It’s been an incredibly busy year for me with the set up of my art studio & gallery, 100 Braid St Studios but things are finally starting to settle into a routine. This leaves me time for some of my passions and more time for creating my own art.
Recently, I have become enamoured with Hudson’s Bay Blankets. It started when it was time to decorate the Studio for winter. Since we have a fireplace lounge area and I was putting one of my landscape paintings on the mantel I wanted the feeling of warmth. I dug out a pair of snow shoes, a plaid pillow, my vintage HBC popcorn tin and my copy-pseudo HBC blanket.
Over the years I’ve searched for an authentic HBC blanket but short of purchasing new I have kind of given up. There is a copy blanket in the photo but it’s not the same.Authentic HBC blankets are not something I see very often in antique or vintage stores anymore and the only ones I have found where in horrible condition or so expensive I’d practically have to sell my home to buy one. They certainly are collectible.
Joyce at Nova Métis says she finds them occasionally & she told me last year to buy even those in horrible condition because you can work with the scraps. She’s made some purses in the past and they were gorgeous. Must put one on my wish list for 2015.
So now that I have a bit more time I’ve been doing research on the blankets and I’ve been playing around using a very limited colour palette with only HBC blanket colours. It’s been interesting and challenging. I’m not yet ready to share any of the work but I thought I would share some of the interesting tidbits about HBC blankets that I’ve found fascinating.
- What are points and what do they mean?
- What do the colours of the stripes mean?
- Where are point blankets made today?
- How can I determine the age of my blanket?
- I have an old Hbc point blanket. Is it valuable?
- Can I wash my blanket? How should I take care of it?
- What colours have the blankets been made in?
- My blanket has four sets of stripes and is twice as long as it should be. Is this a mistake?
- Do you still sell blanket coats?
- I live in the U.S. Where can I purchase Hbc point blankets?
- How long has Hudson’s Bay Company been selling blankets?
- What was a traditional capote like?
- Where can I find out more information about Hbc point blankets?
- Why is the blanket stripe blue in your advertising when it’s actually black?
- I live in the U.K. or Europe. Where can I purchase Hbc point blankets?
- I have heard that Hbc sent blankets infested with smallpox to infect the First Nations. Is there any truth to this story?
A website by Harold Tichenor that is very informative. He is an authority on HBC blankets. and has published two books: 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). He has consulted with the Hudson’s Bay Company and helped build a collection of examples of all of their blankets as well as conducted seminars in various stores.
And this posting wouldn’t be complete without a link to the Hudson’s Bay Art Collection. I still haven’t probbed all of the depths yet.