The Navajo, Pueblo and Spanish groups of Southwestern North America all wove textiles in the 19th Century. Pre-historic Pueblo groups wove cotton and yucca fiber objects for their own use hundreds of years before Columbus thought of sailing to the "New World". After the introduction of sheep by the Spanish to the area in the 17th Century, wool quickly became the preferred fiber for textile production for all three groups in the Southwest.
Mid-19th Century Navajo and Pueblo textiles are some of the most iconic and desirable objects for collectors in our field. Beginning at the end of the 19th Century, Anglo-traders from the trading posts became more involved and influential in the weaving, marketing and selling of Navajo textiles. With the traders came the "Navajo Rug" which were being woven with the growing Euro-American market in mind and for direct competition with Oriental carpets which were very popular back east at the turn of the century.