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Whatchamacallit 18: Navajo Plant Dye Chart

Navajo Dye Chart

Back in 2013 I vacation in southwestern Colorado and northwestern New Mexico – I blogged about some of my excellent adventures there, including the incredible Ute Mountain Tribal Park.

Looking through my blog, I never mentioned what I bought on the trip: Navajo things, including this amazing Navajo Plant Dye Chart.

At some point in my childhood my Mom found a quite large version of this dye chart at a thrift store. It was hung at the top of the stairs in my childhood home, so it was something I saw every single time I went down the stairs. Naturally it left a big impression and I wanted one.

Her chart was much bigger than mine. Where mine has ten plants, I would guess, off the top of my head, that hers had 26 or so, laid out in the same principle. You have the parts of the plant that you use to dye the wool, then yarn from that plant going to a part of a weaving in progress.

It’s fascinating to see how the color of the plant part can vary so far from the yarn that comes out of it.

I keep this dye chart in my hallway, right behind the front door – the goal is to isolate it to the extent possible from sunlight – I do not want the plant parts to fade, even as the yarns stay true.


During the Covid-19 crisis, I am going to try and make a point of writing a blog post about an object in my home.

We’ll see how long this lasts.



This post first appeared on TQE | That Queer Expatriate, please read the originial post: here

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Whatchamacallit 18: Navajo Plant Dye Chart

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