One textile pattern I’ve been following recently is the iconic Hudson’s Bay point blanket. HBCo’s is one of (if not the) oldest department store in North American dating back to the 1800’s. The point blankets (pictured above) were first sold in Canada in the 18th century to Native Americans in exchange for beaver pelts. These wool blankets were prized for their ability to stay warm even when wet. Two hundred years later these iconic blankets are part of North American history (and here I thought they were just a new pattern). Pendleton Woolen Mills also makes a similar blanket called the Glacier National Park Blanket which were first sold in the early 1900s. According to their website,
“Since the early 1900s, Pendleton Woolen Mills has honored America’s National Parks with a collection of distinctive park blankets. Glacier Park National Park Blanket was one of the first. Its historic markings and colors date back to the frontier trading posts. Traders would indicate the weight of the blanket offered in exchange for furs by holding up one finger for each pound. The original blankets incorporated three, four or five black stripes in the design, which indicated the value of the blanket. Colors and variations of the original striped theme have been adapted to reflect distinguishing characteristics of each park and blanket in the collection. (link).
HBCo has a heritage site on the Point Blanket dating back to 1780 here if you’d like to read more. Super interesting!
I’m not exactly sure the difference between the two blankets, but safe to say both have a rich history and are still relevant today, in fashion and interiors. I love how a pattern so simple and graphic can reach iconic status. Just like Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama and her polka dots, this pattern with it’s green, red, yellow and indigo stripes is so uniquely its own. Need to get one of my own ASAP.
I also like this graphic pattern so easily translated into fashion (below).
If you’d like to own one of these blankets for yourself, check out Pendleton’s site here. Get into it!