Is this Navajo?

Discussion in 'Textiles, Needle Arts, Clothing' started by research, Feb 27, 2023.

  1. research

    research Member

    I've done a little research but still confused on how to tell 100% if something like this is truly Navajo or not.

    The ends seem a little suspicious. Not sure if they are tassels or an unraveling frame string.

    To me it looks like somebody cut a section out of a longer, skinner piece maybe to frame or something and the ends are coming unraveled.

    Measures 20 x 18.5"

    Learning and just curious what exactly this piece is.


    Last edited: Feb 27, 2023
    KikoBlueEyes likes this.
  2. 2manybooks

    2manybooks Well-Known Member

    Welcome, @research.

    It is unfortunate that your textile is damaged in areas that usually are helpful in identifying Navajo weaving - the corners and the top and bottom edges (the ends with the loose yarn ends). But one feature remains visible that argues against it being Navajo made. Along the selvage edges (the vertical edges) it looks like there are multiple warps used in the first three or four rows. (The warps are the yarns that were originally stretched on the loom as the foundation for the fabric; the "weft" is the yarn that is woven over and under the warp yarns.) This is a technique that is characteristic of Mexican and New Mexican Chimayo weavings, which are made on a floor loom. Navajo weaving is done on a vertical loom with a unique technique that does not use multiple warps along the edges (with occasional exceptions where you may find 2 warps used only in the last row at the edges). The Navajo technique also does not produce fringe on either end.

    The small designs included in your textile are also more characteristic of Mexican/Chimayo motifs.
    say_it_slowly, Boland and smallaxe like this.
  3. research

    research Member

    I appreciate the input! So in your opinion this would most likely be a Mexican copy?
  4. 2manybooks

    2manybooks Well-Known Member

    Not specifically a copy, but most likely Mexican/Chimayo made. It is curious that the damage selectively removed the more diagnostic features, but I won't speculate about that.

    I will tag another member here who is very knowledgeable about SW textiles. Be patient for her response, as it sometimes takes a few days for people to check in.

    say_it_slowly likes this.
  5. say_it_slowly

    say_it_slowly The worst prison is a closed heart

  6. research

    research Member

    say_it_slowly likes this.
  7. komokwa

    komokwa The Truth is out there...!

    possible , is putting it lightly ..!

    nice call @say_it_slowly ........:happy:
    say_it_slowly likes this.
  8. Taupou

    Taupou Well-Known Member

    I agree, apparently once a Mexican pillow cover. Definitely not Navajo or Native American Indian, based on the way it was woven.

    And now, since it has obviously been cut and trimmed, pretty much "decorative" value only.

    And just an "aside," it's Mexican, not Chimayo. Chimayo weaving gets its name from the village of Chimayo, New Mexico, which is in the United States, a distinction very important to the weavers. They are proud of their Hispanic (from Spain) origin and history, and do not like their textiles to be confused with being either Navajo or Mexican. Many have a family history of weaving that goes back generations, and is officially recognized as part of the Spanish Colonial Art heritage of the U.S.

    (And I do wonder about the listing in the example saying the pillow cover was manufactured in India, as stated in Item Specifics...but will blame it on eBay's practice of "auto-filling" parts if that section, which sellers fail to check for!)
    Debora, komokwa, Bakersgma and 2 others like this.
  9. research

    research Member

    Thanks so much for the detailed response!
Draft saved Draft deleted
Similar Threads: Navajo
Forum Title Date
Textiles, Needle Arts, Clothing Thrift store find - Navajo rug? Jan 17, 2024
Textiles, Needle Arts, Clothing Help identifying these (Navajo?) weavings Oct 6, 2023
Textiles, Needle Arts, Clothing Inexpensive way to display small Navajo weavings Oct 5, 2023
Textiles, Needle Arts, Clothing Navajo or Nava”no” rug Sep 18, 2023
Textiles, Needle Arts, Clothing Navajo,Mexican Rug-Tips on buying an authentic rug ? Feb 19, 2023

Share This Page