Navajo Saddle Blankets
Navajo saddle blankets come in a variety of sizes, colors, and thickness. The earliest saddle blankets were created in the 1870s. During the 1890s Navajo Saddle blankets made from Germantown wool became fashionable, and are some of the most intricate eyedazzler's ever executed. They were tightly woven and done in numerous bright colors. Often woven on store bought cotton twine, these did not hold up to the heavy use on a horse and saddle. These are highly collectable especially when in good condition. 1900 to 1930 was the golden era of Navajo Saddle blankets. Many of the most uniquely Navajo pieces were executed during this time. These simple yet elegant navajo rugs are very collectable today especially some of the more simplistic designs. Single Saddle Blankets were roughly 30 inches square, and Double Saddle Blankets were of similar width, but about twice and long and were doubled over when in use to provide extra padding. Early saddle blankets often were woven in simple striped patterns, and double saddle blankets now are sometimes difficult to distinguish from small wearing blankets of the Transitional Period. By the end of the period, saddle blankets frequently had patterns only at the corners or edges since only those parts of the blanket were visible when in use. Double saddle blankets sometimes had a different pattern on each half. Fancy Saddle Blankets, often featuring bright colors, elaborate patterns and fringes, were probably more for show than function. The Navajo typically made twill saddle blankets with two contrasting colors to create a vibrant optical effect.