Navajo Twill Weave Double Saddle Blanket

C4502M-rug.jpg

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Weaver Unknown

This twill weave, double saddle blanket was woven from white, black, and brown sheep’s wool after shearing, cleaning, carding, spinning, and laboriously setting up on an upright loom.  Twill weave textiles generally are made only for saddle blankets, although they are serviceable as floor rugs as well.  Twill weaves are sturdier than tapestry weaves, making them quite suitable for use as saddle blankets.

 “Predominant in Pueblo textiles from the days of the Anasazi through recent times, the various twill-weave techniques were rarely used by Navajo weavers after 1800 but made a brief resurgence in popularity in the 1870s, particularly in the weaving of saddle throws and women’s mantas.” [Kaufman and Selser, 1985:138]

Twill weave saddle blankets are still occasionally made by the Diné, both for their own use and for sale.  This double saddle blanket does not show any evidence of having been used on a horse, so it must have been one that was made to be sold.

A useful way of remembering which is warp and which is weft is: 'one of them goes from weft to wight'.

Warp and Weft:  In weaving, the weft is the term for the yarn which is drawn through, inserted over-and-under, the lengthwise warp yarns that are held in tension on a frame or loom to create cloth. Warp is the lengthwise or longitudinal thread in a roll, while weft is the transverse thread. Each individual warp thread is called a warp end or end.  The weft is a thread or yarn usually made of spun fibre. The original fibres used were wool, flax or cotton. The weft is threaded through the warp using a "shuttle". Hand looms were the original weaver's tool, with the shuttle being threaded through alternately raised warps by hand. -Wikipedia


Condition: very good condition

Provenance: this Navajo Twill Weave Double Saddle Blanket is from the collection of a gentleman from California

Reference: Alice Kaufman and Christopher Selser. The Navajo Weaving Tradition: 1650 to the Present

TAGS: textilesNavajo Nation

Close up view of the weave.


Weaver Unknown
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