Before the first European's arrived the Cowichan women were well known for their hand woven blankets. The Blankets were made out Mountain Goat Wool and the wool from a now extinct Wooly dog.
When there was a Potlatch the chief would give away piles of blankets. This was to show how wealthy the family was, today the sweaters are still venerated as a wealth symbol.
There are many debates as to when and how the Cowichan Women learned how to make the sweaters, one such theory is a woman named Jerimina Colvin a Celtic knitter who arrived about 150 years ago taught the women the round style (knitting in a circular fashion) on eight needles. This style is still used today, this style of knitting ensures that their are no seams in the sweater and using 100% sheep's wool makes it water resistant. Some of the Celtic designs are still used today, the designs and styles of making the sweaters are passed from one generation to the next. All knitters are able to spot their own knitting in a pile of sweaters because of the unique styles that they use which is passed from generation to generation.
The Cowichan Valley Regional District is a broad geographic region stretching from the Malahat to North Oyster and from the Cowichan Lake to Thetis Island.
The region's artists are represented by 5 sub-regional arts councils with support from the CVRD Arts and Culture Division