Navajo Rug Art Project

Written by lora mathews
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Navajo Rug Art Project
Navajo rugs tend to repeat patterns in natural hues. (Photos.com/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Pay homage to stunning Native American handicrafts by adding a rug or blanket in the Navajo style to your decor. If you're far from an authentic Southwestern trading post, you can imitate the look of these distinctive textiles by employing a repeating horizontal or vertical linear motif in natural hues ranging from creamy white to indigo.

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Rug

Put your weaving skills to work with an imitation Navajo design. Select a two-color design and set to work in authentic methodology. You'll need the wool of two or three sheep to make a single 3-foot-by-5-foot rug. Comb and card the wool, and spin it. You may choose a commercial dye or a plant-based dye to achieve your desired colours. Use your finest spun yarn for the vertical warp on the loom and alternate the two colours of your design in the horizontal weft.

Family Rug Art

Incorporate the distinctive designs of a Navajo rug into an art project you can do with your kids. Cover a large sheet of construction paper with a repeating Navajo pattern using oil pastels. Leave an inch or two blank at either end of the horizontally oriented page to attach paper fringe with glue. Hang your Navajo "rugs" on the wall or frame them for dazzling artwork.

Rug Painting

Purchase a large canvas at an art supply store and portray your favourite Navajo motif in acrylic paint. Study some authentic patterns before choosing one or creating your own. Begin with a simple motif such as the Red Mesa, which consists of rows of diamond shapes. Select natural colours such as deep brown or orange and cream for eye-catching minimalist flair. Sketch your design on the canvas with pencil and paint your rug design. Prop your canvas up on a rough-hewn mantle or hang it above a stairway for maximum visual impact.

Quilting

Many famed Navajo rug and blanket styles resemble quilt patterns -- primitive geometrics in bold colours. You can adapt a Navajo pattern to make a quilt top in the same design. Use your finished product for a table runner or lap blanket. The traditional Ganado and Storm Pattern rugs feature designs that lend themselves to a pieced quilt adaptation.

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