Description from Objects of Use
Almost ubiquitous throughout Canada where they have become a symbol of national identity, and likely recognised across the entirety of North America as emblematic of its northern frontiers, point blankets remain curiously little known in the land of their weaving. Born of a need for an effective currency to exchange with the First Nations by the fur traders and settlers of the Canadian frontier, point blankets were produced in Witney, Oxfordshire from at least the 1770s until the very first years of the 21st century. Their distinctive markings, the bands found towards each end and the points stitched into their side were devised as visible indices of the blankets size and value without requiring them to be unpacked; and whilst latterly the headers were adapted into a form of decoration with multiple variously coloured bands, they originally served to demonstrate that the cloth was still intact, uncut, and of its originally intended length. Drawn to the unique history of an item little known and yet of such renown, Objects of Use in collaboration with Filkins based weaver Richard Martin, and Skye yarn dyers Shilasdair sought to recreate blankets similar to the very earliest type, with single header bands and points of natural plant dyed indigo, and bodies of unbleached wool. The blankets measure approximately 200cm x 155cm, or about 3 1/2 points.