How to Spot Fake Navajo Rugs

navajo carpet

There’s nothing more frustrating in today’s marketplace than spending good money only to find out later you’re a victim of buying fake Navajo rugs. To make matters worse, depending on the merchant, getting any type of refund can be a challenge at best.

Navajo rugs are a high demand textile, hand-woven, and come with a robust price. However, commercial storefront consumers and online buyers beware. For it’s not unheard of to find vendors who incorporate the term “Navajo” into their products for better marketing. In the end, they’re nothing but fake Navajo rugs.

Knowing how to spot fake Navajo rugs can avoid overpaying for knockoff textiles. While it’s always best to inspect them in person, buying online isn’t always that easy. Keep reading to discover more.

3 Tips For Spotting a Fake Navajo Rug

Below are three authentic Navajo weaving tips to avoid buying imitation textiles:

Tip #1: Check the Selvage Lines

handmade rugThe selvage lines run consistently along the edges of the Navajo rug. It should contain two or more twisting threads that interlace along the sides of the fabric. These lines aid the Navajo weaver in keeping a straight line with a clean, finished appearance. Although selvage lines can be easily identified in person, online images require closer inspection.

Tip # 2: Check the Lazy Lines

A quick way to identify fake Navajo rugs is to check the authenticity of the lazy lines on the piece. This is a good way to tell if it’s genuine or not. Lazy lines can be seen as diagonal lines used by Navajo weavers in the weave of the material occurring when the weaver makes a subtle adjustment. Identifying them in photos is almost impossible.

Tip #3: Check the Warp

To quickly identify fake Navajo rugs, checking the warp is one of the best ways to authenticate the piece. A warp string is a key component to Navajo weaving and runs vertically as it is the foundation of the rug. Genuine Navajo weavers use a continuous loom; therefore, if the warp string is cut or hidden, it’s a fake.

Other Indicators For Fake Navajo Rugs

handmade craft priceWhile certain indicators such as selvage lines, continuous warp, and lazy lines are legitimate tools for authenticating fake Navajo rugs, avoid pieces that cost under $200. This is usually a tell-tale sign of an imitation because Navajo weavers don’t use cheap synthetic fibers or make them with a fringe.

It is also important to verify any Mexican-made copies because they are clever crooks. They hide the cut warp threads, making it difficult for novice buyers to identify fake Navajo rugs. Additionally, ridge and fringe lines that run along the edge of Navajo rugs are a clear indicator of a fake Navajo weaving.

Where to Buy Real Navajo Rugs?

The best place to buy real Navajo rugs while avoiding a cheap knock-off is to go with a certified Navajo weaver. Authentic Navajo weavers from Native America are always the consumers best option for high-quality Navajo rugs. Be smart, avoid buying fake Navajo rugs by conducting research on the business.