Friday, October 21, 2011

Wool Capote.

With the cold weather among us, its time to bust out our wool coats to bundle us up.  If you were Métis, a Mountain man, or a fur trader of the early 1900’s you probably would have owned one of these long coats.  The word Capote is apparently an Anglicized version of a French word meaning “Cape Cod Coat”, which dates back to the 1700’s.  Typically made from the high quality, colourful wool blankets from the Hudson Bay Company.  Most had a hood, and tassels on the shoulder for decoration and to keep snow from building up. The natural water repellence and warmth of wool made it the perfect material for a coat that could double as a sleeping bag or just as a extra blanket.  There has been accounts of men hunting in the traditional HBC blanket made capote because of the semi camouflage that it provided against the snow-covered north.  If you were so inclined to make one today, I don't think you would want to cut up you 4 point HBC blanket.  People now make them typically from army surplus blankets as they can be had for cheap and are tough quality wool.  Simple to make, and can be quite decorative with a nice contrasting blanket stitch.  If your in the mood for a super traditional wool coat, that you can make yourself.  Give it a shot! 


  1. great post again! It might look strange to other people if they see you walking around with a capote and the "common sense" by them would be $%& Goretex ? &%$§ Windstopper ? But what worked hundreds of years ago will work for our "wheeny" activities for sure. bye alex


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