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Two cased (lined) hats were among trade goods left at NWC's Isle--la-Crosse post on June 4, 1786 . Many Tender Ties : Women in Fur-Trade Society, 1670-1870. Duncan Mc Gillivray noted that he had 'a few cases of knives & hats' at Fort George on the North Saskatchewan River in 1794 . Three of these 'knobbed' toques are blue, and two are white. Voices From the Rapids : An Underwater search for Fur Trade Artifacts, 1960-73. Some toques were brought into the Northwest by the NWC and HBC, and turn up on various inventory lists and in journals from 1786 onwards, described as 'milled caps' , 'grey milled caps', 'worsted caps', 'grey worsted caps' and 'scarlet worsted caps' . Sometimes summer caps were improvised from handkerchiefs. They were folded so as to cover the top of the head and tied together on the forehead ('cleaning lady' style) , or made into a headband tied with a large bow in front . Major changes in fashion during this period are also mentioned, when they are relevant.
(Sometimes other items, such as tobacco, knives, beads, and vermilion, were also included in these 'equipments'.) In 1801, pork-eaters (summer voyageurs) received one blanket, one shirt, and one pair of trousers.
Hivernants, who were year-round employees, got two blankets, two shirts, two pairs of trousers, and two handkerchiefs .
Five years later, the company-supplied equipments changed slightly.
Artists portrayed voyageurs in crisp black top hats and battered brown top hats . A Rindisbacher painting shows one voyageur wearing a battered brown hat with a tapered crown shaped like an upside-down flowerpot .
The surviving Beaver Club medals show voyageurs wearing hats with round crowns and broad flat brims . 'Milling' or 'fulling' is a kind of controlled shrinking which causes the cloth to get thicker.