Textiles: Navajo Textiles

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Navajo textiles rank among the most widely collected and celebrated Native American art forms. Their strong geometric patterns are instantly recognizable, even to those with little knowledge of Southwestern art. Originally, weavers made textiles to use as clothing and saddle blankets. With the emergence of a market in the late nineteenth century, weavers directed their efforts toward making rugs for sale. Today, the tradition remains strong, and textiles play a major role in the Navajo Nation’s economy.

The majority of the textiles we offer date to before World War II. They were woven on vertical looms, often using handspun, hand-dyed yarns, and occasionally using commercial yarns of the period. Our collection often includes floor rugs, blankets made to be worn, and small pieces that are suitable as wall hangings.

Navajo Weaving Tradition from ATADA.org on Vimeo.

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