Vintage Navajo Germantown Pictorial weaving dates back to 1890. The Vintage Navajo weaving measures 76″ x 91″
Germantown Period (1880–1900)
The influx of Germantown three- and four-ply yarn entered the Navajo weaving story in the 1880s. Its brilliant colors, and the Navajo weavers’ thirst for this color, added style to the sedate “Chief’s Patterns.” Germantown yarn gave birth to the “Eye Dazzler.” Brilliant reds, greens, yellows, blues, and more found their way into blankets and wall hangings.
At this same time, aniline dyes were stocked by the trading posts. These chemical dyes gave the weaver a greater variety of colors and were far easier to use.
Until 1890, most weavers created wearing blankets. However, once the Pendleton Woolen Mills introduced their product, this need ended. The Pendleton (still used today) was lighter, warmer, every bit as colorful, and much less expensive. Navajo weaving declined. It probably would have died except that non-Indian people started using Navajo blankets as floor coverings, bedspreads, and wall hangings. This new demand, coupled with pattern changes and a heavier style of weaving (largely instituted by the reservation traders), undoubtedly saved the craft.
The transition was not immediate. Germantown weavings proliferated well into the 20th century, with a definite eye to balance the pattern.