Native American rug making is a very important aspect in Indian culture. This art should be preserved but is now dying out. Fewer people in the up and coming generation have the patience to learn the art of weaving as well as the busy culture taking over already busy schedules. Mass production and the availability in local stores of machine made products have also hindered the popularity of Native American rugs.
The weaving of Navajo Native American rugs and blankets is the best know type of textile art available in North America. Typically, they are extremely pricey, but the level of craftsmanship and attention to detail are impeccable. The rugs are still made in the traditional way in the southwestern United States as well as in many parts of Mexico. The artisans kneel down in front of a loom made of wood, and they weave colored threads using a shuttle. Many beautiful and impressive geometric designs are formed. The original Native American rugs are made of hand spun cotton thread. Later on, they shifted to weaving with wool when domestic sheep were introduced by the Spanish. Of the many impressive Native American rugs that can be found, the Navajo designs are among the best.
Another interesting method done in crafting Native American rugs is through finger weaving. This major method has been used for hundreds of years and up to this day, immaculate finger woven Native American rugs are created by many tribes such as the Tlingit people known as chilkat. Another popular pattern which is woven in this method is the iconic Seminole sash. Patchwork is also an essential area of the textile art of Native Americans.
Quilting which was taken from Europeans, was given a new kind of energy with their skilled craftsmanship although they had their own methods of making textiles. They are also known for their star quilts. Many other designs also still exist but modern times and mass production, as well as a fast paced life, has greatly impacted this tradition. By teaching the younger generation, many older Native American artists are still trying to keep this art alive.
Now days, it is getting more difficult to find many of those resilient weavers that use the old traditions of hand weaving Native American rugs. The prices could sky rocket due to the very exclusive and the difficult time to work on these rugs. Vintage rugs are often even more costly. Only a small percent of the younger generation of Native Americans will study the intricate art of rug weaving.
For those who desire to get an exclusive design that exudes the Native American culture, it would be a perfectly good investment. Though this would not be for general use, but rather, a more ornamental and decorative piece, it would be great if more people come to recognize the ancient and slowly withering tradition of Native American rugs.