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Hudson's Bay Multi Wool 4 Point Blanket

Updated on September 25, 2014

Hudson's Bay Blanket - Traditional Style

I love the Hudson's Bay Multi Wool 4 Point Blankets with their strong colors like bright bands against snow. They are a colorful reminder of the history of the people who braved the extreme conditions to live and work in the area of Hudson's Bay and beyond. These blankets were traded with the Indian tribes in exchange for pelts, buffalo robes, moccasins and other goods.

HBC Point Blankets were usually produced with green, red, yellow and indigo stripes on white as shown here. These four stripe colors were popular and easily produced using good colorfast dyes.

Point blankets were also made into hooded coats called capotes and worn by both natives and French Canadian voyageurs as protection against Canada's cold winters.

The blankets still remain popular today and are a favorite with collectors.

Capote Coat

How To 'Read' A Blanket

In the point system, the points are represented by small lines stitched into the blanket. This sytem was used to show the size of the blanket, so anyone who could 'read' the points knew exactly how to tell the size of the blanket without unfolding or measuring it.

The standard measurements for a pair of 1 point blankets was 2 ft. 8 inches wide by 8 ft. in length. Points ranged from 1 to 6, increasing by halves depending upon the size and weight of the blanket. The number of points represents the overall finished size of the blanket.

So the formula is: three and a half-, four, six, and eight-point sizes are equal to twin, double, queen, and king-sized beds in that order.

This picture from Wikipedia shows how a blanket could be made into a capote garment. Before the days of high-tech insulated nylon this was one way to stay alive in the extreme northern winter.

Capote Coat In An Early Scene

Source

Hudson's Bay 4 Point Blanket Features

There are many variations of the Hudson's Bay Point Blanket and they come in different sizes - twin/full, queen and king.

  • Featured here - 4 point 72x90 inch blanket
  • 100% wool
  • Loomed in England from wool grown in England, Australia and New Zealand
  • Water resistant, soft, warm wool
  • Wool dyed before spinning to enhance the colors
  • Bears label showing seal of quality

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