Red Mesa Op Art Eye Dazzler Navajo Rug Weaving : Historic : GHT 731

Style Red Mesa - Eye Dazzler
Weaver Unknown
Circa 1920
Size 40" x 64"
Item # GHT 731
Learn more about the Red Mesa style of weaving
Learn more about Eye Dazzler / Optical weavings

This gorgeous chevron pattern Red Mesa Navajo Rug weaving was brought to life using hand-carded, hand-spun, and hand-dyed Lincoln wool.  The beautiful gray is testimony to the expert carding in creating a lovely salt and pepper mix.  Each of the color bands have sawtooth edges which help give the piece depth and motion. This weaving is very finely woven. 

The brown seen in this beauty was made from Mountain Mahogany.  In the book "Weaving a Navajo Blanket" (p 41), it describes the process of obtaining the brown dye:  "The color made from this formula is, in my opinion, the best which the Navajo make.  It is neither brown, tan, nor red, but has elements of all three.  Although a neutral color, it is lively and is much like the pink of the sandstone cliffs in the light of late afternoon. 

It is made by boiling the bark of the root of mountain mahogany, adding a small quantity of juniper or spruce branches, and fixing with rock-salt.  The dying is easy.  The preparation of a sufficient quantity of root is at best a back-breaking job.  The shrub is not plentiful; when found, the roots must be dug out with a grubbing hoe, and later pounded thoroughly.  It is possible to use the entire root, but only the bark contains color, and a satisfactory quantity of the root is likely to be too bulky for an ordinary vessel used in dyeing.  It took us a whole day to collect the amount we used, another day to grind the bark and dye the yarn.  When we had finished, we had enough for two large skeins of the lightest shade." Book link

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Type: Red Mesa


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