As Mason says: "The
word 'bayeta' is nothing but the simple Spanish for the English 'baize'
and is spelled 'bayeta' and not 'ballets' or 'valets.'" Formerly
bayeta was a regular article of commerce. It was generally sold by the rod
and not by the pound. Now, however, the duty is so high that its
importation is practically prohibited.
This bayeta or baize was unravelled and the Indian woman often retwisted
the warp to make it firmer. She then rewove it into her incomparable
From the earliest days the Navahos have been expert dyers, their colors
being black, brick-red, russet, blue, yellow, and a greenish yellow akin to
an old gold shade.
There is abundant evidence that they formerly had a blue dye, but indigo,
originally introduced probably by the Mexicans, has superceded this. If in
former days they had a native blue or yellow they must of necessity have
had a green. They now make green of their native yellow and indigo, the
latter being the only imported dye stuff in use among them.
To make the black dye three ingredients were used: yellow ochre, pinion gum
and the leaves and twigs of the aromatic sumac (thus aromatics). The ochre
is pulverized and roasted until it becomes a light brown, when it is
removed from the fire and mixed with an equal quantity of pinion gum.