HBC Blankets – Points for Creativity

Written by on 17th October 2012 in Blog POSTS, Design & History with 2 Comments

The iconic HBC blanket is popping up for me lately. It must be the cooler weather.  I saw one at local decor store Trade Roots recently and thought about some cool ways you could use a piece like this…but not as a blanket…No toooo itchy for me!  I wondered if it might be breaking some rule among historians to even consider re-purposing a vintage bay blanket like this;  But the truth is that the blanket’s original purpose was to be re-imagined into something else. So I think I’m good.

The blankets were sold in exchange for furs and their primary use was in the creation of outerwear (coats).  The blankets were a popular alternative to garments made from bulky Buffalo skins or those of smaller animals and were sold according to their size which was measured in points.  So, if you’re shopping for one today and it is referred to as having points that means it should have a corresponding number of  lines or  ‘points’ woven into the side of the blanket. The Points ranged form 1 to 6 and represented the finished size of the blanket without having to unfold the whole thing and measure or weigh it. I guess fur traders had no time for additional folding. Smart though!

There are plenty of new blankets in the marketplace and many oldies but goodies to be found in vintage stores, on Etsy and Ebay.  Of course the Bay still sells their original blankets and accessories too…and while none of these are from the Fur Trade they are still cool and Canuck nonetheless.

Think about using your Bay blanket for something other than a blanket…you might get more use out of it!

I Loved this Headboard upholstered in a wool blanket from Apartment Therapy.

Notice the lines on the side. This one is a six point (the largest size). Nice touch!

This is a cool room and HBC inspired chair, from Design Sponge

Who doesn’t love a pillow from Etsy?

And for those brave enough, make blanket pillows. very cool! From Etsy

or, how about an ottoman?

Contact me if you need help re-purposing a wool blanket. I’d love to help!

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This Article has 2 Comments

  1. These are so great, and your background info. is really helpful. I would love to call a point blanket my own… and I’m pretty sure I would be afraid to make a cut in it, so for pillows and things, I’ll stick with Etsy and the others!

  2. Angela says:

    My 6 point Hudson’s Bay blanket is one of my prized possessions so I would never dare repurpose it. However, if funds were unlimited I would definitely opt for the headboard! It is gorgeous!

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