Weaving a Navajo Blanket presents a time capsule of Navajo weaving in the 1930s. Collectors, ethnologists, and others will learn more about materials, and techniques. The reader gains knowledge that will help them in judging, appraising, and appreciating the processes that go into weaving with these techniques.
Author Gladys Reichard wrote Weaving a Navajo Blanket (1930–33) while living and working among the Navajo. As a result, she learned the basics of weaving. In this book, she takes readers through the same process. She shows the materials and methods of Navajo weaving. She also writes about the people that she met and lived with.
The emphasis is on Navajo blanket weaving methods. Reichard talks about wool selection and preparation, loom building, and creating a warp. She guides the reader through the1930s weaving process. There are five appendices. These cover the Navajo weaving tools and materials, natural dyes, weaving terms, and weaving lessons.
Reichard also covers saddle blanket weaving, warp weaving, scalloped edge weaving, double-faced weaving, and sandpainting tapestries. She comments on history, patterns, symbolism, the effect of the market, and other matters that affect the Navajo weaving style. Nearly 100 photographs and line drawings illustrate the processes and finished work. Remember that the book was written in the 1930s and the illustration technology reflects that.