Hbc Heritage Services is proud to promote products inspired by our history.
Genuine Hbc Point Blanket Capote
The intrinsic beauty, strength and versatility of the Hbc point blanket led to its wholehearted adoption by the First Nations of North America. Originally used as a sleeping robe or simple garment, the blanket's size, durability and inexpensive cost made it almost inevitable that it would soon be put to other uses. The most successful of these adaptations is the capote - a wrap coat made from an Hbc blanket - which became Canada's first multicultural garment, worn by First Nations, Métis, French and English alike. From trapper to trader, habitant to homesteader, the capote has a long history.
Many, many versions of the capote were made, and variations in style were common: with or without hood, embroidered, beaded or with leather fringing. In fact personalization was the norm. The Métis style became perhaps the best known. Hooded, embellished with fringing and closed with a bright Assomption sash, the coat became a staple for Hbc's explorers and traders as well. Easy to make, warm and water-repellent, the capote was made for the Canadian climate. When Lady Dufferin, wife of Canada's 19th c. Governor General, outfit her children in capotes against the harsh Ottawa winters, the capote entered the mainstream. Images from the period, such as those by famous Montreal photographer William Notman, show the capote's use as typical winter outerwear.
Now you can own your very own handmade capote. Perhaps you'd like to make it yourself, and experience this traditional art in a workshop setting. Or maybe you'd prefer to order a custom made capote for yourself or a loved one. Either way Hbc Heritage and its partners can help. We work with artisans across the country who have been trained in the art of capote-making. They are provided with our exclusive pattern and use only genuine Hbc point blankets.
For more information on how you can own your own little piece of Canadian history, please contact us.
Hudson's Bay Company Collection
Launched in December 2009, the Hudson's Bay Company Collection celebrates our unique history with a select offering of unique items. Inspired by the Company's historical icons the Collection is anchored by the popular Hbc Point Blanket. The inaugural line introduced many new products, ranging from a classic multistriped sweater by Pink Tartan to custom canoes by Langford Canoe. Our in-house design team works with designers, artisans and manufacturers to ensure that every item in the collection meets our highest quality standards of style, materials and craftsmanship.
The Hudson's Bay Company Collection is available online and at selected Bay locations.