By Ann Lane Hedlund
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Additional resources for Beyond the loom: keys to understanding early Southwestern weaving
When common Spanish blankets sold for two dollars and the finest Hispanic copies of Saltillo Page 2 and Navajo sarapes sold for twenty, the fine Navajo sarapes brought fifty to a hundred dollars. Many of these blankets of the mid-nineteenth century found their way into the hands of the Americans of New Mexico and Arizona, but many more were sent East by early merchants and settlers as curios for their families and friends. Military personnel had blankets woven for their superiors or collected for museums of the day.
Page 29 PLATE 4 Navajo sarape, circa 1840-60; an excellent example of Classic Period weaving at its height (UCM 23487). Photo by Martin Natvig. Page 30 PLATE 5 Hopi woman's manta ("maiden's shawl"), circa 1900 (W/TxP-7). Photo by Martin Natvig. Page 31 PLATE 6 Navajo blanket, circa 1896; all yarns in this Hubbell-influenced pattern are silk (UCM 38168). Photo by Ken Abbott. Page 32 PLATE 7 Navajo wedge weave blanket, circa 1876-80; woven by Navajo servant in a Hispanic household, San Luis Valley, Colorado (UCM 18088).
Raveled yarns may be either Page 23 s-spun or z-spun, smooth or fuzzy in texture, straight or spiralled in structure, colored with natural (plant or animal) or synthetic (aniline) dyes. They were used singly and in groups, and also in cut strips. Further differences were discovered when the red dyes used on many raveled yarns were tested and proved to be lac, cochineal, or anilines. Trade records attest to many foreign sources and many types of fabric that were involved in the Southwest market.