Navajo Dye Chart - Vintage - Framed - Eighteen Plant Samples

Regular price $ 495.00


  • Vintage item

This large, impressive Navajo dye chart displays actual dried samples of eighteen different plants used to make the natural dyes for rug weaving wool. In the center of the chart is a miniature woven rug; there are wool strands trailing outward, each to the plant that creates the color dye for that yarn. The name of each plant is typed neatly on a paper strip beneath the sample. The chart was made sometime in the 1970's.

The second photo shows Isabel Deschinny of Oak Springs, Arizona, displaying two dye charts made by her family that she found in storage; the one she is holding appears to be very much like the one we're offering for purchase. Mrs. Deschinny's mother, Mabel Burnside-Myers, who is now deceased, was the originator of dye charts in the 1950's for students in her weaving classes in Pine Springs, Arizona, so they could see which plants yielded dyes for the colors of yarn they wanted to use. When the students asked for charts they could use for wall décor, Mabel enlisted her family to help. "She started out just making little cards she could carry around to her weaving classes," Mrs. Deschinny recalled. "Then people started asking her to make something they could hang on their walls. We spent hours making those dye charts." ** Another quote, this from an article in the July, 1974 issue of Arizona Highways Magazine: "Mrs. Myers has designed a popular plant and dye display chart which is available through the Navajo Arts and Crafts Enterprise {established in 1941 in Window Rock, AZ} as well as at selected dealers of Navajo crafts."

The framed artwork measure 28 inches wide and 23 inches top to bottom. It weighs a hefty 8 pounds. The 4 inch wide, dark walnut deep set frame is composed of multiple mouldings, with a liner of linen and a narrow walnut fillet. The frame, glass and dye chart are all in excellent condition; the dust paper and the hanging wire were replaced, but there is a small hole in the paper above the wire on the right---the only flaw we could find. It's a beautiful wall decoration, especially for those who love Indian art and lore. Weavers who use natural dyes will appreciate this informative chart, also.

**The photo and quote are from an article in the November 14, 2013 issue of Navajo Times.

THIS WEBSITE has more fascinating information about this prominent Navajo family of weavers. (You'll need to cut and paste this in your browser, but it's worth it!):


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