The original Indian trade blankets were the multi-striped point blankets imported by the Hudson’s Bay Company from English woolen mills.From 1780 to 1890 the point blanket was a staple in every fur trader’s inventory and thousands upon thousands found their way into indigenous hands.Let’s begin at the beginning – what is an Indian trade blanket?Indian trade blankets are commercially woven wool blankets with striking geometric patterns.Coast Salish territories includes much of the ecologically diverse Georgia Basin and Puget Sound known as the Salish Sea (right).This huge drainage basin comprises the coastal mainland and Vancouver Island from Campbell River and Georgia Strait south through the Strait of Juan de Fuca, the Lower Fraser Valley and the lowlands of Puget Sound.When the Indian Wars ended in 1890 the reservation system began.
Georgia Basin Action Plan Coast Salish territories are demarked in pink in one of the first tribal maps of BC, published in 1887 by the ethnologist Franz Boas (left).
However, another weaving tradition began in the 18th century.
The Navajo tribe of the American Southwest wove sheep’s wool into classic wearing blankets that became coveted trade items.
Hudson's Bay Blankets have a proud heritage dating back to the 1700s when hunters, traders, and Native Americans used fine-quality Hudson's Bay wool blankets as currency.
Hudson's Bay Blankets are hand-loomed in England using the finest wool and manufacturing techniques, blending old-fashioned craftsmanship with 21st century skill.