Thursday, September 19, 2013

Made and Found: Hudson's Bay Company trade blankets

Mom and I visited an Olympia estate sale this weekend, where I picked up two vintage Hudson's Bay Company-style wool trade blankets for a song ($25 each!). Mine were made by the Shuler & Benninghofen Woolen Mills in Hamilton, Ohio. I told Mom that the blankets were probably at least as old as she was, and since Shuler & Benninghofen stopped manufacturing under their label in 1967, even if these blankets were the very last to come from the mill, they're pretty close. She responded with: Hmpf!

I've coveted blankets of the HBC style for several years. They're just crisp and classic. And now that I've washed my estate blankets and hung them outside for a couple afternoons, I must say they're smelling like nice, clean wool and feeling quite cozy. Folding them makes me want to go camping...and that's quite a feat because we all know about my love/fear relationship with the forest. There are bears in the forest. BEARS.

If you don't want to wait until you stumble across your own vintage blankets at an estate sale or thrift store, you can find lovely modern HBC style blankets online at the following places:

1. Hudson's Bay Company sells the original Multistripe Point Blanket for around $350. HBC brand blankets are also sold through L.L. Bean for $379 and Woolrich for $460.

2. Faribault Woolen Mills (based in Faribault, Minnesota) sells their version of the HBC trade blanket, called the Revival Stripe in bone whitered, and gray for $310.

3. Pendleton Woolen Mills (based out of Pendleton, Oregon) also makes a version of the HBC point blanket, called the Glacier National Park blanket for $178-$218.

And here are a few of my HBC blanket projects...although I don't think I'll be upholstering chairs anytime soon.

1. The Purl Bee's Hudson's Bay inspired crib blanket by Whitney. Free pattern and yarn suggestions!
2. These vintage blankets were turned into cabin curtains by Mark and Linda Heister and featured in Country Living.
3. Blanket Chair No. 6 featuring a vintage Hudson Bay blanket turned cushions from Sit and Read.


  1. Well done Christine and ancient Mom! (takes one to know one :-))
    I am always on the look out for blankets and have collected a stack of old Pendleton plaids. They come out of storage this time of year to signal Fall. Must signal Fall with decor stuff in SoCal.


    1. Thanks, Linda! I love that you have to "signal" the season. No signaling here--it's gotten chilly in the evenings, so I'm already putting my blankets to good use!

  2. Being Canadian I absolutely love all things Hudson Bay. I made a pillow out of a piece of a point blanket I thrifted. I'm sure you'll be very happy with your purchases, they're such nice pieces to add a little colour to a room.

    1. Thanks, Nicola! I'm glad Hudson Bay had a bright and cheery design sense all those decades ago. And I'm very impressed with this pillow business. :)

  3. Feeling a tad guilty on many levels after reading this post as I've never had an HBC blanket of my own even though 1) I'm Canadian and 2) my last name is actually Hudson! Must make it my mission to finally represent in one form or another...thanks for the inspiration!

    1. You have some HBC blanket-finding-work to do, Heather. Don't let me steal your birthright!


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