Navajo Rug History

Navajo weavers have been creating blankets since the early 1700’s. As an important part of traditional Native American culture, the Navajo passed the art of weaving down through the generations.

The Navajo people originally focused their weaving skills on producing beautiful, wool blankets to be worn similar to a serape or used as a saddle cloth while riding on horseback. While blankets continued to be an important, functional part of the daily Navajo life, the western traders and settlers didn’t desire blankets. As it turns out, the settlers that were purchasing these blankets were using them as a floor covering rather than an item of clothing. This inspired a change in the materials used to weave. Weavers altered their craft by weaving heavier, more durable yarn so that these works of art could be used as rugs.

Over the years the Navajo Indians have produced ever-changing rug styles. Increased trade with new regions gave weavers more access to dyes to create rich color schemes. The Navajo weavers have also enhanced their talents to create more intricate patterns. A trained eye can even study these rug variations and trace them back to various eras and even regions.

Navajo rugs are no doubt an icon of the Southwest even today. All of these rugs are handmade which creates a wonderful display of works of art that are diverse and beautiful. Whether you are collecting rugs from past generations or purchasing something brand new, it’s obvious from the finished rugs that the weavers have poured their hearts and creativity into their work.