Navajo sampler with Germantown wools

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mc2091b.jpg
mc2091a.jpg

Navajo sampler with Germantown wools

0.01

21.5" wide x 21" long

4-ply Germantown wools

excellent condition. One side has slight fading in the purple yarn. A few stitches have moth grazing.

circa 1880-1890s

SOLD

(mc2091)

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When the railroads arrived in the Southwest in 1880, they brought academicians and tourists alike. This opened up a vibrant trade in goods made by the Indians of the Southwest, including textiles woven by the Navajo.  The railroads also brought commercial wool from the mills in around Germantown, Pennsylvania, to the Navajo, and these wools were given by the trader to the best of Navajo weavers. 

The Germantown wools were plyed and dyed with synthetic vibrant dyes (1880s and beyond). The Navajo love these colors, especially reds and purples, which were not available in the Navajo's natural environment. The availability of these dyed wools led the Navajo weavers to broaden their use of serrated edges in their designs so that the colors became "dazzling"; hence the name given to these textiles: eyedazzlers.