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STYLE: Cowichan Sweaters

Marilyn Monroe on the beach

The understated, underrated, always correct Cowichan sweater. Nothing more cozy, like a fire on the beach or a log cabin in the Montana mountains, a white Christmas morning or Fireball by the campfire. The perfect layer for June gloom days on a California beach or early nips of fall in New England.

Camping in British Columbia, August 1954

And of course, the great sweater influencer himself.

Cowichan sweaters are created by indigenous Coast Salish people from the Pacific Northwest and Canada. These sweaters often feature unique geometric patterns or animal motifs and are made using undyed superbulky handspun yarn. Coast Salish knitting culture is also unique: Each sweater is made by hand "in the round" which means it is seamless outside the shoulders. You can order your own authentic Cowichan sweater from an artist on the Cowichan tribes website.

Mrs. Johnny Bear knitting a Cowichan sweater, 1964

Amelia Charlie, famous for her beautiful Cowichan needlework.

For a Cowichan-inspired sweater, sometimes called a Canada sweater, shop the handknit beauties at Canadian Sweater Company or Granted. Or you can find the real sweater worn by the The Dude at Pendleton Woolen mills.


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