There seems to be quite a bit of misunderstanding as to what makes a real Cowichan sweater~ it isn't just a keyword that should be thrown around. Many zip-up cardigan sweaters that were made using Mary Maxim patterns are being called "Cowichan" which is, in fact, completely wrong. That's like calling a Volkswagon Jetta a Cadillac: just because they're both cars doesn't make them the same kind of car. I'm sure the Cadillac would be offended.
While Mary Maxim and authentic Cowichan sweaters share alot of the same characteristics, their quality and history are vastly different. Authentic Cowichan sweaters have been handmade (ie: no factories, no mass-produced corporate line) for almost a century by the Coast Salish Indian knitters of southern Vancouver Island by generations of only women using handspun, natural sheep wool. The designs on the sweaters carried meaning and importance to their culture and always revolved around nature and animals- as opposed to the much more kitschy and whimsical designs of Mary Maxim sweaters like motorcycles and bowling balls. The quality and craftsmanship are unsurpassed and you could even go so far as to say it's Pacific Northwest folk art at it's finest!
Care to see a real Cowichan sweater? Just listed to FAST EDDIE'S RETRO RAGS is this exceptionally rare Vintage 70's AUTHENTIC Cowichan Indian Sweater: