Navajo rugs
Navajo Rug Appraisal Co.Trademark
Navajo Rug Appraisal Co.
Navajo Rug Appraisal Co.
3 Navajo rugs

Appraisal of Navajo Rugs and Oriental Rugs


Navajo Rug Glossary

Every couple of weeks we will post a few definitions of Navajo rug terms.  Some of these Navajo rug terms are more common than others and some are terms that are used primarily by Indian arts dealers.  The information on this page is designed to be helpful to the owner or purchaser of Navajo rugs and will include the author's interpretations and explanations in the attempt to clarify the often confusing world of Indian arts and Navajo rugs.

  • Aniline Dyes    Synthetic coal tar derived dye used in Navajo weavings from about the 1800s after the arrival of the railroad.  There are some Navajo rugs predating the 1880s that show the use of aniline dyes, some dating to the Bosque Redondo period.  The earliest aniline dye (mauvine) was invented (discovered) by William Perkin in 1856.  Mauvine was too expensive to used in Navajo rugs but later synthetic dyes such as Fushine - Magenta were cheaper and were therefore used extensively.  A more appropriate term for such dyes is "synthetic dyes."
  • Bayeta    Spanish term for English baize, a red woolen trade cloth dyed with cochineal or lac (or both) and  imported by the Spanish.  This commercially produced wool cloth was raveled by the Navajo and respun for use in their own blankets.   Pink could be obtained from Bayeta by raveling the cloth and carding in natural white wool and then spinning it to make new wool yarn
  • Germantown    A term for machine spun three and four ply wool yarns.  Named for a suburb of Philadelphia where much of the yarn was produced.  It was first used by the Navajos in the late 1870s and used it extensively to about 1910.  Blankets and rugs made from Germantown yarns are much more even in texture than those made from handspun yarns.  Oftentimes Germantown blankets and rugs were woven on machine spun and plied cotton warps.  Germantown rugs and blankets oftentimes have the warps at the top end tied off in a square knot (or granny knot) rather than looped back.

If you have any suggestions for our Navajo rug glossary, please e-mail us.

3 Navajo rugs

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Navajo Rug Appraisal Co.
7049 E. Tanque Verde Rd., #132, Tucson, Arizona 85715


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Navajo Rug Appraisal Co., last updated January 22, 2017

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January 22, 2017