Posted on March 18, 2013
A new student of Chilkat asked me a very good question: does it matter if we spin our Chilkat warp with yellow or red cedar bark strips? Is there a significant difference?
Yes, it does matter if we use yellow or red. However, the option is up to the weaver. And sometimes a spinner/weaver does not have a choice because of availability.
Yellow cedar is more pliable and supple than red. The yellow cedar and wool spin up smoothly for Chilkat warp. Some of us will use the red IF we do not have yellow available. The red does not split as evenly or smoothly as yellow. Warp with red cedar is a bit more stiff than warp with yellow (of course too this depends on the wool/bark ratio).
You will notice red cedar used in the old Chilkat robes. These robes have a bit more “body” than those robes woven with yellow cedar warp. Like I mentioned, the preference is up to the spinner/weaver, and the whether or not the spinner/weaver has a choice in the availability of red or yellow cedar.