Early Navajo textiles were banded, meaning that the designs were limited to horizontal linear sections extending across the weaving without breaks. These weavings were predominately natural sheep wool colors. Over time, designs appeared within the bands and ultimately broke through the bands in mid to late 1800s pieces.
During the 1920's and 30's, a few traders began to search for new forms and designs for the Navajo textile industry. A Boston philanthropist by the name of Mary Cabot Wheelwright (as in the Wheelwright Museum in Santa Fe) worked with a Trader in Chinle named Cozy McSparron to create what they felt was a traditional banded pattern. With the help of a company in the eastern US, built "native" vegetal dyes for use in these revival weavings.
The Chinle regional style incorporates these two ideas in a simple horizontal banded pattern using (mostly) local plant dyes. Whether or not these dyes were actually used by the Navajo in pre-Euro American times is debatable. However, a new style of Navajo weaving was born.
Sallie and Bill Lippencott, newlyweds who met in 1936 at the Anthropology Department at the University of Chicago, moved to Chinle where Bill was a Ranger at Canyon de Chelly. A natural friendship arose between the Lippencotts and McSparrons which eventually led to the Lippencotts purchasing a trading post south of Ganado in the Wide Ruins area.
Having been inspired by McSparrons vegetal weavings, the Lippencotts encouraged the weavers in Wide Ruins area to imitate this novel style. Early Wide Ruins blankets and rugs are very. much in the Chinle style in their simplicity. Over time, the Wide Ruins weavers began to spin their yarns finer, resulting in the more complicated banded patterns we see today as the Wide Ruins regional style.