Chilkat weaving is one of the most complex weaving techniques in the world. It is unique in that the artist can create curvilinear and circular forms within the weave itself. A Chilkat blanket can take a year to weave. Traditionally, it incorporates mountain goat wool, dog fur, and yellow cedar bark. Today, they might use sheep wool.
The designs use traditional ovoid, U-form, and S-form elements to create highly stylized but representational clan crests and figures from oral history. These often include animals and especially their facial features. Yellow and black are dominant colors, as is the natural buff color of the undyed wool.
Looms used in Chilkat weaving only have a top frame and vertical supports, with no bottom frame, so the warp threads hang freely. The weaver works in vertical sections, as opposed to moving horizontally from end to end. Consequently, many designs are broken into vertical columns. As with most Northwest Coast art, these columns are bilaterally symmetrical.