Rugs: North American Rugs - Navajo rugs, American Indian rugs and native American rugs
North American is the name given to flat weave rugs and blankets woven by Native Americans in the Central Western areas of the US, mainly in Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, and Colorado. These rugs are better known as Navajo rugs.
The weaving of Navajo rugs is the continuation of a long tradition of excellent craftsmanship that dates back nearly three centuries.
It is believed the Navajos learned the craft from the Pueblo Indians around 1700, as early examples of Navajo weaving show the close parallels between the two groups. The principal difference between Navajo and Pueblo weaving is that the Navajos used wool, while the Pueblos used cotton.
In the mid 1800s, the Navajos started using dye sources and yarns from the Europeans, especially the Germans and Spanish. Along with dyes and commercial yarn, the Europeans brought designs that could be incorporated into the flat weaves of the Navajos. These were usually Oriental patterns, which the Europeans apparently couldn't get enough of.
From the Navajo's own designs, the most famous examples were the 'Chief Blankets', which were worn on the shoulders of the tribe's chief. These items were extremely popular with the other Plain's Indians.
Navajo weaving changed radically in the last twenty years of the 19th century. Commercial ready-to-use yarns were available in a variety of colors, and by 1890 the Navajo Indians were weaving mainly for the trading posts and white tourists.
The traders were a great influence on the weavers, and the requests for pillow covers and bed covers to decorate white homes resulted in a proliferation of quickly woven, inferior pieces.
By 1890, after many years of blankets and bed coverings, white settlers were demanding covering for the floor. The Navajo rugs were born as the Indians were quick to oblige.
The Indians were now weaving less of their traditional simple and abstract geometric designs and more American pictorials designs including patriotic patterns and railroad scenes and houses. The traditional rugs are virtually lost and very rare today and designers seem todesire their 'Aztec' look for modern settings.
There are a few settlements that might still be weaving Navajo rugs, but much like all the other aspects of the Indians' culture, the Navajo rug is but a faint memory to them.
The material you choose for your cookware can make a very big difference. Every material conducts heat differently. The rate at which a material conducts heat not only determines how long it will take to cook your food, but also how the food will actually taste. Our current selection of cookware offers you options such as the basic stainless steel cookware alternatives that are great for the budget, to more premium materials such as aluminum and copper cookware. These premium materials will not only enrich the flavor of your food and save you time preparing your meals, but they're also a stylish and elegant addition to your kitchen decor!
Aluminum : Aluminum is the best heat conductor next to copper. It is widely used in cookware because of its advantages of great conductivity, lower cost and great strength. Aluminum is a lightweight metal with very good thermal conductance and resistance to rust and many forms of corrosion. It can, however, react with some acidic foods, changing the taste. Sauces containing egg yolks or some vegetables may cause oxidation of non-anodized aluminum cookware. Aluminum is generally used as a core heat conductor and is covered with a stainless steel or an anodized coating to protect the food.
Cast Iron Cookware : The major advantage of cast iron is its capability to retain and evenly distribute heat. This cookware material is excellent for browning, frying and baking various foods. Another beauty of cast iron cookware is it can be used on top of the stove and in the oven. Similar to other cookware materials, cast iron also reacts with foods and can absorb the flavors of what was cooked in it unless the cookware is seasoned. Usually raw cast iron pans are seasoned before they are first used. Another type of cast iron is enameled cast iron cookware. Enameled cast iron has a hard porcelain enamel coating that provides a permanent finish to prevent the cast iron from reacting with food. It also comes in many colors and doesn't require seasoning.
Ceramic : Glazed ceramics, such as porcelain, provide a nonstick cooking surface. Unglazed ceramics, such as terra cotta, have a porous surface that can hold water or other liquids during the cooking process, adding moisture in the form of steam to the food. Particular care must be taken when cooking in unglazed ceramic cookware to ensure that the clay does not contain lead. Used as stovetop cookware or bake ware, these surfaces are fairly resistant to sticking from food. Their operable temperature range may not be as high as metals and their heating properties vary. Ceramic cookware can be relatively inexpensive and is very easy to maintain. They are generally neutral and do not react to foods in a way that might alter the flavor. They may, however, be prone to breakage. Most ceramic cookware can be used in both regular and microwave ovens. This offers greater flexibility as metal pans should not be used in a microwave oven.
Copper : Copper is the best conductor of heat, especially for top-of-range cooking where the food must be cooked at precisely controlled temperatures. Copper cookware has about ten times the heat conductivity of stainless steel and glass and twice that of aluminum. It transmits heat evenly with great response, this makes it best for such high-heat, fast-cooking techniques such as sauteing and frying. Copper cookware, however, tends to react with foods. To prevent this most copper pans are lined with tin or stainless steel. A majority of copper pans today are lined with stainless steel rather than tin because it will last much longer. Copper cookware should not be placed in the dishwasher nor left to air dry as this causes spotting and they will have to be polished more frequently.
Glass : Used as stovetop cookware or bake ware, glass surfaces are fairly resistant to sticking from food. Their operable temperature range may not be as high as metals and their heating properties vary but they can be relatively inexpensive and very easy to maintain. They are neutral and do not react to foods in a way that might alter the flavor. They may, however, be prone to breakage. Most glass cookware can be used in both regular and microwave ovens offering greater flexibility to the cooker. Some are even made to be used for stovetops but care must be taken to prevent them from directly coming in contact with electric elements or with excessive heat by using a metal trivet or diffuser. Glass may conduct heat well but it does not distribute evenly. The advantages are that it works well for most oven cooking, it does not react with acidic foods, all foods can be safely stored in it and there are no adverse health effects from cooking in it.
Hard Anodized Aluminum : Anodizing is one of the oldest and most reliable ways of protecting aluminum. It is anodized for corrosion resistance, abrasion resistance, and stick-resistance and esthetic reasons. This special coating has been added to the aluminum to help make it reduce the effects that regular aluminum cookware might have on certain foods. It is a good choice of material for most any type of cooking. Pots and pans made from anodized aluminum are not dishwasher safe and can be dark in color making it hard to see slight color changes in the food being cooked. Also, when washing by hand, it's generally advised not to use corrosive detergents or scrubbing tools as that will likely damage the anodized finish. Anodized aluminum has had the naturally occurring layer of aluminum oxide thickened by an electrolytic process to create a surface that is hard and non-reactive. It is used for saute pans, stockpots, roasters, and Dutch ovens.
Non Stick : The advantages of nonstick cookware include ease of cleaning and when cooking the food requires less fat. These surfaces are excellent for frying or grilling foods. Modern metal cookware is frequently coated with a nonstick substance in order to reduce the possibility of food sticking to the pan surface. Nonstick pans should not be used at high temperatures though. The result is less food being burnt. In order to preserve the nonstick coating on a pan, it is important to never use metal implements in the pan while cooking nor use harsh scouring pads or chemical abrasives when cleaning. The fundamental thing to realize is that these nonstick surfaces are coatings. They have little influence over the cooking efficiency of the material. While these surfaces are very durable, they are subject to wear and tear.
Stainless Steel : Stainless steel cookware is easy to care for, exceptionally durable and light, it won't corrode or tarnish and its nonporous surface is resistant to wear. It also doesn't react with either alkaline or acidic foods. The drawbacks to stainless steel are that it is a poor conductor of heat and does not distribute heat evenly. Quality stainless steel cookware will usually have heavy bottoms with a core of copper or aluminum sandwiched between layers of steel. Stainless steel is an iron alloy containing a minimum of 11.5% chromium. Blends containing 18% chromium with either 8% nickel, called 18/8, or with 10% nickel, called 18/10, are commonly used for kitchen equipment. Stainless steel cookware is very popular because of its moderate price and its versatility.
Clarifying Mens Fashion Quality Details on Mens Ties
To appreciate the details on mens ties allows the recognition and justification of the quality of a well-made tie. Actually there are very few men out there who really know about these details. Craftmanship is the determining factor for any well-made neckties. Systematically, we will go through the details on mens ties starting from the fabric and then to the all the inconspicuous detailing behind the tie.
Whenever we look at a necktie's fabric, we should take special attention to the weight, texture, and feel of the tie's fabrics which is termed as the "hand".
A beautiful fuller hand of the fabric is one of the most important details on mens ties. It is the basis of making mens ties look attractive.
Undeniably, silk or even silk blends are the fabric of choice because of its smooth touch and its luxurious sheen.
It has great matching capability against mens dress shirts and mens suits to bring out the best of the overall look.
Good quality silk ties should always feel smooth to the touch. If there is a rough touch to it would mean it is made from inferior silk.
On the other hand, for woven silk ties with a full hand would involve a thick weave and this is likely to create a slightly coarser texture for the silk. Printed and solid colored ties are likely to have a silkier hand compared to woven ties.
Besides being smooth, good quality silk ties are lithe because stiff silk fabrics are usually signs of multiple dying. This makes the ties less likely to have a nice drape down. It can also begin to fray over time at the ends.
The reason for full hand fabric details on mens ties is to make it strong and firm in order to sustain the tension made when knotting it.
Instead, for those lower quality mens ties with poor hand will start to waver and go out of shape over time.
Fabric with a rich hand will also allow larger knots to be made to fill the gap between the dress shirts' collar points. It holds the knot firmly as well without it sliding down.
Most of the well-made ties are constructed with three pieces of silk fabrics. Let us define the three-pieces of silk: the apron (the wide front piece), the neckband (center portion piece), and lastly, the backpiece (narrow end of the tie).
The three-piece, not two, allows the mens ties to drape nicely and conform to the neck.
Width and Length
Out of all the details of mens ties, the width has made the most significant changes along with trends.
The 1950s we have seen much narrower and thinner ties compared to the thicker and wider neckties in the 1960s.
Classic mens ties generally have a width of about 2 ? to 3 1/2 inches. This width meets in proportion to most the men's body size and shapes and having such a balance is important.
It is good to note that wider mens ties will generally mean a bigger knot when ties. So there would be difficulty tying those thinner knots and vice versa for thin neckties for tying thicker knots.
So choosing the right dress shirts collars for such trendy width neckties is important.
Straight point and tab collars for dress shirts would definitely fit those thinner ties better. Forget about those spread collars because the small knots made by thinner ties would be able to cover up the gap between the collar points.
Generally, we will find ties with length from 52 to 58 inches. As a rule of thumb, mens ties should have length with tips ending at the belt's upper edge. Anything longer than that will definitely make men look short-waisted and clowny.
The right length details of mens ties boils down to the height of the men. For taller men, special length ties are less available commercially but can still be found here.
This is the inside fabric which the outside fabric of the tie is sewn onto. It is not easily noticeable unless you unfold the apron at the back of the tie and look feel within.
The lining details in this era are fundamentally creating the fullness in mens ties compared to traditional ones where they relied on several folds of the silk.
Make sure that lining runs throughout the neckband of the ties, otherwise there will not be consistency in the finishing look of the tie.
The lining details on mens ties are the pillars holding up the shape. Majority of mens ties have the lining made from wool. Lighter and finer silk ties usually have heavier wool lining to give more weighting and body to the tie.
While the thicker or heavy weaved silk ties have lighter lining requirements. In order to judge the weight of the lining, just take note the number of stripes, the more the stripes means heavier the lining.
It is important to differentiate whether it is the heavy silk fabric providing the fullness in hand or was it the lining that made the overall heavy finish.
Quality details on mens ties should always be base on the outer silk fabric giving the fullness and never the lining.
Just a note, there are some summer ties where there are no lining inside. So these mens ties looks a lot skimpier and skinnier than the usual silk ties.
Fabrics details on mens ties have to be cut at a 45-degree angle bias. This bias cut is a quality assurance that keeps the fabric from twisting after tying the knot. The mens tie should always fall straight down flat.
There should not be any case of twisting when the tie is held up, otherwise then it means there is no bias cut being made and definitely not a tie worth buying.
High quality details on mens ties from the outside fabric, lining, and tipping are all involved in the bias cut.
This is a small thread stitched across the back of mens ties to that joins the main seam of the two folded portions. It provides reinforcement for mens ties at this point and maintains the shape of the tie.
There should be 2 bar tacks one on each end of the tie. Check to make sure that the threading is tightly twisted to strengthen the bonding. It should not in any case become loose.
One of the most inconspicuous details on mens ties, the slipstitch is actually a loose long black thread that is sews the shell and blanket of the tie to provide elasticity and recovery.
It is meant to make mens ties movable from one end to the other and not break at the seam.
When tying the tie tightly, the slipstitch allows the tie to drape properly and not break apart.
It also helps the tie to get back in shape upon removal by simply pulling the slipstitch. This unique threading can be found inside the ?V? spread within when opening the apron.
This is the most prominent details on mens ties at the back meant for sliding the back piece of the tie.
Generally most loops are made with the label printed or sewn on it. However, well-made mens ties have an additional loop that is made from the same fabric as the tie.
High quality loops are actually hand-sewn to give is a sturdy finishing. To recognize hand stitched loop we focus on stitching at the four corners of the loop to the shell. Machine sewn ones usually have the loop sewn vertically along the edges of the loop.
The most visible fabric details on mens ties at the opening end of the back apron. This is usually made of fabric with similar patterns to the tie or of a matching shade as the tie.
There are some ties that use interesting contrast for the tipping against the color or pattern of the tie itself as an ornamental presentation.
Good quality mens ties have the tipping made of silk but there are many commercial neckties made with synthetic fabrics.
There are designers that print their label on the silk tipping to represent ownership for the particular silk pattern.
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