Red Mesa Rugs

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Red Mesa rug history begins in the late 1800’s when Navajo wearing blankets were transitioning to Navajo rugs.  Sharply moving away from the simplicity of Navajo chief blanket weavings during the Classic Period (1650’s to 1870’s), the introduction of an almost endless palette of commercial dyes and pre-dyed yarn colors laid the foundation for bold new expressions in Navajo weaving in general and Red Mesa rugs in particular.

The Transitional Period (1860’s to 1910) represents the movement away from the Navajo wearing blanket to the Navajo rug, an item no longer to be worn but rather to adorn walls, floors and furniture in Anglo homes.    Inspired by the eye-dazzling designs on Mexican Saltillo and New Mexican Hispanic serapes, the breadth and application of color in Navajo weavings literally exploded into a variety of exotic representations.

Most typically, the Red Mesa weaving design consists of a line of chevrons running down the vertical middle of the weaving surrounded by radiating serrated diamonds.  The most extreme eyedazzler effect is created by laying a line of contrasting color against a lighter or darker color.  The border of Red Mesa rugs will appear to come in from each of the vertical sides to meet the outward radiating pattern.

Your best Red Mesa rugs amply demonstrate Navajo weaving virtuosity.  The control of color and pattern while threading one shade after another through the standing warp threads represents a visual testament to a Navajo weaver’s patience and artistry.

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This site was last updated on September 25, 2020.

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