Question:

The soundboard of my acoustic guitar has some small lines across the grain and I was wondering if it is something called silking.

 

Answer:

Yes, if your top looks like the picture to the right.

Normally you will see the grain in the wood going up and down but this guitar also has lines going across.

Silking is the term used when you can actually see the medullary characteristic radial sheets or ribbons extending horizontally in the wood which makes the wood surface look like there's silk in it.  They extend like spokes out from the center of a tree to the bark at right angles to the grain of the wood.  They serve two purposes when the tree is growing.  They bind the wood fibers together and they carry nutrients through the tree.

Silking is most prevalent in spruce quarter sawn tops.  Some luthiers consider silking a good trait because it adds stiffness to the wood however lack of silking does not mean the wood is not well quarter sawn.
 

Bob, Gman ( o )==#

 

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