Navajo Rug Purses... Truly Wearable Art

Merging the worlds of fashion, art, and history, our Navajo Rug Purses truly are pieces of wearable art. The process of creating these beautiful handbags, clutches, wallets, and weekender bags is one that combines the talents of artists living a century apart, to ultimately bring our customers a durable, handmade piece of the Southwest that can be used every day.

It was a longtime dream of owners Dan and Tricia Garland, who opened Garland’s Navajo Rugs in 1976, to give new life to the sometimes tattered antique weavings they would come across. “Creating a one-of-a-kind purse from a beautiful Navajo rug that is simply beyond repair allows us to honor the art of a weaver who lived a century ago,” explained Tricia.

With the knowledge of the months (sometimes years!) of hard work that goes into producing a single Navajo rug, Dan and Tricia knew that there had to be a way to preserve these extraordinary works of art and make something new from these stunning antique weavings.

We’ve teamed up with three independent artists from Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Phoenix to create an affordable line of unique, handmade Navajo Rug Purses with varied sizes and styles to meet every taste. Each bag or wallet is handcrafted from genuine leather and features an authentic Navajo weaving that dates back to around the 1920s. These beautiful handbags oftentimes feature bone beads, vintage silver conchas, fringe accents, mercury dimes or nickels, and even old half dollars to add to their old-meets-new, vintage aesthetic.

Taking the idea a step further, our sister store Garland’s Navajo Rugs is weaving new life into old textiles by featuring handmade accent pillows made from Navajo rugs. From oversized to smaller throw pillows, they have a stylish selection of colors and patterns to add just the right amount of authentic Southwestern style to your interiors.

Visit us in-store or shop our selection of Navajo Rug Purses and Navajo Rug Pillows online.





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The Story of the Paralyzed Kachina and the Blind Mudhead

The Hopis have a legend they retell about two Kachina spirits – Tuhavi (Paralyzed Kachina) and the Koyemsi (Blind Mudhead). Many years ago the tribe had to move from where they lived, either because of drought or warfare. With no horses, they were forced to travel on foot. Two members could not make the journey. 

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Navajo Rugs

All of our rugs are woven by Navajo weavers, most of whom live traditionally on the Navajo Reservation which is located in Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah. This is the largest American Indian Reservation in the country, some 16 million acres with over 400,000 Navajos. From the inception of weaving by the Navajos around 1700, weaving has provided an important economic benefit to the tribe and a fine outlet for their artistic talents. Their rugs are made in the weaver's home or hogan on vertical looms using the same methods they have used for the past three hundred years. 

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Common Hopi Kachinas and their Meanings

Central to Hopi religion, Kachinas are supernatural beings believed to live on the San Francisco Peaks near Flagstaff, Arizona. Hopi men embody the Kachina spirits during ceremonies that take place between Winter Solstice and mid-July. The Hopis believe these spirits enable them to live in harmony with nature, ensuring rain, crops, fertility, and good hunting.

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Sizing

Although the best way to test the size and fit of a piece of jewelry is to try it on in the store, we know that is not always an option. In an effort to help you choose the piece that is right for you, we have included measurements of each piece on the website. Here is how our measurements are defined:

Bracelets

Finding the right size bracelet for your wrist has always been a tricky endeavor, since, unlike rings, there isn't a standardized, universal sizing chart for wrist size. One reason for this is that we all have different shaped wrists, some of us have round wrists, while others have more oval. Bracelets, like wrists, also have different shapes.

So, while bracelet sizing will never be an exact science, we've done what we can to ensure the greatest chance of a comfortable fit. The best thing you can do if you don't know your wrist size is to take a soft measuring tape and loosely measure the circumference of your wrist at the point you plan on wearing it. Try not to have the measuring tape dig into your skin, as this will result in a smaller than ideal size. Once you have the circumference of your wrist, compare it to the chart below to find the correct bracelet size. If your wrist measures in-between two sizes, we recommend rounding up to the larger size. (ie: if your wrist measures 6.375"- you should shop for size "Medium" bracelets.

 Wrist Circumference

Corresponding Bracelet Size

5.5"

XX-Small

5.75"

Extra-Small

6"

Small

6.25"

Small-Medium

6.5"

Medium

6.75" - 7"

Medium-Large

7.25"

Large

7.5"

Extra-Large

7.75"

XX-Large

8"

XXX-Large

 

You may want to drill down further on the bracelet sizing to make sure the cuff is a comfortable fit. You will notice on our website that we generally list four measurements for bracelets:

Keep in mind that certain bracelets can be adjusted slightly to fit your wrist, but those with inlay or stones all the way around will be damaged if bent. In any case, it is always best to check with with us to see if a particular bracelet is adjustable, and always have a professional jewelry perform the adjustment.

Lastly, have no fear! If you order a bracelet that doesn't fit, send it back for one that does! We want this to be a positive experience, you should never wear something that isn't 100% comfortable. More on our return policy here.

Buckles

Sizing belt buckles is pretty straightforward. The height and width are self-explanatory, and the belt width describes the maximum belt width the buckle will fit on.

Concha Belts

We try to include the height and width for the conchas, as well as the buckle (if different), and the width of the belt they are on. The length of the concha belts is less important, because these belts are often made quite long to accommodate many waist sizes, and then can be shortened to fit the wearer. If you are concerned whether or not a belt will fit you, just ask.