Techniques for Navajo Weaving started as a way to continue instruction when one of her students was not able to attend school. Mardel put heavy emphasis on step by step visual examples for a student to use. This also made a difference in the classroom as Navajos are more at ease with visual prompts rather than written explanation.
Mardel started the weaving classes at Fort Wingate, after being hired to teach European art forms. She considered the program to be a success when one of the student’s mother’s commented that Mardel taught weaving like a weaver not like a teacher.
The weaving classes were expanded to include using natural dyes and carding and spinning. Techniques of Navajo Weaving includes a list of natural dye plants and hints on spinning.
Techniques of Navajo Weaving has 81 illustrations and a bibliography of over 100 publications. Traditional weaves are drawn as patterns to follow. Mardel included seven illustrations of her contemporary wall hangings, which use Navajo techniques.
Mardel generously enclosed her recipe for Navajo Fry Bread, which originally came from one of the women attending the rug auction held monthly at Crownpoint, N.M.
Techniques of Navajo Weaving retails for $26.00 + $4.50 shipping and can be ordered by mailing a check to 8811 West 66th Terrace, Merriam, KS 66202.