Challenge Team Abstract

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    Team Number: 055

    School Name: Gallup High (Formerly Navajo Prep)

    Area of Science: Chemistry

    Project Title: Dibe bighhaahaidiigil naainish

Final Report

There are many types of wool(dibe bighaa)all over the world (nahasdzaan)and it is a major industry. Some types of wool are capable of accepting different types of dyes better than other types of wool. Some wools require several dye cycles to hold their color.

In my project I will be studying wool from a mixed breed of Navajo sheep that is raised on the reservation today, the Navajo Concour Sheep, Suffolk sheep, Angora goat (Mohair), and llama. I will be trying to determine which type of wool will take our Traditional (herbal) dye best. I will be repeating these tests using commercial dye. Each sample will be woven by my gradnmother, washed many times, and exposed to direct sunlight.

I am trying to determine what type of sheep wool can retain the dye so that the traditional beautiful rugs that our people make can last a lot longer. The results of my project might be used in many industries across the world. This way people can make a choice about which specific breed of animal to raise and can use the wool in many clothing items and rugs.

I predict that the breed that was first introduced to us by the Spanish will be the best because it has been used in our traditional rugs since the 1700's: the herbal dyes that that were used for wool in weaving rugs so many hundreds of years ago still exhibit strong color. You can still see the patterns the weaver used so many years ago.

I want to take an anyalysis of the wool and see if I can create a mathematical model that would predict accurately which wool would accept dyes better.

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