March 10, 2015


Navajo Rug Weaver

Navajo Rug Weaver

Cultural Background

 

The Navajo are an indigenous people from the American Southwest. They call themselves "Dine'", which means 'people' in the Navajo language. The first Navajos settled in the Southwest in the early 16th Century. Today, the Navajo Nation stretches across Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah, covering over 27,000 square miles.

 

It is impossible to talk about Navajo weaving as simply one part of Navajo culture. Weaving has always been integral to Navajo society, daily life, and cosmology. Parts of the Navajo Creation Story tell of Spider Woman weaving beautiful rugs on her loom, and it was through Spider Woman's teachings that Navajo weavers learned their craft.

 

"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 spindle, and its whorl was white shell."

-- Epigraph to Spider Woman: A Story of Navajo Weavers and Chanters, by Gladys A. Reichard, first published 1934, republished by Rio Grande Press, Inc., Glorieta, NM, 1968

 

Navajo rugs and blankets, even though they are highly prized as artworks and museum artifacts in the United States, are more than just art and artifacts of history; they represent the entirety of Navajo life and spirituality. The Dine' do not separate the concepts of art, beauty, and religion. They are all interconnected, so to describe a Navajo rug or blanket simply in terms of what it's made of and what it looks like is to ignore just how important the rugs are to the people who made them.

"For Navajo weaving is meditative work that invites Woman into the energy center of the balanced universe. A place where everyday happenings merge with the mythical. Here sunlight shimmers through virginal tight-strung warp. Here Father Sky and Mother Earth unite. Here Spiderwoman weaves her tangled web. And Changing Woman / White Shell Woman--the primordium--prevails."

--Noel Bennett, "Navajo Weaving Way: The Path from Fleece to Rug"

March 10, 2015


March 10, 2015


February 26, 2015


Yelp

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January 15, 2015


Keep Your House Warmer This Winter with Rug

According to the National Energy Foundation, uninsulated wood floors can account for up to 10% of a home’s heat loss. Rugs were created for a reason — to keep rooms warmer. They’re far better at trapping heat than your creaky wood floors. Add a rug to your floor in the winter, and you’ll notice a difference in coziness.

January 09, 2015


Why Use a Rug Pad?

You've paid hundreds or even thousands for that new rug--and now the "experts" are recommending that you spend even more to buy a pad to put underneath it. You may be suspicious that this is a ploy or a scam, but it turns out that there are real, practical reasons for those rug pads; they can protect your investment, your environment and even your life.


Non-Skid Protection

  • The most important reason to use a rug pad is that it will keep your rug from skidding on the floor. Rugs, particularly throw rugs and other small area rugs, can easily slip out from under foot and cause falls. This is even more likely if the rug is placed on a very smooth surface such as a hardwood or linoleum floor. A rug pad will "grip" both the rug and the floor. It will also eliminate wrinkles in the rug, which can be a tripping hazard.

Increased Comfort

  • A rug pad will add a whole new dimension of comfort to your rug. The extra padding will provide more "give" to the rug's surface, making it softer and easier to stand on for long periods. The rug will compress underfoot, making the flooring--and, by extension, the room--seem more luxurious and welcoming.

Floor Protection

  • If a rug is placed on top of wall-to-wall carpeting, it is possible that the rug's backing will cause damage to the carpet's fibers. It is even possible for a stiff or harsh backing to scratch the finish on hardwood or vinyl flooring. A rug pad will prevent the backing from coming into direct contact with the surface beneath it, protecting the floors and the carpeting.

Deadens Sound

  • A rug pad absorbs much of the sound and shock made by someone walking on the rug and keeps them from being transmitted through the floor. This not only makes the surrounding area quieter, it helps prevent occupants of downstairs rooms from being disturbed by footsteps. It also adds some soundproofing protection from noise coming up from lower floors.

Prolongs Rug Life

  • A rug on a rug pad can be vacuumed more thoroughly than one which is flush against the floor; the pad raises the rug so that air can more easily flow through it, making it possible to remove more dirt. More padding also helps to protect the rug against everyday wear and tear, cushioning the fabric where it is pushed against the floor or compressed beneath heavy furniture. All in all, using a rug pad is a sensible way to protect the investment made in a rug, as it will help keep it in good shape for years to come.

     

By Siva Stephens, eHow Contributor

December 17, 2014


The History of Rugs

The history of rugs covers about the same time span as human history because people have been using rugs since the earliest days of mankind.

Animal hides, in addition to being used for clothing, were used as rugs on the floor of a family’s hut or shelter. The hides were also used for sitting and sleeping surfaces and to provide warmth on a chilly night. Other types of rugs and mats were made from crudely woven reeds. Often, a good rug or hide was a family’s most valuable possession.