Hudson’s Bay Company Blankets

The Hudson’s Bay Company officially commissioned Witney Mills of England to produce Point Blankets for fur trading in 1779. The label is the best indication of authenticity. Labels are typically white with yellow, orange, red or black lettering. The iconic white blanket is known for its banding stripes of green, red yellow, and indigo. These colours are known as Queen Anne colours.

The ‘points’ are the thin black lines found on one side only and indicate the size and weight of the blanket:

  • .5 point – 32″ x 46″, weight 1 lb 8.5 oz
  • 1.5 point – 36″ x 51″, weight 1 lb 12 oz, Crib Blanket
  • 2 point – 42″ x 58″, weight 2 lbs 3.5 oz
  • 2.5 point – 50″ x 66″, weight 3 lbs 5.5 oz
  • 3 point – 60″ x 72″, weight 4 lbs 3 oz
  • 3.5 point 63″ x 81″, weight 5 lbs, Twin size
  • 4 point 72″ x 90″, weight 6 lbs, Double size
  • 6 point 84″ x 92″, Queen size (1960s)
  • 8 point 108″ x 100″, King size (1980s)

Many variations were created over the years, based on the various indigenous nations’ preferences. This would account for the many different colours and unique details. Trading was done coast to coast and throughout parts of the United States.

The top and bottom edges were typically left unfinished. If a blanket stitch appears, it was done by the owner to keep the wool edge running straight. Over time the points may become less distinct. Here again, some owners will re-apply the lines to keep the blanket’s beautiful aesthetics. These simple alterations do not greatly affect the blanket’s value.

We now have a good selection of these blankets in stock, all of them either 3.5 or 4 point in either red, green or the Queen Anne colours ranging from $150 to $300, depending on the condition. The 4 point will cover a Queen size bed, but not to tuck in at the sides. Please contact us for further details.

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