Navajo weaving is a tapestry technique which produces a reversible textile. Originally used by the Navajo weavers to make blankets, the technique translated very well to rug-making, which commenced in the late 1800's. We teach Navajo weaving in three stages:
1. The Basics. The weavers learns the Navajo method for making and mounting the warp; how to use fork and batten until it becomes automatic; how to weave with the vertical hook join, the strongest of all rug joins; how to finish a four-selvedge textile. The book Navajo Weaving Way by Noel Bennett and Tiana Bighorse is used to support the process. We also explain the historical evolution of Navajo design and show photos of pieces exemplifying the different periods.
2. Intermediate. We introduce the diagonal and the turned join, edge cords, and creating your own designs.As part of learning how to use edge cords, the new weaver will also be introduced to the use of the Navajo hip spindle.
After stages 1 and 2, the student should be able to weave independently, design her own patterns, adjust a design to changing requirements, and weave larger pieces. It is not necessary to continue to stage 3.
3. Advanced. At this stage the weaver may learn Coal Mine Raised Edge, weaving twills witb multiple heddle sheds, tufting, and double weave.
Tuition includes all looms and tools, as well as materials for pieces up to 12 x 18 size. We offer the use of a simple portable loom by Mark Deschinny, a Cactus Flower portable loom, or a floor model which can weave a rug about 24" x 36". Additional wool may be purchased directly from R.B. Burnham .