There are different stories of how Cowichan sweaters started. In the story published in the Islander in 1988, the Scottish Settlers shared their knitting skills with the Coast Salish Peoples when the Scots arrived on Coast Salish Territories near what today is the Town of Duncan. The Coast Salish knitters added their own designs such as animals to the sweaters. Authentic Cowichan sweaters, knit still by Coast Salish knitters today, are a much sought-after souvenir of the West Coast. As the following excerpt from the Islander describes:
The tourist "glances down at his genuine Cowichan sweater with its unique design, which he has bought in a store on Government St [...] well aware that a Cowichan sweater is one of the finest souvenirs that can be purchased at any price" (Islander, 1988, Feb 28, pp. M1, M4). The newspaper clipping is below and the full text is written out here.