.
Mary Walker on January 17, at am. I will answer your question when I have time. I am currently recovering from knee surgery. Donna Parker on January 17, at am. Thanks, Donna Loading Elena on December 3, at am. Elena on December 2, at pm. Hi Mary, First of all, I am so glade to find your website which is wonderfully written and educational. Julia Harris on November 29, at pm. Thanks Mary Loading Hi Mary, Thank you for such an informative site. Tanya Pemberton on November 7, at am. Mary, Thanks for confirming my hopes.
I am delighted and thank you very much for replying to me inquiry. Tanya Loading Mary Walker on November 5, at am. Reply to Susan Thomoson. Tanya Pemberton on November 5, at am. And one more.
Another photo Loading Hi Mary! Thank you very much.
Your website is extremely helpful Loading Mary Walker on November 1, at pm. Colleen on November 1, at pm. Another picture Thanks for your insight! Mary Walker on November 1, at am.
Michael Feldt on November 1, at am. Mary Walker on October 31, at am. Debbie S. Carolyn on October 22, at pm. JM Bennett on October 20, at pm. Michael Feldt on October 13, at am.
How to Identify Navajo Textiles
Do you have any idea where this blanket might be from? I have more photos if you need them. Thank you, Michael Feldt Loading Colleen on October 12, at pm. Jim Jackson on October 9, at am.