Clarissa Rizal: Alaska Native Artist Blog

Accentuating Tlingit Traditions

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Chilkat Tricks-of-theTrade: “Fast-Black Weavers”

April 1st, 2013 by Clarissa

 

Above shows the texture of a “Fast-black” weave over three warp ends instead of two or four

Jennie Thlunaut would often use 4-ply yarn to weave just the yellow and black borders of her Chilkat robes.  This enabled the weaving of the borders to be completed in half the amount of time when using the standard 2-ply yarn.  However, I do not like the thickness of the weave, yet I wanted the weaving of the borders to go a bit quicker.  So I “invented” (or at least thought that I invented) what I came to find out is called the “fast-black” weavers.

In the black border of the Chilkat robe, nstead of weaving over every two warp ends, I weave over 3 warp ends.

Years ago when I completed my first Chilkat robe for her uncle, my friend (and weaving student), Donna C., noticed that my black border had a different-looking texture to it.  So being the inquisitive and fine weaver that she is, she carefully took a look at my weave and exclaimed “Hey, you are one of those fast-black weavers…I’ve seen this kind of technique in some of the old robes from our area and other places…!”

Really?  I thought to myself,…and chucks, I thought I was doing something unique!  Ha, I am reminded once again “there is nothing new under the sun”  —   if it has been thought of, it has been done!

 

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