Our Navajo rugs represent the spirit of the art within the Navajo woman.

The Spirit of Art Within the Navajo Woman

Woven Fabrics

For over a thousand years the Southwestern Natives have woven fabrics of wild cotton. When the Spaniards introduced their breed of sheep, they not only had wool to weave but also a domestic source of meat and leather. The animals thrived in the arid countryside. The women were the sheepherders and weavers, using the same loom and technique as when they wove cotton. The art of weaving, and every step in its process, has become a very spiritual and empowering ceremony for the Navajo woman.

The Fleece

From "Navajo Rugs The Essential Guide" by Don Dedera

Usually in May the sheep are sheared when the fleece is the thickest. In the old days they used a knife, now simple shears are used.

The fleece is then cleaned using a native soap, of yucca root extract, which chases the dirt without driving out the lanolin which gives a Navajo rug its long life.

The wool is then untangled using cards, which are thin boards with myriad wire teeth and fastened with handles. A wad of wool is repeatedly combed between the two cards until the fibers lie in the same direction. Natural gray wool is obtained by carding light and dark wool together. Hand carding adds to the uniformity and strength of Navajo rugs.

The fleece is then spun the traditional way. The spindle is a stick about 20 inches long. Close to the end of the stick is a wooden disk which acts as a flywheel. The left hand feeds carded wool onto the long pointed end of the spindle. The spinner adjusts the tension on the strand to achieve uniform size.

All Navajo weavers draw on over a hundred natural dyes from roots, barks, leaves and fruits of dried plants of the southwest. Vegetal dyeing of yarn might be repeated daily for as long as a week.

Then the weaving begins!

Our Advice

Cleaning and Maintenance of a Navajo Rug

Never shake a Navajo rug. The whip effect of shaking can fray the end and eventually it could begin to unravel.

We have found the best way to hang a Navajo rug is with a strip of self-adhesive Velcro that you can attach to the wall at the top, bottom and sides so the shape of the rug will remain the same. Smaller rugs may be hung with push pins.

The Indians clean their weavings by laying them in the snow and beating them, then turning them over and repeating the process. The dirt will come out in the snow.

Wide Ruin Rug

Wide ruin rug by Diane Etsitiy. Diane uses the colors of the red mesas where she lives. This rug would compliment any decor in your home.

Wide Ruin Rug
Woven by: Diane Etsitiy, Navajo
Size: 35" x 49"
Retail price: $1800.00
Our price: $1200.00
Product #: NV-038

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Teec Nos Pos

A lovely Teec Nos Pos rug woven by Bertha Tom. Bertha uses beautiful color combinations in her rugs, and the women in the Tom family are well known weavers.

Teec Nos Pos
Woven by: Bertha Tom, Navajo
Size: 2' 6" x 3' 6"
Retail price: $3150.00
Our price: $2100.00
Product #: NV-036

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Two Grey Hills

A very intricate, delicate Two Grey Hills design utilizing a very tightly executed tapestry weave.

Two Grey Hills
Woven by: Bessie Lee
Size: 35" x 21"
Retail price: $2550.00
Our price: $1700.00
Product #: NV-026

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Lightening Design

Anna used bold reds and browns in this traditional lightening design from Teec Nos Pos.

Lightening Design
Woven by: Anna Martin
Size: 2' 9" x 3' 10"
Retail price: $2610.00
Our price: $1740.00
Product #: NV-030

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Teec Nos Pos

A very unique design and color combination in this beautiful Teec Nos Pos rug, using subtle salmon and teal tones. Stunning home decor!

Teec Nos Pos
Woven by: Lola Lameman
Size: 4' x 2' 9"
Retail price: $2100.00
Our price: $1400.00
Product #: NV-032

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Teec Nos Pos

A lovely and unique color combination in a traditional Teec Nos Pos rug. The design in luscious greens and golds is exceptional!

Teec Nos Pos
Woven by: Irene Littleben
Size: 4 1/2' x 3'
Retail price: $3750.00
Our price: $3500.00
Product #: NV-033

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Teec Nos Pos

Irene has a wonderful flare for color and design. Her rugs look fantastic with any home decor!

Teec Nos Pos
Woven by: Irene Littleben
Size: 28" x 41"
Retail price: $2550.00
Our price: $1700.00
Product #: NV-034

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Great Eye Dazzler in Soft Colors

Another fine and detailed tapestry design by Pauline Nez.

Great Eye Dazzler in Soft Colors
woven by Pauline Nez
Size: 3 1/2' x 5'
Retail price: $3780.00
Our price: $2520.00
Product #: NV-009

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A great weaving to have on display

Marie wove a beautiful design that fits the shape of the rug wonderfully.

A great weaving to have on display
woven by Marie Begay
Size: 3' x 4 1/2'
Retail price: $2400.00
Our price: $1600.00
Product #: NV-021

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A great rug for the floor!

Traditional Klagetoh design which looks best in this size.

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woven by Elsie Tom
Size: 5' x 7'
Retail price: $5550.00
Our price: $3700.00
Product #: NV-024

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Navajo Lengend

Spider Woman instructed the Navajo women how to weave on a loom which Spider Man told them how to make. The crosspoles were made of sky and earth cords, the warp sticks of sun rays, the healds of rock crystal and sheet lightning. The batten was a sun halo, white shell made the comb. There were four spindles: one a stick of zigzag lightning with a whorl of cannel coal; one a stick of flash lightning with a whorl of turquoise; a third had a stick of sheet lightning with a whorl of abalone; a rain streamer formed the stick of the fourth, and its whorl was white shell.

-- from "Navajo Rugs The Essential Guide" by Don Dedera
(also referenced in many other books on Navajo weaving)