How to Identify the Weaver of Navajo Rugs
How to identify the weavers of Navajo rugs? Authentic Navajo rugs should have these characteristics: end selvage cords and lazy lines. Weavers in other regions will likely use motifs from other regions. Hence, regional style names refer to common patterns and not to specific weavings. The first prominent trader of rug-making in the Reservation was Juan Lorenzo Hubbell. His trading posts were in Ganado and Canyon de Chelly.
Authentic Navajo rugs
Authentic Navajo rugs are made by weaving with fine wool from the Navajo tribe. This traditional method is very labor-intensive and can take a year or more. The wool has to be cleaned, carded, dyed, and then spun into rugs. The loom has to be positioned in an area where the weaving is easy to reach, but not impossible to see. Large rugs can take an entire year to complete, so it is important to plan ahead and purchase the right size for your space.
Another important aspect of authentic Navajo rugs is their age and condition. Older rugs can have color fading or running. But even if they’re in poor condition, they can still be valuable. However, you should take into account the age and weaving quality before making a final decision. Authentic Navajo rugs are still woven by hand on traditional upright looms, and they are made with 100-percent Navajo Churro wool.
Decorative rugs often include lazy lines. These lines appear where sections of a rug cross. One weaver may work on a section of a rug at a time, creating lines in different directions. The lines may be horizontal, vertical, or diagonal. Some designs may have alternating colors. The weaver will alternate the color of the warps to create a pattern that is more curvilinear.
A Navajo rug has many unique characteristics, including a distinct weave, a scalloped edge, overstuffing, knocking, and spirit lines. Lazy lines are particularly noticeable in rugs with woven edging, which is often characterized by a pliable handle and a heavy pile. The weaving technique also creates subtle diagonal lines known as “sword cuts.”
End selvage cords
Traditionally, the selvage cords of a Navajo rug are made up of three x two-ply orange yarns. Many Hopi/Pueblo weavings are made with three selvage cords, which provide 100% protection to the side’s weft loops. Two selvage cords are more common. However, if your Navajo rug is missing an end cord, it may be possible to re-overcast it.
In the late nineteenth century, Navajo rugs began to use aniline dyes, which are a type of synthetic dye that is used in a wide variety of rugs. An aniline dye was first used by Hofmann and Nicholson in 1858 and was used extensively for decades. Another term for this dye is magenta. The small Navajo weaving known as a Gallup throw is woven with tied warp ends at one end. The other end of the rug is finished with a normal end cord finish.