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How to Tell Authentic Navajo Rugs

If you are buying a Navajo rug, you may be wondering how to tell if it is authentic. Here are a few things to look for when purchasing one. Authentic rugs are flat woven and have a reversing warp thread and a side selvage cord. In addition, a genuine Navajo rug will also have some special features.

Navajo rugs are flat woven

Authentic Navajo rugs are made of natural dyes, flat-woven construction, and traditional motifs. Although the actual motifs of Navajo rugs are unknown, they were originally designed for the western market. They reflect a combination of influences, making them both unique and functional. Here are some things you should know when looking for a Navajo rug. This will help you make a more informed decision when buying one.

They have a continuous warp

Authentic Navajo rugs have a single, continuous warp, unlike their Mexican counterparts. The warp string in a Navajo rug runs vertically, as it was considered taboo to enter the sacred cave. To check if a rug has a continuous warp, run your hand along the side of the rug. Fake versions will have separate warp strings, which are usually hidden.

They have a reversing warp thread

Authentic Navajo Rugs are made with a continuous warp, meaning that the warp threads run the length of the rug. A genuine Navajo rug has a reversing warp thread at both ends, which distinguishes it from a Mexican-made imitation. The warp thread is also referred to as a lazy line because it appears as a diagonal line in the weave. While most Navajo rug dealers are honest, you should be wary of rugs made by non-specialists.

They have a side selvage cord

Authentic Navajo Rugs are often marked by a side selvage cord. This cord is woven into the weaving process, following the weft loops of the rug’s edge and returning to the cloth. This cord not only reinforces the edge of the rug but also adds a decorative touch. Originally, Navajo blankets had four finished edges.

They have a twisted side selvage cord

A twisted side selvage cord is a characteristic of authentic Navajo rugs. The cord is woven into the weaving and shows against the dark background. While the cord itself is not as distinguishing as the fringe, it can help you distinguish the authentic Navajo rug from the imitation. It is not as important as the size of the cord. A good way to judge a Navajo rug is to hold it up to the light.

identify native american rugs

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