Dating point blankets
It’s these points that identify the size, weight, and of course the value, of the blanket. Points ranged from 1 to 6, increasing by halves depending upon the size and weight of the blanket.
(Not it’s value in terms of beaver pelts, as is sometimes believed) These could be “read” without unfolding and measuring the entire blanket. From the Hudson’s Bay Company website: Each blanket was graded as to weight and size using a point system. The number of points represented the overall finished size of the blanket.
Far from being just practical household items, blankets had an established wider religious and cultural significance in this part of the World.
Later, point blankets became named items in the treaty agreements made between Native peoples and the American and Canadian governments when the Northwest Territories were formed in 1870.
Because they were easier to sew than bison or deer skins, Point blankets were made into hooded coats (called capotes) by both Native Americans and French Canadian voyagers and were perfectly suited to the cold Canadian winters.
In the early days, all blankets were made of wool, which provided warmth and was resistant to fire.Typically, the wool blankets were traded with Native Americans for pelts; arctic fox, lynx and most importantly beaver.The beaver pelts were shipped to Europe to meet the demand for beaver fur top hats.Even Jamie has a toggle sweater from a few months ago.Although woven in a handful of background/stripe colors, the “favored” look of Hudson’s Bay Point blankets are the ones produced with stripes of green, red, yellow, and indigo on a creamy white background.