What Were the Navajo Rugs Made of?
If you’ve ever wondered, “What Were the Navajo Rugs made of?” you’re not alone. In this article, we’ll explore Navajo rug weaving techniques, colors, patterns, and materials. And we’ll cover how you can make your own Navajo rug, too! If you’re looking for a special Navajo rug, you’ve come to the right place!
Navajo weaving style
The Navajo weaving style evolved from the Hopi blankets, which were mostly striped patterns. The Navajo style introduced geometric shapes, such as lozenges and zig-zags, to their designs. Symbolic designs emerged only after the Mexican conquistadors conquered the Navajo country in the early 1820s. The Apache and Navajo people became slaves and were captured by Spanish forces. During this period, Navajo bands raided Spanish ranches and terrorized the Spanish.
This particular weaving style was influenced by European and American traders who encouraged symmetry in geometric designs. These designs embodied the Navajo concepts of harmony and balance. This balancing of aesthetics has shaped the ongoing dialogue about Navajo woven textiles. However, there are still some aspects of the Navajo weaving style that are indigenous to the Navajo people. To learn more about it, purchase this book.
Navajo rug colors
The traditional Navajo weaving process was steeped in religion. The weaving process involved songs, prayers, and careful consideration of the natural order of colors. This way of life was akin to a cyclical motion, and each color has meaning. While some aspects of this tradition have been lost, the basic concept of weaving well-balanced designs has persisted. In addition to the design, Navajo rugs incorporate design elements like Selvegas Lines.
Navajo rugs usually feature a wool warp. Cotton and linen are more smooth than wool, but have little fibers sticking out of the warp threads. A genuine Navajo rug will have a wool warp, although cotton and linen are now commonly used as warp material. Many of these rugs have been woven by hand, and a Gallup throw is an example of a rug made by a Navajo weaver.
Navajo rug patterns
The weaving of a Navajo rug is a complex, artistic process. The weaver will select colors from various balls and add them to the warp with a wooden comb or weaving fork. The resulting rug may have as many as fifteen balls of yarn hanging from the top. Then the weaver will cut the ends of the yarn to create a finished piece. The resulting rugs are highly intricate works of art that are a treasure for any home.
Many Navajo rugs have patterns similar to Persian rugs. A large border will contain many motifs, such as feathers, arrows, and claw-like hooks. The motifs on these rugs are intricate, and the rugs themselves often have large, colorful designs. They also have zigzags and diagonal lines. Navajo rugs are traditionally made in the Two Grey Hills region of the Navajo Nation.
Navajo rug materials
Navajo rugs were traditionally utilitarian blankets that served as cloaks, dresses, and saddle blankets. The textiles were originally flat tapestry-woven to accommodate the weaving patterns, which are strongly geometric. These rugs resemble the kilims of Eastern Europe but lack the slit weave technique. Nevertheless, traders from Europe influenced Navajo weavers to incorporate kilim motifs into their designs.
Transitional blankets were woven from 1880 to 1885, and often feature thick handspun yarns and synthetic dyes. These weavings were made during the shift from blanket to rug weaving, and many pieces were sold to outsiders. They are the oldest known Navajo rug materials. They are very rare today and can be worth thousands of dollars. Nevertheless, these weavings were still highly prized.