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Navajo rugs typically have a wool warp. You may not be an expert on fibers so it might be hard to identify the warp type. But, in general, linen and cotton are more smooth than wool. Wool is very wooly. It has tiny fibers that stick out of the warp threads, as you can see in the photo to the right. One authentic Navajo rug is the Gallup throw. It is woven using a cotton warp. Remember that cotton was widely used in warp weaving in the late 1800's. The other indicators can be used to confirm the authenticity of the item, but you must also use the fiber content in the warp for authentication.

This article provides a short history of Navajo weaving. This article by Dr. J. explains how authentic Navajo blankets are made and the terminology involved. Mark Sublette CEO of Medicine Man Gallery.

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When trying to determine the authenticity of a Navajo rug, one of the first things you should check is the warp. Warp strings run vertically and make up the foundation of the rug. Navajo rugs are made on a continuous loom that contains the actual warp threads. You can check this visually and by running your hand along the side of the rug to feel whether the warp threads run the length of the rug or whether they’ve been cut. However, in Mexican-made copies, the cut warp threads are hidden, making it more difficult to detect.

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Early blankets made in the middle of the 1800s are rarer than others, with 50-plus examples currently known. Collectors treasure Navajo blankets because of their rarity. Many consider a fine Navajo Navajo scarf to be the cornerstone in their collection. These textiles sell for high prices because of their rarity as well as collector enthusiasm. Navajo blankets offer a visual appeal that rivals any modern art. Navajo blankets have a unique blend of balance, composition, contrast and bold stripes. The simple tools that the weavers used to create Navajo fabrics makes them all the more impressive. The looms were simple and could be set up outside, or under a tree branch.

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A well-made Navajo blanket will have a high collector's value. However, it is important that you remember that the Navajo tribe also produced other products before they began weaving rugs. Many Navajo blankets are used daily and made of natural fibers. They began using wool from desert plants after the Spanish introduced Iberian Churra lambs to their flock. These blankets were eventually replaced with machine-made blankets made in Pendleton.

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Nevertheless, sand painting rugs were very rare before the 1960s when weavers in the Ganado area began producing them in larger numbers. Although they are not sacred objects in themselves, rugs showing sacred sandpainting images have always been somewhat controversial within the Navajo community, and many weavers still decline to make such representations. Yei pattern rugs feature images of the Holy People drawn from ceremonial sand paintings but do not recreate an entire painting. Typically, the Yeis are highly stylized figures with elongated bodies, short straight legs, and heads facing the viewer.

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Frequently Asked Questions

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As soon as your order ships, you will receive an email with tracking info and then following emails with shipping updates.
We accept all major credit or debit cards. You can also pay with your PayPal account.
Just send us an email with your order number and we’ll send you instructions.  We will give you a full refund within the first 60 days after your order ships out.  After that, we have to charge a 25% restocking fee. You are responsible for return shipping fees unless you are swapping for a different design or size.
Yes! We can ship anywhere in the world. Please send us an email with your address before placing an order outside of the US and Canada though. We need to partially charge you for shipping when you place your order.
All of our rugs are made to order and go through a rigorous inspection process. You can typically expect your rug to be shipped 2 weeks from when you make your purchase.
We find rug pads are not necessary to protect your flooring. However, some people choose to use rug pads to prevent their rug from sliding around.