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What Are Navajo Rugs Made Out Of?

Originally, the Navajo people were a nomadic tribe living in family settlements. As time passed, traders began to visit the Navajo nation and encouraged the women to start weaving. They marketed their creations throughout the Victorian east, shifting their focus from baskets to rugs. Today, Navajo rugs are showpieces in many homes around the world.


Traditionally, Navajo rugs are made from native sheep’s wool, never synthetic. Generally, wool is carded together in natural colors such as black, white, and brown, and sometimes dyed to create a wide range of other colors. The fineness and excellence of the woven textile are dependent on how the wool is spun. One example of a genuine Navajo rug is the Gallup throw.


Navajo Rugs are hand-woven rugs. The basic structure of a Navajo rug is a loop of cotton twine and two warp threads. The warp thread is the foundation for the rugs, and the weft threads make up the face. The warp/weft thread count indicates the number of warps per horizontal and vertical inch.

Germantown yarn

Germantown yarn was originally used to create Navajo blankets and rugs. However, after 1868 the US government began providing commercial yarns to Navajo weavers as part of an “annuity” program. Around this time, licensed Indian Traders began supplying Navajo weavers with machine-made yarn colored with aniline dyes. The colorful yarns were used to create blankets and rugs known as “Germantown weavings,” named for a Pennsylvania town. The tradition of weaving with Germantown yarn largely ceased by the early 1900s. The US government had ended the traditional barter system and the Navajo people had to begin working for cash.

Hand-dyed yarn

Navajo Rugs are beautiful and very well-made. These hand-woven rugs come from the Navajo Nation, an Athabascan group of people who moved to the Southwest from Canada in the 15th century. The people who make these rugs are known for their fine workmanship. Their rugs are hand-dyed yarns and woven by female weavers.

Lazy lines

If you’re looking for a rug that will add a unique touch to your home, you’ve probably noticed a pattern called lazy lines in a Navajo rug. Lazy lines appear in Navajo rugs as diagonal joints in the weave. These lines are often the result of weaving a rug on a continuous loom with warped threads running vertically and diagonally down the rug. While you can’t see them in a photograph, the patterns they create are almost impossible to miss.

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