Everything You Need to Know About Navajo Rugs Navajo rugs started rolling out around 500 years, but they've only just recently made their way into homes all over the world. What makes these rugs so unique and sought after?
History of Navajo Rugs The Navajo are one of the largest Native American tribes in the United States. Around 500 years ago, they made their home in the American Southwest. There, they developed a vibrant culture, complete with its own language, belief system, and lifestyle. One of their most significant impressions on modern society has been their rugs.Weaving rugs and blankets have always been a major part of the Navajo culture. While it is not entirely known where they learned to weave, they ended up becoming the most skilled out of all the Native American tribes. The vivid geometric designs on highly-durable fabrics were renowned throughout the Southwest.
The Pueblo people are thought to have introduced weaving to the Navajo, or at least a new way to weave using a vertical loom. Thanks to this new loom, as well as raising their own unique sheep called the Navajo-Churro Sheep, they were able to begin weaving long, smooth, and durable fibers to make rugs and blankets. These became the earliest versions of what is now known as Navajo textiles.
At the turn of the 20th century, there was growing interest in the rest of the world for all things Native American. Tourists from the rest of America, and beyond, would come to the Southwest in search of authentic souvenirs. The exotic designs caught on and remain popular to this day. Over the course of the 20th century, various types of designs sprang up, providing added variety to authentic Navajo rugs, which became widely admired.
Navajo Rug Designs Rugs made in the Navajo style are named for what region they originate from, or what influenced them. The following are the authentic Navajo weavings you will come across:
Crystal Rugs These rugs do not have a border on them. They feature horizontal bands and are made using natural vegetable dyes. The stripes also usually include added design elements, including arrows, stars, triangles, and diamonds.
Teec Nos Pos Named after a Navajo settlement in northeastern Arizona, this rug design features a wide border, along with intricate geometric patterns. The colors are vibrant in Teec Nos Pos rugs and display feather and arrow designs within the center of them.
Two Grey Hills This rug design comes from a trading post called Two Grey Hills. They are high-quality and have intricate Native American patterns. The rugs are made using natural wool that is undyed. There are “spirit lines” that act as accents around the borders of these rugs.
Chief Weaving The final type of Navajo rug design is one that was offered to Navajo chiefs. These were made using the highest quality threads available. The patterns are durable and simple. Blue, white, and brown are all prominent on these authentic Navajo weavings.