Following contact with Europeans in the late 1700s and early 1800s, the Nanaimo people began to use traded blankets and soon only a few women did the work of weaving. The thick wool spun by the Snuneymuxw was used for knitting instead, which was introduced by European settlers. Scottish immigrants who came to Vancouver Island brought the technique of knitting "in the round," which uses up to 8 needles and creates sweaters without any seams. Snuneymuxw women, like other Salish knitters, began by making thick sweaters for their sons and husbands, to keep them warm when they went out fishing and hunting.
Some women are once again interested in learning Snuneymuxw weaving techniques. The wools are mostly from domestic sheep; the traditional mountain goat, down and plant fibres used by the ancestors are reserved for special and ceremonial projects. Not all weavers rely on an upright loom. Elder Ellen White describes an outdoor loom fashioned from two poles supported between a pair of trees. Time and changes in space and materials bring creative innovations.
The Qwam Qwum Stalicut School is run by the Snuneymuxw Band. This primary school teaches the children of the Snuneymuxw community from Kindergarten to Grade 5. The students have lessons in Hul'q'umin'um' and in the culture and history of their people, from their classroom teachers and from their Elders. The importance of weaving to the community is taught with small looms and sections of weaving, about 50 or 60 centimetres long.