Early in the 20th century, cowboys discovered that there was no finer saddle blanket than a Navajo weaving. The wool protected the horse and lasted for a long time. Some saddle blankets, called “Fancy Saddles” were made with bright colored edges and fringes. Most were simply striped patterns. A single saddle was around 30” x 30” while a double saddle was 30” x 60” and, as the name indicates, was doubled over to create a thicker padding.
Quality weavers discovered over the years that by weaving the same size rug, but putting a pattern in it, they could make extra money. People bought these weaving for floor rugs and they wore as well on the floor as they did on a horse.
Today, there are very few actual saddle blankets
woven. (But, my sister, Antonia Clark still uses them!) You can’t buy a better