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Sew and So

Anna Billy - Cedar Bark Baskets - Gibsons Landing Fibre Festival 2001

As part of the Gibsons Landing Fibre Festival, held during the week of August 13 – 19, 2001, Anna Billy taught a class in traditional cedar bark weaving. Workshop participants learned how to weave a cedar bark basket using plaiting and twining techniques of the centuries-old Coast Salish tradition.

The bark was harvested for these baskets in the early spring. If done properly, the bark removal doesn’t harm the cedar trees, making this a tree-friendly fibre craft.

Cedar Rose
made by Anna Billy
cedar bark rose

Weaving with Cedar Bark Class

cedar bark weaving

cedar bark baskets

The cedar bark is soaked in water until it is soft. The cedar strips are woven and then held in place by twining with narrow strips of rafia or cedar bark.

cedar bark basket

Cedar Bark Basket

Cedar Bark Basket

The edge of the basket is finished by folding the bark over. It can be folded inside the basket or folded outside to create a decorative edge. The cedar bark can also be torn into narrow strips to create a fringe.

More About Cedar Bark:

Cedar Bark Traditional Gathering Methods

An article from the U’Mista News describes the method for gathering cedar bark.

Julie Joseph

Julie Joseph is a member of the Ditidaht band and has been weaving with cedar bark for over 30 years.

Lisa Tilford
Haida basket weaver, Lisa Tilford, explains how she harvests cedar bark for spinning and weaving baskets.

Basketry Books
Harvesting Cedar Bark: From Windfall And Salvage For Basketry
Pine Needle Basketry: From Forest Floor to Finished Project
Earth Basketry

The Chilkat Blanket
Chilkat blanket weaving originated with the Tsimshian people and spread to the Tlingit. Wool from goats was blended with cedar bark and dyed with lichen (wolf moss) for yellow, urine and hemlock bark for brown and copper and urine for blue/green.

Cedar Bark Dyes
I dyed some wool with cedar bark. Here’s how.

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This page last edited on April 12, 2017

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