Chimayo is quite famous for it’s weaving and there are quite a few shops that specialize in Navajo carpets and blankets located here. The first shop we wandered into had about 4 small looms but no one was working on them so we proceeded onto the next one. We were really lucky to happen upon Chimayo Weavers, and shop owned by Irvin Trujillo who could not have been nicer when we explained that we were on a road trip and wanted to learn about weaving. He took us into the back of his shop where he had an enormous loom. He explained that he built the loom himself and then proceeded to show us how it worked. He explained about the warp and the weft threads and they directions they go and the "shuttle" which holds the spool of the colored thread which he passes through the criss cross of thread on the loom to make his design. I love being creative and doing craft projects, and watching Irvin reminded me of this fun craft project I got as a kid, a weaving kit where you stretched these fabric loops over these prongs in a pattern to make potholders and various other designs.
I loved it until I took my first potholder off the "loom" in it shrunk to about a 3" square, I gave it to my mom to use in the kitchen but she never did because it was too small. Irivn showed us all the small drawing of a carpet design he was working on and explained how he used his math skills using fractions and proportions to weave the carpet to the size that had been ordered. He let the kids each push the shuttle through and help him weave a few rows. The patterns and colors were brilliant, all made with vegetable dyes and the finished carpets that Irvin showed us were gorgeous. I would have loved to buy one but they were very expensive given the time and effort he puts into each one plus I don't know where I'd put it. It wouldn't match the decor in my house. Maybe one day when I can buy my fantasy ranch house in Montana on the banks of the river in Big Sky. If you get a chance to pop in to Irvin's shop, I hope you are as lucky as we were to see and appreciate a true artist at work. It was really fun to see and understand what goes into making these beautiful pieces of art and we are so grateful to Irvin for taking the time to show us his craft. We will never look at another rug the same way again.