Monday, September 6, 2010


I have been researching the paisley pattern this week. The motif we know today was inspired by the tear drop shaped designs on 17th century Kashmir shawls. These fine woven textiles were the shoulder mantles of high officials in the Mughal court of that era.

The large motifs woven in the borders were known as boteh.  A smaller motif, buti--small flower, was used as a filler pattern in the shawls. The introduction of the Jacquard loom enabled European weavers to copy the shawls. The ones woven in Paisley, Scotland were especially good. Textile designers also copied the patterns, including the serrated edges of the woven motifs on the shawls, onto printed yardage.

This sample is from my Dargate book, c. 1830.

1 comment:

  1. HI, Did you know that Norwich in Norfolk was also famous for the manufacture of excellent 'paisley' shawls and other cloths? see
    Have just found your blog, looks really interesting will come back to read past posts!
    Best Wishes