Vintage Cowichan Sweater Mary Maxim Mexicana Pattern 465 1950s Hand Knit
Brand Poppy's Vintage Clothing
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This is a vintage hand knit Mary Maxim pattern sweater called “Mexicana”, pattern number 465, dating to about 1957. Mary Maxim was an Ontario, Canada firm that expanded into the United States in 1956. They were known for their high quality knitting yarns and sweater designs. The sweater has all sorts of Mexican motifs incorporated into the knit - a man wearing a sombrero and serape pulling the rein on a donkey carrying goods, a palm tree with a pot underneath it, cacti and flowers and separate representations of a serape, a sombrero and a pot. The sweater is made in a blended tan brown and white background with red, yellow, blue, brown and green patterning. It has ribbing at the collar, the cuffs, at the opening and at the bottom. The serape on the man at the back has wool fringe emanating from it. The sweater does up with a Lightning brand metal zipper down the front - Lightning was a Canadian manufacturer of zippers that started manufacturing early in the 20th century and closed its doors in 1981. This looks like a 50s era zipper to me. These types of sweaters are generically called Cowichans after a British Columbia native tribe called the Salish who live in the Cowichan Valley on Vancouver Island on whose designs they are based. They are also referred to as curling sweaters in Canada.
Material: This is made with an unusual yarn. It might be wool, but the finish is “harder”, so might be a plant based fibre like bamboo or hemp.
Sizing: Because this is hand knit, no size is indicated, and although this should fit a small to medium size, please rely on the following measurements for fit, taking the stretch of the knit into account:
Shoulders: 15” across from shoulder/sleeve seam to shoulder/sleeve seam
Sleeves: 23 1/2” long from the shoulder/sleeve seam
Sleeve Inseam: 16” long
Chest: 37” around, taken under the arms
Waist: 33 1/2” around
Bottom: 32” around, unstretched, stretches out to 38”
Overall length: 24”, measured flat
Condition: It is in very good condition with no other wear, tear, stains or odours - clean and ready to wear.
This is a wonderful sweater in a hard-to-find Mary Maxim - ultra cute!