Sunday, May 22, 2011

Guilty absentee blog posts

Whoa... here it is...May 21st 2011.. I am such a poor blogger..I look at so many blog posts and they are generally consistant in posting at least once a month... I am generally consistant at not posting at all... I want to say I will try to stay on track but no more unkept promises for me!
I have been busy really.... I went to a living history museum conference in NY... Went crazy at lunch when I spied this gentleman across the room... HIS COAT!!! Had to find out more details and get up close and personal. He does 17th century reinacting and he made this from a blanket historically known as  a Hudson Bay Blanket.and the pattern is from an original 17th century trappers coat.These blankets were among the first to be traded among fur trappers and Native Americans in North America. They were especially popular with hunters in the northernmost regions of the continent because they provided both warmth and camouflage during winter.
Formed in 1670 by the granting of a royal charter, the London-based Hudson’s Bay Company established its original fur-trading empire in the watershed of Hudson’s Bay in northeastern North America. By the 1820s, the HBC had expanded its territory across the continent to the Pacific Ocean. All the while, the company profited from its trading relationships with Native American groups. The company’s North American administrators—mostly college-educated Scotsmen—kept the London office apprised of the trade goods in demand by their Indian trading partners. In turn, the London office attempted to keep their trading posts across North America stocked with goods that would be valued enough within Indian communities to entice them to hunt and trap furs valued in European markets.
Blankets were one of the HBC’s most highly sought after goods. Faced with the challenge of convincing Indians along the lower Columbia River that it was more desirable to trap beaver than to fish for salmon, the Chief Factor of Fort Vancouver, Dr. John McLoughlin, briefly prohibited his employees from trading the blankets for fish. Indians who wanted the blankets were subsequently required to obtain their blankets by providing furs. Only after McLoughlin had developed a market for salted salmon in the Sandwich Islands—now referred to as the Hawaiian Islands—did he again allow blankets to be traded for the locally-abundant fish.
For a time, the HBC tried to fix prices by sewing stripes, called points, onto the edges of their blankets. Blankets were marked for sale with up to four points, each point representing a “made beaver,” which was the accepted standard prime quality, adult size beaver pelt. However, Native Americans across North America were quick to balk at the dictated prices since the pricing strategy didn’t allow for any haggling. To Native American traders, prices were always negotiable. Eventually the points were used instead as a mark of size, a practice which has continued to this day. http://www.ohs.org/education/oregonhistory/historical_records/dspDocument.cfm?doc_ID=62D34C09-A761-818A-F84AC2676425FDF1
Further Reading:
Mackie, Richard. Trading Beyond the Mountains: The British Fur Trade on the Pacific, 1793 – 1843. Vancouver, B. C., 1997.

Needless to say we became good friends very quickly very talented interesting guy!
And then there was the bonnet making class I took at this conference... Here are some samples of the bonnets they had on display at the conference.... Historically referred to as Pumpkin Hoods.

and more Hoods

Then we got to make hoods. Here is the beginning stages of my hood,

This is an 1840's hood. Lined with wool batting, the outer layers are felt and cotton. There is a corded piping edge around the edge and the 3 layers are quilted.
I actually finished my hood.