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Why Did They Make Navajo Rugs?

Navajo rugs are handmade textiles, using hand-dyed yarn. Their patterns are often unique and can be traced to specific geographic regions. The Navajo Textiles book by Nancy J. Blomberg outlines Navajo textiles. Lois Essary Jacka wrote Beyond Tradition: Contemporary Indian Art and Its Evolution, and Wolfgang Haberland penned “Aesthetics and Ethics in Native American Arts,” in The Arts of the North American Indian.

Navajo weavers used hand-dyed yarn

Navajo rug weavers use wool that is spun on a Navajo spindle and dyed using plant-based dyes. They use the yellow produced by the stems and flowers of Chamizo fern, mistletoe, cedar bark, blood roots, onion skins, and cochineal. The finished rug is all wool and has no fringe.

Railroads made Navajo rugs

Navajo rugs are a wonderful example of Native American weaving. In the mid-19th century, the United States government introduced Rambouillet sheep to the Navajo Reservation, and weavers were forced to use wool that was difficult to clean with traditional hand washing. Because the wool from these sheep was oily and short, the rugs produced by the Navajos were characterized by a dirty gray cast. This change in the fibers brought Navajo weaving to a new low and demand for rugs began to decline.

Navajo weavers used a single-scene pattern

Historically, Navajo weavers have woven rugs using a tapestry weave. This method has been used by Navajo weavers for over 200 years. In this type of weave, the warp is barely visible and the weft is woven tight between the two. A long wooden handle called a “fork” is used to pack the weft tightly, creating a textile with no visible warp. Although the final product is a textile that can range from coarse to very fine, the technique produces a textile with no visible warp. If the rug is particularly large and intricately detailed, it might even be possible to discern the weaver who made it.

Navajo rugs are a Navajo textile

Navajo rugs are made of wool, silk, cotton, and other natural fibers. Their distinctive diagonal lines make them particularly unique. The textiles are made by the Athabascan people of the Southwest, who first migrated to the American Southwest from Canada in the 15th century. Despite their distinctiveness, the rugs are surprisingly inexpensive, even for an expensive rug.

Value of Navajo rugs

Navajo rugs have a long history, and if you are looking to add a unique piece of Native American art to your home, you may be interested in purchasing one. These rugs have been handwoven by the Navajo people. They were well established by the 1500s and are one of the most popular types of Southwestern rugs. The weaving process and the beauty of these rugs are unsurpassed by any other method.

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