How Navajo Rugs Are Made
If you have ever wondered how Navajo rugs are made, you’re not alone. This article explains the traditional process, including how the Navajo people choose the pattern and design. Navajo rugs can be quite expensive, so you’ll want to make sure you choose one that is made with quality and care. Here are some tips:
Navajo rug-making tradition
Historically, the Navajo have made rugs for their homes and were known for their beautiful rugs, woven using natural vegetable dyes. Their distinctive designs have remained unchanged for thousands of years, and they are now considered a great souvenir of the Navajo culture. Many of the rugs are not bordered but have horizontal bands of color. Some rugs also feature additional design elements and are made by hand, and some are still woven today.
Historically, Navajo textiles were used for many purposes, including cloaks, saddle blankets, and dresses. As their textile industry developed, Navajo textile weavers began to make rugs for tourists. They began by weaving these rugs on flat tapestry looms, with strong geometric patterns. Despite the similarities, Navajo rugs lack the slit weaving technique common in kilims. The use of kilim motifs was influenced by Navajo textile traders.
Navajo rug dye
If you want to learn about the process of Navajo rug dyeing, keep reading. Natural dyes are not produced synthetically and are different from chemical colors. Natural dyes are obtained from plants such as ironwood, juniper, or rabbit brush. The rug is woven from a thread called the warp, which is continuous across the rug, turning back at the top and bottom. Approximately one inch of warp is used to dye each square inch of the rug, and two inches of weft is used to apply the color to the rest.
Traditional vegetal dyes are made from plants that grow naturally on the Navajo Reservation. They are prepared by boiling down the plants and adding mordant. The wool is then cooked in the mixture for several hours until it is completely colored. This method results in earthy tones that are pleasing to the eye. Vegetable dyes weren’t a part of the Navajo culture when it was first created. However, it was reintroduced in the 1920s after Don Jenson rediscovered the process and in the 1930s, Bill and Sally Lippincott encouraged weavers to use the native dyes.
Navajo rug design
One of the most distinctive characteristics of a Navajo rug is its design. This design often depicts a cornstalk, tree, or other object growing out of a basket. Brightly colored birds populate the center of the basket, and some are flying while others are perched. Small animals and bright flowers are also commonly featured in Navajo rugs. The majority of Navajo rugs have a weft-faced pattern.
Besides animals, a Navajo rug can depict the everyday life of its weaver, as well as scenes from the landscape, or even objects common to the region. It can even depict supernatural figures. These rugs are sacred and produced by only a select few Navajo weavers. Special ceremonies are performed for them to ensure their safety from spiritual harm. These rugs are traditionally produced in the Shiprock and Two Grey Hills regions.
Navajo rug pattern
The Navajo have a rich and unique history and their rugs are one of the most enduring examples of their craftsmanship. Navajo women have been weaving rugs since the mid-1600s and their creations have attracted a great deal of attention from beyond the region. In addition to tourists, many natives also appreciate the intricate designs of Navajo weaving. Women learned the art of weaving from their Pueblo neighbors and their famous Spider-Woman, who imparted the technique to them.
The Navajo rug pattern combines elements of many styles. Some elements come from the STORM, the TEEC NOS POST, and the GANADO. Ultimately, each one has its own distinctive style, but the Navajo style has some distinct traits that set it apart from other styles. Here are a few examples of Navajo rugs: