Understanding the Manufacturing of the Widely Popular Navajo Rugs
Rug weaving is a traditional art practiced by the Navajo. Although the Navajo weavers originally wove blankets and clothing for themselves, in the early 1800s, they began weaving rugs for sale, making a home on the range just a little bit more comfortable. While many weavers create contemporary designs, Navajo rugs typically feature bold, geometric patterns. Traditional styles, such as the famous Navajo chiefs design and crystal Navajo rugs are quite popular. The wool preparation and techniques developed by the weavers’ ancestors have been proudly passed down from generation to generation.
The Manufacturing Process
Everything in a Navajo rug comes from Mother Nature starting with fleece — raw wool sheared from the sheep. Working one handful at a time, the weaver removes the mats and tangles and places the wool on carders — woolen puddles with metal teeth. By pulling one carder against the other, the weaver straightens the wool fibers, lining them up in the same direction. This prepares them to be spun into one continuous strand of yarn. After three or four pulls, the weaver flips the carders to straighten fibers on the underside. They then roll up the fleece and add it to the other rolls in the spinning pile. They spin the fleece one roll at a time with a traditional spindle that they lay against their thigh and rotate towards them with one hand. This movement twists the carded roll of fleece into a strand. When they reach the end of the roll, the weavers connect another, and resume spinning and keep repeating the process until they have produced one long continuous strand. They then respin the strand to thin it out to the final weaving size.When they are done, the weavers check the entire length of the strand, pulling on thicker areas to thin them out so that the entire strand is a consistent size from one end to the other.
Coloring plays a crucial role in Navajo rugs. To infuse wool with color, the weavers prepare natural dyes — sunflowers for yellow, walnuts for tan and brown hues, and cactus bugs for bright red.
Bring the Centuries-Old Cultural Heritage to Your Home
There aren’t a lot of art pieces that carry cultural values and influences as the Navajo do. If you are also a big fan of the Navajo art, shop for the best Native American rugs online from the top stores and bring this centuries-old cultural heritage to your home.
Author’s Bio – The author is a blogger. This article is about Navajo Rugs.
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