By Ann Lane Hedlund
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Extra info for Beyond the loom: keys to understanding early Southwestern weaving
Mera, for instancewere occasionally revealing. Sometimes a number or code written on a textile indicated a previous owner and yielded important associations, such as those textiles collected and numbered by George Heye at the turn of the century but found in museums other than his own Museum of the American Indian (Heye Foundation). Documentation generally refers to written information, although some scholars, especially those working in museums, use the term to cover any type of recorded evidence.
Page 33 PLATE 9 Mexican Saltillo sarape, circa 1750 (UCM 39306). Photo by Martin Natvig. Page 34 PLATE 10 Spanish Colonial blanket, circa 1850 (Loan No. 326). Photo by Martin Natvig. Page 35 COMPARISON OF SOUTHWESTERN TEXTILE TRAITS*TRAITS PUEBLO NAVAJO SPANISH-COLONIALSTYLEDESIGNS bandsbandsbands geometric motifs and terraced motifsserrate motifs pictographic symbols horizontal dominancevertical dominancehorizontal dominanceall-over patterningcenter-oriented patterninglimited patterning selective pictorial motifs and scenes occasional stylized pictorial motifs CONSTRUCTIONTYPE OF LOOMuprightuprightEuropean floor loomstring heddlesstring heddlessuspended harnessesbattenbatten and combswinging beaterhole/slot heddle (Zuni)shuttleFORMAT wider than long wider than longlonger than widelonger than wideWEAVES balanced twill weavestapestry weavetapestry weavebalanced plain weaveweft-faced plain weaveweft-faced plain weaveweft-faced plain weaveweft-faced twill weavesbalanced twill weaves (jerga)Hopi brocade weave (sashes)wedge weaveoblique interlacing (sashes)warp-float weave (belts)warp-float weave (belts)CORNERS loose knots tightly worked knots no special corner treatment augmented tassels Page 36 TRAITS PUEBLO NAVAJO SPANISH-COLONIALCONSTRUCTIONSELVAGES continuous warpcontinuous warpcut and knotted warp endsknotted warp ends rare (except Zuni)knotted warp ends raremultiple side warps 3-strand twining with 2-ply cords on 2-strand twining with 3-ply cordsno twining ends and sides (most common) on ends and sides (most common)DETAILS no lazy lines (Hopi)lazy lines (common) no lazy linessome lazy lines (Zuni)AVERAGE WARP/ WEFT COUNT5-8/20-35 7-12/25-60 5-7/25-35MATERIALSFIBERS handspun cottonwoolwoolcommercial cotton stringcommercial cotton string (warp)cotton (less common)woolhandspun cotton (rare)linen (rare)YARNS handspunhandspun (spindle) handspun (spindle and/or commercialcommercial spinning wheel) raveledraveled (common)commercialraveled (rare)DYESDYESTUFFS native, natural,native, natural,native, natural,anilineanilineanilineCHARACTERISTIC COLORS white, black, blue, and brown, predominate with red, green accents widely varied black, brown, blue, and white common; pastels (pinks, purples, oranges) *Note: only the predominant types of traits and tendencies during the latter half of the nineteenth century are summarized here.
Pieces selected for close examination were chosen because they were accompanied by documentary evidence of their cultural origins or subsequent ownership. Over the next decade, data from this early work were extended through the analysis of other textiles and through further archival work. In the early 1980s, the identification of a series of significant dyes was accomplished with the aid of Dr. David Wenger, then associated with the Univerity of Colorado Medical School in Denver. The following four sections detail the major thrusts of Wheat's data-gathering process: the review of collection records, the description of the textiles, ethnohistorical research, and the identification of dyes.