A Ganado rug always has a red background. For this reason, it is sometimes called, “Ganado Red.” Typically, the black, white, and grey design is based on a central diamond or two. The edges of this central shape are embellished with geometric flourishes. Serrates (stair-steeped diamond patterns), crosses, zigzags, and simple geometric shapes decorate the corner spaces outside the central design. A Ganado rug usually has a dark border.
Trader John Hubbell popularized Ganado style rugs, promoting them by catalogue to households in eastern states. They are named for the little town of Ganado where in 1871; Hubbell founded a small trading post, which still operates today as Hubbell Trading Post National Historic Site. Ganado was named for a very important Navajo leaser whom the Spanish called Ganado Mucho, or “Many Cattle.” Because of its long history and wide distribution, many people consider Ganado a “classic” Navajo rug style.