Small Navajo Rugs
The first step in identifying a Navajo rug is to recognize the region that it was woven. Two Grey Hills rugs, for example, are woven by a weaver from another region. The colors of the rugs and the patterns within the bands are other easy ways to identify a Navajo rug. Ganado and Klagetoh rugs, on the other hand, feature simpler designs.
Navajo rugs are often made from natural fibers such as sand, cotton, wool, or jute. Natural dyes differ from synthetic dyes in several ways. For example, vegetable dyes are obtained from rabbit brush, ironwood, juniper, or other plants. Typically, a Navajo rug has a warp thread (foundation thread) that runs across the rug and turns back at the top and bottom. The warp/weft count indicates the number of warps and wefts in a given rug’s weave.
Another unique characteristic of a Navajo rug is its shape. It has four rectangles in each corner representing the sacred mountains and homes of the four winds. In the past, these rugs were red, black, white, or natural gray, but modern versions are usually black or brown. Some of these rugs have clouds and a dark border. These rugs were originally made in the western part of the reservation.
Red Mesa rugs
Small Navajo rugs are often made by Navajos in the Red Mesa weaving area. This region is known for its best Navajo weavings. The Germantown yarns were introduced into the region in the 19th century and the designs often feature chevrons and serrated diamonds outlined with contrasting colors. Navajo rugs made in this region are also influenced by the weavings in the nearby Teec Nos Pos and Crystal.
The design of Red Mesa rugs is very similar to that of the Teec Nos Pos style. It features a center border adorned with zigzag and interlocking patterns and a red “hook” border. It also features two interesting elements on the right-hand border. Its intricate designs make it a favorite for rugs and make them a must-have piece of Native American art.
Teec Nos Pos rugs
Among the Navajo rugs, the Teec Nos Pos has the most appeal for serious collectors. They have a serrated zigzag pattern outlined in various colors. Typically, each feature is represented by a different color. These rugs are woven in one of the thirteen recognizable regions of the Navajo Nation. Some of these rugs are so small that they are best suited for homes in modest areas.
Among the Navajo rugs, the Teec Nos Pos rugs are considered the most beautiful and least ‘Navajo’. However, they are often influenced by the early traders at the trading post, who gave the designs of Persian rugs to the weavers. The traders also painted the designs on the walls of the trading post. The results of this process are the beautiful, detailed, and unique Teec Nos Pos rugs.