Although today "Rio Grande" encompasses the entire weaving tradition of Hispanic New Mexico, we also use it to specifically describe weft-faced striped weavings which are longer than they are wide. This style is really the root of the tradition. It was woven by the Spanish here in New Mexico as early as 400 years ago. Today they sometimes incorporate elements drawn from the Saltillo style within their stripes. Rio Grande Blankets were very important as an export item for this area during the late 1700s and 1800s. By the time New Mexico became a state in 1912, the Rio Grande blanket had diminished as a trade item and Chimayo style blankets become the main product of the weavers in the area.
If you are interested in learning more about the striped Rio Grandes, click here.