Southwest blankets

The southwestern style is very unique and at the same time it's easily recognizable. Known for its use of color, geometric shapes, and often times images of animals, the southwestern style has been popular across the United States for decades. The general public loves to purchase hand crafted items made by Native Americans and southwest blankets are no exception. They will fill a home with warmth and possibly have a story to tell.

Traditionally Navajo and other southwest Indian blankets were made from cotton. In the late 19th century the Spanish brought sheep to the southwest. Since then wool was prominently preferred over the cotton. Chief blankets are probably the most popular of the southwest blankets. However, contrary to their name they could be worn by any member of the tribe. The members of the tribe would wrap these blankets around them. Therefore, they were made wider than they were long. The designs for the Chief's blanket were originally just stripes. Eventually diamonds were added to the stripes in the later years.

Another type of blanket that carries the southwestern style is the Serape blanket. This blanket was woven by the Navajo Indians from about the 1830s to the 1870s. Unlike the Chief's blanket, the Serape blanket was long rather than wide. The designs also consist of a combination of diamonds, stripes and zig zags.

The Eye Dazzler blanket was a combination of two things. It resulted from the Navajo being exposed to the Mexicans and their beautiful Mexican blankets. Also, synthetic dyes made their way to the southwest making it possible to add more color to their blankets. The more elaborate designs did catch the eye of any people and quickly became popular throughout the United States. Southwest blankets are full of history, vibrancy, and color. While there are slight variations between cultures, the southwest style beautifully combines the style of Native Americans with those from Mexico.

American Indian Topics

Native American Indians

American Indian Art

Southwestern Resources

Indians Misc.

American Indians