Hudson Bay Point Blankets

Green, red, yellow and indigo are the four colored stripes we associate with these iconic Hudson Bay point blankets.  But did you ever wonder about their origin?  These blankets were traded to First Nations and Native Americans living in what is now Canada as far back as 1779, often in exchange for things like beaver pelts, buffalo robes, and moccasins.  To prevent having to unfold or measure the blankets, a clever point system was created by stitching in small indigo lines to denote their size and weight. A century later these point blankets were used by French Canadian voyageurs to make hooded coats called capotes. Doesn’t that make you want one even more? I, for one, desperately need that canoe in my life! WTF.

(Hudson Bay Point Blanket $319)

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38 Comments

  1. Nomadic D wrote:

    Fascinating! I love the shot with the messy cut-offs ad the yellow sweater. Makes me think a starbucks coffee and a striped blanket are the perfect accessories! Just want to walk around with a blanket casually flung over one arm…

    http://nomadic-d.blogspot.com/

    11.28.11
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  2. Ouuuu I need to do them on my boys beds. Love the bunk beds with the monogramming.

    11.28.11
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  3. Very pretty!

    11.28.11
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  4. Stevie wrote:

    The Bay has flannel sheet sets and duvet covers too! Such beautiful iconic pieces. Hurray for Canadiana!

    11.28.11
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  5. Very nice! I would love to have a blanket like that for my new baby stroller 😉

    XO Charlotte
    http://www.thefashionguitar.com

    11.28.11
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  6. amourette wrote:

    I love these.

    11.28.11
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  7. Love these… so iconic.

    11.28.11
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  8. DC2NY wrote:

    The stripes are super dramatic for any room or even outfit, if you will.
    It gives such a striking focus to space, so colorful yet minimal! A++

    http://dc2nyconfessions.blogspot.com

    11.28.11
    Reply
  9. Nancy wrote:

    As a canadian myself i have also heard the back story on these blankets. They were used by sick soldiers & then exchanged for goods mentioned above, the blankets carried influenza which was deadly for native americans. These blankets are not only beautiful but full of history that should not be forgotten.

    11.28.11
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  10. Nikki wrote:

    These blankets are incredibly iconic and it’s nice to know the history behind them. I think that it’s so important to understand where things come from and why they are so relevant, even today. Great post!

    http://www.cositabella.com

    11.28.11
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  11. This post is amazing! Thanks so much for sharing the information behind the point blankets. Love!

    11.28.11
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  12. Amy wrote:

    Thanks for spreading the word about these blankets. I love them, super warm, cozy and CANADIAN!!! There are some pretty neat jacket versions (new and vintage) around too 🙂

    11.28.11
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  13. jayne wrote:

    Great post. Reminds me of home!

    jayne
    http://www.blamejayne.blogspot.com

    11.28.11
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  14. Rachel wrote:

    How are these blankets so brilliant? The concept seems so simple but they look so amazing in their settings.

    11.28.11
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  15. Jessie wrote:

    how cape cod chic. i absolutely love!
    xx, http://wordbyjessie.com/

    11.28.11
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  16. J Umm wrote:

    such versatile fabrics!
    STYLE DECORUM

    11.28.11
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  17. Matilda Joyce wrote:

    want want want want…

    11.28.11
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  18. I so want one! Definitely top of my Christmas list!!! It would be the perfect memorabilia for my house in Australia when I get a bit homesick 🙂

    11.28.11
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  19. Mandy wrote:

    I love the striped bedding with the “stick” bed. Such an awesome combination!

    11.28.11
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  20. andrea.d wrote:

    I was just last week admiring the Point blankets at The Bay, and now they seem to be popping up all over the internet! I still have my baby blanket which is a miniature version and looks great even though it’s somewhat threadbare. They are truly iconic and beautiful, though as Nancy mentioned, their history in Canada is not without its problematic aspects. Also, as an aside, aboriginal people in Canada are not referred to as “Native Americans”; First Nations is the term most often used here. Thank you for sharing these wonderfully styled photographs!

    11.28.11
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  21. Alicia wrote:

    As a true Canadian I have wanted my own HBC blanket for years; the limited edition smythe jacket during the Olympics was amazing! Rachel Bilson bought up one of the 100 that disappeared in a morning.

    11.28.11
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  22. I’m in love. Always the raddest things on this blog.

    11.28.11
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  23. so fabulous ,,a versatile blankets,stripe pattern is my love ….

    http://www.coniefoxdress.com/

    11.29.11
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  24. um. i need that teepee in my life. and also an obscene amount of those blankets. the colors are amazing. wtf.

    11.29.11
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  25. Oh i really want one of those blankets for my son’s room!

    11.29.11
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  26. i want a couch covered in those!….and a throw blanket…and some pillows….and a bed spread….and…and….and!!

    http://www.oystervintage.tumblr.com

    11.29.11
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  27. I want a couch covered in those…and a couple throw blankets…and some pillows… and a bedspread…and…and…and..!!!

    http://www.oystervintage.tumblr.com

    11.29.11
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  28. That top left picture is the best room ever. Indoor teepee makes me peepee.

    11.29.11
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  29. Zane wrote:

    beautiful colors and really gorgeous photos

    11.30.11
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  30. Fran wrote:

    pretty!

    11.30.11
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  31. Tori wrote:

    Wow I really need a log cabin… like now 😀

    http://www.mythriftychic.com/

    12.1.11
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  32. Ranu wrote:

    These are pretty amazing! Would love to outfit a cabin with these or take them on a picnic.

    12.7.11
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  33. Fernando wrote:

    I liked the stereo… where can I find one like this?

    1.4.12
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  34. SAFI wrote:

    OMG I JUST FOUND ONE IN MY GRANDMA’S BASEMENT! And it’s from 1780! I can’t believe it.

    3.11.12
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  35. Mikee wrote:

    Beauties! Lovely in combination with the Swiss army blanket !
    http://Www.thedesalpescompany.com

    11.14.14
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