Learn beginning Navajo weaving techniques online with Diné instructors Gloria Begay and Jennie Slick. You’ll learn plain and stripe weaving and joining techniques. Gloria will show you how she designs on the loom and will help you solve problems as they arise. The five-week class should allow you enough time to finish your first weaving and warp a second. Store staff members are available to help with questions in between classes.
At this time, you may attend class in person if you are fully vaccinated and not ill. Please bring your proof of vaccination to class. We will be doing temperature checks. Class will also be available via Zoom for students who are distant or who prefer that option.
Tuition for the class is $175. When you register, we will schedule an onboarding session with you to make sure that you have access to the classroom and that you have what you need to start the class. You’ll also receive a digital download of our book. The book will show you what you need to have to get started. The book has plans for a Navajo-style loom, but we do have looms that can be shipped easily and require minimal assembly, and some options are even less expensive. Like a picture frame or canvas stretcher bars.
Beginning Navajo Weaving Instructor:
Gloria is on the left in the picture. Her maternal clan is Mountain Cove and her paternal clan is Towering House. She is the daughter of the famous weaver Nellie Joe. Nellie schooled all of her daughters in her exacting techniques of fine weaving and design. Gloria’s Chief Blanket and Burntwater designs are famous. She experiments with design and she loves natural dyes.
Gloria is very encouraging and her students love her. Her rugs and weavings are in collections all over the world. She is constantly increasing her weaving expertise and loves to learn about new yarns and dyes.
Gloria is fluent in both Navajo and English and teaches students in both languages.
Jennie Slick is on the left in this picture. She is born to the Coyote Pass people and born for the Bitter Water People. She resides in the Querino Canyon area near Sanders, Arizona. Jennie has been teaching for over 20 years. She has taught all over the United States. Jennie loves sharing her weaving knowledge because she says, “you’re not supposed to be stingy with it.”
Jennie is a very patient teacher, so her students come back for more classes to increase their knowledge. She is fluent in Navajo and can teach in either Navajo or English.
What to Expect in Beginning Navajo Weaving Techniques
Week 1: You’ll learn how the loom is warped and you’ll mount the warp on the loom. If possible, you’ll do a little weaving on that first day. You’re probably going to be tired by the end of the day! Don’t worry though, we’ll be around during the week to help you with questions!
Week 2: You’ll learn how to manipulate the tools and how to do plain weave and we’ll show you some interesting aspects of stripe weaves. Let’s start talking about design. We’ll pester you if you put your fork down all the time. We’ll take a look at the rugs in the shop and talk about weaving history.
Week 3: Let’s add some design! You’ll weave block patterns and learn to develop designs. Gloria will allow you to go as far as you want to with design, but you need to be able to work fairly independently during the week. They’ll keep it simple enough to understand and challenging enough to be interesting.
Week 4: Continue working on your pattern. We will solve any problems developing! We’ll talk about diagonal lines and maybe give them a try. You should be past the halfway point, so we’ll begin to talk about finishing.
Week 5: We’ll continue to talk about finishing techniques and begin planning your next weaving adventure. We will show you to spin the edging cord for your next project.
Week 6: We will be available for help and questions.
- Navajo loom or a sturdy frame designed for Navajo style warping, or a frame that you can pound four nails into
- Optional: Four nails and a hammer for frames that do not have pre-drilled holes
- Zip ties (11″ and 14″ work best)
- 4 3/4″ or 1″ dowels 18″ long or wide enough to go across your warping frame
- A ball of Navajo warp wound tightly about the size of a golf ball. (2″)
- 6 feet of 2 or 3 ply edging cord
- One ball of cotton twine
- One sacking needle 3″ to 4″ long
- Optional: Neosporin and bandaids (sacking needles are sharp)
- Nylon mason line or satin rattail cord for heddles
- 2-3 skeins of Brown Sheep Top of the Lamb, Lamb’s Pride, or other worsted weight wool singles yarn in contrasting colors
- 3/4″ weaving batten
- Weaving comb
Registration, Cancellation, and Refund Policies
A deposit is required to hold a seat in any class. If you are ill and miss a class, you can make it up at a later time. Students attending classes in person must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and must wear a mask at all times during class.
We use Zoom for our virtual classroom. Please check the requirements here to make sure that you’ll be able to participate.