What is a point blanket ?

A point blanket is generally made of wool (although many American ones used some cotton in their weaving) and has one or more fine lines, called "points" woven into one edge of the blanket.  These blankets can be found in many styles, but are most often simple in design with one or more bars or stripes, called "headings" on each end.

My first book The Blanket: an Illustrated History of the Hudson's Bay Point Blanket has a very detailed section on the manufacture of these blankets describing the process originally used when they were hand woven, as well as the modern manufacturing techniques.

 

 

Mr. John Fitzpatrick, master weaver of Stone Arabie in Qualicum Beach, BC has taken on hand weaving some point blankets in crib sizes. I asked him if he would kindly post some images to his website. He has very kindly done so and hopefully he will continue to do so throughout the process, including washing, fulling and raising the nap. John's work will be very helpful in illustrating how point blankets were made during the fur trade period. Here's a link to the webpage he has posted.

View of Wallbridge Stroud mid to late 1780s, artist not known. Showing blankets drying on racks (red, white, blue) outside mill. (Courtesy of the Museum in the Park, Stroud District Museum Service, Stratford Park, Stroud, Glos. GL5 4AF.)
Nineteeenth century photograph showing blanket weavers at their looms. (The Witney Blanket Industry, Alfred Plummer, 1934, Routledge)