These days, though, the term blanket may be applied to quilts, bedspreads, comforters, and duvets.These blankets are made of all sorts of materials, including cotton, linen, silk, synthetic fibers, goose down, and even old clothes.Point blankets are a type of trade blanket and are most closely associated with the Hudson's Bay Company who have been marketing them into North America since 1779.For over fifteen years I have been researching the history of these blankets and recently published two books on the subject: The Blanket: an Illustrated History of the Hudson's Bay Point Blanket (Quantum/HBC, Toronto, 2002) and The Collector's Guide to Point Blankets (Cinetel, Bowen Island, 2003).Mark Sublette Medicine Man Gallery has for sale over 500 old Navajo rugs and blankets. TO LEARN MORE ABOUT NAVAJO RUGS VISIT: NAVAJOTEXTILES.
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, not its value in terms of beaver pelts as is sometimes believed.Throughout the past century, the label affixed to blankets has changed twenty six times (since 1890); this assists collectors in dating blankets to a particular time period.The Hudsons Bay blankets became so popular that eventually point blankets themselves came to be associated with the Hudsons Bay Company.The Métis peoples fashioned the blanket into a wrap coat with hood and fringing called a capote.Point blankets were most often used by Native American tribes as a piece of clothing.Point Blankets as Coats Point blankets have also been used as coats, either "premade" and sold by the Hudson's Bay Company or recut into garments.The Plains Indians often wore the blankets instead of buffalo robes and used them to make coats."New" refers to a brand-new, unused, unopened, undamaged item, and "Used" refers to an item that has been used previously.Hudson's Bay Company is Canada's oldest corporation. Genuine Hudson Bay point blankets have become very collectible and can fetch prices up to thousands of dollars.The blanket was wrapped around the body and worn like a robe.The blanket became an essential part of daily wear, especially in the winter months, and its importance was reflected in the culture of the times in that it became a major form of currency in a society where barter was the lynchpin of the economy.