Blanket

Hudson's Bay Company

Established 1670

In 1670 the ‘Company of Adventurers of England Trading into Hudson’s Bay’ was incorporated with a royal charter from King Charles II. Dating back to the 18th century, Hudson’s Bay point blankets were traded by the Hudson’s Bay Company to First Nations and Native Americans in exchange for beaver pelts, buffalo robes, pemmican, moccasins, and other trade goods. Wool blankets were desired because of wool’s ability to hold heat even when wet, and because they were easier to sew than bison or deer skins. The Hudson’s Bay point blanket might be the oldest and most identifiable Canadian tradition.

The classic design of this European blanket features a green stripe, red stripe, yellow stripe and indigo stripe on a white background. The short black lines on the blanket are referred to as ‘points’. Blankets were shrunk as part of the manufacturing process and this point system rates the warmth and size of the blanket. Since the start of the trade these point blankets have been produced in England. Since the end of the 19th century, as England’s only remaining wide width blanket mill, Hainsworth has been the exclusive manufacturer of these famous blankets for generations. It doesn’t get more iconic than this.

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© Hudson’s Bay Company, Toronto, Canada

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