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"Authentic Cowichan Sweaters"

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Hi Winona

"Yes it was me. Unfortunately I don’t have it on my computer either but I can tell you I will never forget the look on his face. He pulled that sweater out of the box, looked at it, then looked at me with tears in his eyes and said, “It reminds me of Dad.”  He just loves it.  When he puts it on he has a big smile on his face. It truly is an incredibly beautiful, wearable work of art.  I hope the tradition of knitting the true Cowichan way never dies!  You just can’t buy that quality in a big department store. I’m sure it will outlast us!" 

Ann Bain

The Cowichan Sweater Story

THE COWICHAN STORY originates in the Cowichan Valley on rugged Vancouver Island. Traditionally, this is a region where its people lived in an outdoor society. This habitat required clothing that could stand up to outdoor living as well as protect the wearer against the elements. This is the home of the Cowichan sweater. The versatility of this sweater allows it to be as warm as an overcoat and as dry as a raincoat. Authentic Cowichan Sweaters are produced by Canada's West Coast Salish Natives in the Cowichan Valley. Although other producers attempt to duplicate the Cowichan Sweater none can surpass the quality of the original producers.

No two sweaters are alike. The fleeces come in natural colors and shades of brown, black and white. As the black sheep matures, the wool changes from brown to gray with aging, like human hair. All of the dark shades in 'Genuine Cowichan' sweaters come from this unique black sheep and are not dyed. For over one hundred years Salish women have been knitting clothes and blankets for their families. The wool is carefully carded to prevent damage to the fibers and is still hand spun. The sweaters are hand-knitted with this pure, un-dyed, virgin wool. The natural oils are left in the wool of the authentic Cowichan Sweater to retain the water-resistant qualities of wool. The Cowichan Sweater is a lifetime purchase. If it is properly cared for, it will last for years and years. Some people have passed their Cowichan Sweater on to their children for many more years of warm and comfortable use. For attractive outdoor wear that is always in fashion the Cowichan Sweater is perfect. This is a gift that has been presented to royalty and heads of state. The following lines of beautiful, hand-knit sweaters come in a variety of geometric patterns, animals, birds, fish or whale images. Each sweater represents hours of hard work and painstaking labor.

http://www.jamestowntribe.org/history/hist_weaving.htm