Blankets have come to serve all sorts of purposes, too.
In the North American fur trade, wool blankets were one of the main European items sought by native peoples in exchange for beaver pelts, buffalo robes, pemmican, moccasins, and other trade goods.
They were desired because of wool's ability to hold heat even when wet, and because they were easier to sew than bison or deer skins.
Wool cloth of one kind or another was traded as far back as the French regime in North America (1534–1765), but HBC point blankets were introduced in 1780 to compete with similar blankets offered by the Montreal-based private traders.
The blankets were often produced with a green stripe, red stripe, yellow stripe and indigo stripe on a white background; the four stripe colours were popular and easily produced using good colourfast dyes at that time.
These days, though, the term blanket may be applied to quilts, bedspreads, comforters, and duvets.