All of our rugs are woven by Navajo weavers, most of whom live traditionally on the Navajo Reservation which is located in Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah. This is the largest American Indian Reservation in the country, some 16 million acres with over 400,000 Navajos. From the inception of weaving by the Navajos around 1700, weaving has provided an important economic benefit to the tribe and a fine outlet for their artistic talents. Their rugs are made in the weaver's home or hogan on vertical looms using the same methods they have used for the past three hundred years.
The Navajos are the only Indans today doing a large amount of weaving. We are presently getting less quantity of weaving than in the past, but the quality is the finest that it has ever been.
Too little recognition is given to the Navajo weavers for their creative instincts and artistic talents. Out of their minds, without benefit of pencil and paper, unfold these beautiful designs in the Navajo Rugs. Their spirit, a proud one born through years of adversity, is reflected in their weaving. The rug becomes part of the weaver, and many times we have seen her sigh, taking one last look at her rug and the many hours of labor it represents, as she leaves the rug behind after having sold it to us. Perhaps she is wondering who will own her rug, and will the new owner appreciate the effort she has put into her weaving.
The prices of Navajo Rugs are based on the amount of time required and the skill exhibited by the weaver. This is reflected by the type of wool used, the fineness of the spinning, the tightness of the weave, complexity of the design, color, and size. The compensation for the weaver has been increasing and will continue to increase. The factor combined with the phasing out of the older, more experienced weavers, and the lack of younger Navajo women taking up the craft, relfects why today's Navajo Rugs are truly a good investment for the future.
Things to Look For:
Navajo Rugs are tough. They will accept a lot of wear and last for generations if given proper care. If your rug is to be used on the floor, a foam mat underneath it will prevent wear and skidding. Vacuum cleaning is normally all that is required Do not let water sit on the rug; it is wool and will shrink and some dyes may run. Do not attempt to wash the rug yourself; the best cleaning method is to have it hand washed by professionals. If the weaving becomes stained or deeply soiled contact a reputable dealer for their advice.
For mounting a Navajo rug on the wall, we recommend 2" wide Velcro with contact adhesive on the back. Simply remove the paper backing from the adhesive side and place the strip of Velcro on the wall. Press the top edge of the rug on the strip; the Velcro will hold it there. Cut 3" long pieces and place under each bottom corner; this will pull the rug smooth. This special Velcro is available from our store. Both sides of a Navajo rug are the same; turn once or twice a year.