Along with a number of other Navajo rug styles, J.B. Moore, owner of the trading post in Crystal, New Mexico, established in 1896, influenced one of the most universally popular patterns, the Crystal. Since that time, there have been many innovations that have changed the landscape of Navajo rug weaving; a benefit to all of us who love these distinct designs.
History of Crystal Rugs
Though inspired by J.B. Moore more than 100 years ago, by the 1940s the Crystal style changed with the times. Once sporting a visually distinct geometric composition, (from the JB Moore Era), made possible by frets, hooks and whirling logs, just 60 years passed before the Crystal moved to a vegetal-dyed weaving free of its borders. Today, weavers remain inspired by past designs and create beautiful new banded and natural dyed iterations that everyone can enjoy.
View a Navajo reservation map of the origin of each of the regional rug styles - a new window will open
A Soft, Earthy Presence
Plant dyes (vegetal) still remain the primary characteristic behind the Crystal rug design, with soft Earth tones and pastels spreading almost effortlessly between alternating wavy lines and prominent bands. Boasting a richness and even coloring central to this Navajo rug style, it’s easy to see why their smooth, textured features are so popular.
Lightning Strikes Twice
The influential JB Moore Crystal rug has been so popular throughout history that it’s rumored to have spawned the legendary Storm Pattern, Two Grey Hill and Teec Nos Pos rugs we all know and love. Though we can’t know for certain, it’s easy to see that the lasting influence of the JB Moore Crystal, which boasts innovative and eclectic patterns, resonate throughout the entirety of Navajo weaving history.
Weavers represented at the Nizhoni Ranch Gallery boast a level of skill and artistry rare for even of the most popular of Navajo rug styles. It’s their unique connection to their culture, surrounding landscape, and personal values that allows them to deftly capture the Crystal rugs distinct patterns and muted colors. Simultaneously historical and contemporary at the same time, you’ll find unmatched weaving quality here at the Nizhoni Ranch Gallery.