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Chilkat Weaving

Part of Northwest Coast Hall.


Women of the Chilkat tribe, a division of the Tlingit people, wove the famous blankets called the Chilkat blankets. The blankets were woven of mountain goat wool. Men hunted the mountain goats, made the wooden frame upon which the blanket was woven, prepared the measuring sticks, and painted the pattern board from which the women copied the design. The women spun and dyed the yarn. The warps were of mountain goat wool with a core of cedarbark fiber, and the wefts were fibers of mountain goat wool. The warps hung loose, an unusual feature of the weaving process. The major segments of the total design were woven separately and the segments sewed together as the weaving progressed. A Chilkat blanket took six months or more to weave.