Paisley

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/exhibitions/1159161443/

Paisley

The teardrop-shaped motif popularly known as paisley has persisted, and its design variations over time reflect the diversity of natural forms. Everything from a flowering plant with roots attached to a slender cypress tree with bent tip to an elongated serpentine scroll have been stylized and expressed in paisley's ornamental grammar. It is a design that for centuries has evolved with the fashion and interior styles of cultures around the world, with a complex history revealing a mixture of influences from Persia, India, and Europe. Integrally tied to the shawls handwoven in Kashmir during the 18th and 19th centuries, paisley derives its name from the Scottish town that became famous for producing imitation Kashmir shawls in the 19th century. Often infilled with flowers, more paisleys, and even jewels, the motif is constantly revisited by designers, as we see in this display of over 80 objects from the collection—many shown for the first time. Designers such as Etro, Zandra Rhodes, and Maharam are drawn to this timeless shape and its inherent vitality. And perhaps the secret to paisley's immortality is the way its traditions have been adapted to combine conformity with the spirit of a wild child.

Paisley

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18402691/

  • wool
  • Gift of Provident Securities Company from the Estate of Mr. and Mrs. William H. Crocker

Chandar, or moon shawls, were modeled after 16th-century Ottoman carpets. The flowering plant version of the paisley motif, seen within the field of colored stripes, can be traced to the Mughal period (1586–1753) in India.

Paisley

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18425699/

  • cotton
  • Museum purchase from Au Panier Fleuri Fund

Using cotton, dye techniques, and motifs imported from India, Manchester built a cotton printing empire. Starting in the 18th century, Manchester became one of the leading exporters of cotton fabrics.

Paisley

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18422669/

  • cashmere wool
  • Gift of Lea S. Luquer

One of the most important transitional shapes in paisley history is known as the Qajar boteh, in which the flowering bulbous base culminates in a curvilinear, hooked tip. The first appearance of this shape was around the mid-18th century, and foreshadowed the elongated shapes to come.

Paisley

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18615341/

  • wool

Over time, the boteh motif lost its base or mound and became the more abstracted, stylized shape we recognize as paisley today. No longer a realistic depiction of nature, it became a space for displaying color, form, pattern, and the weaver’s skill.

Paisley

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18564583/

  • wool
  • Gift of Arthur W. Popper

Fragments such as this allow us to focus on the large patterned border at each end of a shawl, called the phala. The hashiya is the narrow border running down the long edges of the shawl and the tanjir is the narrow border running above and below the phala.

Paisley

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18401277/

  • wool, silk
  • Museum purchase from Au Panier Fleuri Fund
  • borders
  • women's fashion accessories
  • shawl
  • warmth
  • Imitative
  • paisley
  • oak leaves

In Russia, imported Kashmir shawls created a demand as great as in Europe. Known for their vivid floral designs, Russian weavers combined the newly imported paisley motif with their traditional imagery to make this geometric, patterned border.

Paisley

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18304411/

  • brush and gouache on brown oiled translucent paper
  • Gift of Eleanor and Sarah Hewitt

As demand for Indian shawls grew, European designers and manufacturers tried to replicate not only their materials but also their patterns. Some of these shawls were even sold as authentic Kashmiri, not as the European imitations they actually were.

Paisley

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18304355/

  • brush and gouache on brown oiled translucent paper
  • Gift of Eleanor and Sarah Hewitt

As demand for Indian shawls grew, European designers and manufacturers tried to replicate not only their materials but also their patterns. Some of these shawls were even sold as authentic Kashmiri, not as the European imitations they actually were.

Paisley

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18437585/

  • silk, metal-wrapped silk
  • Gift of Alan L. Wolfe

Symmetrical versions of the flowering plant motif were also common in paisley, with stems, buds, flowers, and leaves depicted growing in mirror image around a central stalk. This sash is woven with metal-wrapped threads, which, although tarnished now, would have cast the wearer in shimmering golden light when originally produced in the 19th century.

Paisley

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18467351/

  • silk, metal-wrapped silk
  • Gift of Harvey Smith

The ancient Slavic symbology around the Tree of Life can often be seen in Russian embroidery and textiles. Here, the flowering pot motif may be an amalgamation of the traditional depiction of the tree of life and incoming textiles with the potted paisley cones.

Paisley

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18464779/

  • silk
  • Gift of Mrs. Howard J. Sachs

Paisley

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18304685/

  • brush and gouache on brown oiled translucent paper

One motif employed by European designers to imitate Kashmiri originals is the coif boteh, a main cone accompanied by an independent floral stem arching over it, called a raceme.

Paisley

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18304501/

  • brush and gouache on brown oiled translucent paper

One motif employed by European designers to imitate Kashmiri originals is the coif boteh, a main cone accompanied by an independent floral stem arching over it, called a raceme.

Paisley

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18696111/

  • cashmere
  • Bequest of Harmon H. Goldstone

Most shawls involve the work of many hands. Some are woven by multiple weavers, while others combine techniques. This shawl employs both weaving and embroidery, each executed by a specialist craftsman.

Paisley

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18615331/

  • wool
  • Bequest of Dorothy Franklin Rolph
  • stripes
  • women's fashion accessories
  • multicolored
  • stars
  • warmth
  • export
  • paisley

A pattern of multicolor bands at the ends of a shawl was originally the result of a striped warp. The so-called harlequin border became so popular that manufacturers began adding them regardless of the shawl’s design.

Paisley

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18615339/

  • wool
  • Bequest of Dorothy Franklin Rolph

While hand-woven shawls were considered higher quality, embroidered shawls, which were quicker and less expensive to produce, fulfilled growing demand. A close look at the patterns of this shawl will reveal the needlework process utilized to mimic the latest woven fashions.

Paisley

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18344537/

  • wool
  • Gift of Grace Lincoln Temple

Some European shawls have a solid-colored field without ornamentation. This may have been a result of the way it was worn: the square shawl would be folded into a triangle and draped over the shoulders, making the borders the most visible and important part of the design.

Paisley

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18453451/

  • wool
  • Gift of Ruth R. Goddard

The serpentine shapes that make up this pattern reveal how much the paisley cone stretched over time. The pattern of blue-green paisleys in the background is nearly obscured by an overlay of serpentine forms in off-white.

Paisley

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18459901/

  • wool
  • Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Gustave Gilbert

By the late 19th century, demand for shawls was so high that French agents began bringing the latest fashion styles and trends to India for new design ideas. Influences of late-19th-century French art nouveau can be seen in the elongated form and whiplash curves of the paisley cones and surrounding patterns.

Paisley

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18604601/

  • wool
  • Gift of Marian Hague
  • borders
  • women's fashion accessories
  • women's clothing
  • curving line
  • covers
  • warmth
  • paisley

The popular design of elongated paisley cones running from the four corners to center of a plain field was derived almost exclusively from pattern books being published and printed in Paris. Eventually, the center field became so small and complex in shape it would have to be made separately and pieced in, as is the case here.

Paisley

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18401307/

  • wool
  • Gift of Mrs. Evsie Beloussoff

The embroidered cones in the four corners of the center field were a common decoration known as kunjbutā. The embroiderer used the same color palette as in the woven areas to maintain uniformity.

Paisley

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18437457/

  • wool
  • Gift of Mrs. John Rolph, from the collection of her sister, Mrs. Evsei Beloussoff, and in her memory

This shawl fragment contains many paisleys, layered and intertwined within one another. As the motif elongated, more space opened up for different patterns to be woven or embroidered inside. In this case, a central decorative vine accentuates the linear quality of the paisleys, making it hard to track where one begins and another ends.

Paisley

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18394887/

  • wool
  • Gift of Mrs. Max Farrand

In an attempt to keep up with European demand, Indian weavers looked for faster, more cost-effective ways of producing shawls. Many shawls, like this one, were made in small sections by different weavers, and the pieces sewn together to create the final product.

Paisley

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18572241/

  • wool
  • Museum purchase through gift of Eleanor and Sarah Hewitt

Overlapping hook-tip paisleys create movement around the border of this shawl. The design plays with opacity, revealing the outlines of hidden layers of paisleys underneath.

Paisley

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/2318793701/

  • pique cotton
  • Courtesy of Museum of the City of New York, Gift of Mrs. Eliot Norton, 1929

In the early 19th century, European women abandoned their cloaks, choosing to stay warm and covered under shawls. The fashion press described women as “draped” as they wound shawls over their shoulders, circling their arms, or tied around their waist.

Paisley

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18515401/

  • Designed by Carle Vernet
  • engraving, hand-colored with brush and watercolor on off-white paper

At the height of the shawl’s popularity in France, women were described as "well draped" as opposed to "well dressed." Shawl folding and draping became a necessary skill for the fashionable woman.

Paisley

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18515449/

  • Designed by Carle Vernet
  • engraving, hand-colored with brush and watercolor on off-white paper

At the height of the shawl’s popularity in France, women were described as "well draped" as opposed to "well dressed." Shawl folding and draping became a necessary skill for the fashionable woman.

Paisley

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18518779/

  • engraving, hand-colored with brush and watercolor on off-white paper

In the advertisement for Paris Fashions from 1830, Le Mercure de Salons describes their shawls as "Cachemir des Indes," or Indian cashmere. Shawls in both of these plates are denoted by their paisley borders.

Paisley

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18521603/

  • engraving, hand-colored with brush and watercolor on cream paper

In the advertisement for Paris Fashions from 1830, Le Mercure de Salons describes their shawls as "Cachemir des Indes," or Indian cashmere. Shawls in both of these plates are denoted by their paisley borders.

Paisley

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18522329/

  • engraving, hand-colored with brush and watercolor on cream paper

Paisley

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18523031/

  • etching, hand-colored with brush and watercolor on cream paper

Paisley

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18394355/

  • silk, metal-wrapped silk core threads, metal beads and rings
  • Gift of Mrs. Albert Blum

Metal beads are crocheted into this purse to make three bands of paisleys. Beads are also used to trace the line of the slit opening, presumably making it quicker and easier for the user to access the contents of the purse.

Paisley

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18310001/

  • silk, steel beads, metal rings
  • Gift of Eleanor and Sarah Hewitt

Some miser’s purses had two distinctly different ends to separate gold from silver coins. One end of this purse has a rounded bottom with large paisleys, while the other is square with decorative bands.

Paisley

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18394299/

  • silk, metal
  • Gift of Mrs. Albert Blum

Miser’s purses were used by men and women to carry coins and other small objects. The metal rings slide to the side to reveal a slit which gives access to the contents inside.

Paisley

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18534833/

  • silver, copper, niello
  • Gift of Stephen W. Brener and Carol B. Brener
  • matchsafe
  • silver
  • accessories
  • matches
  • tools
  • paisley

Paisley

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18651611/

  • gold, cut rubies
  • Gift of Anonymous Donor
  • gold
  • women's fashion accessories
  • personal adornment
  • jewelry
  • paisley
  • earrings

A single gold cord traces the paisley shape of these earrings. By describing the paisley in a simple linear form, all floral origins are stripped away and the motif becomes decorative scrollwork.

Paisley

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18370467/

  • silver gilt, turquoise, coral, glass
  • personal adornment
  • accessories
  • fashion
  • buckles

Two large paisley medallions are joined at the center when each of these buckles close. The shape is repeated where smaller gilt paisleys and coral beads dangle below.

Paisley

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18565329/

  • stamped and painted brass, cut steel
  • Gift of Mrs. Frederick Saltonstall Gould

Paisley

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18324833/

  • painted copper
  • Gift of Eleanor and Sarah Hewitt

Paisley

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/2318796597/

  • Smithsonian Libraries, TS1403.W3c 1873 folio, Vol.2, No.67b, Second Series

John Forbes Watson began his career as a physician in the Bombay Medical Service in 1850, later becoming Director of the India Museum in London until the transfer of its collection in 1879 to what would become the Victoria and Albert Museum. He promoted Indian industries, and his idea for "portable industrial museums" led to the publication of The Collections of the Textile Manufactures of India in 1866, eighteen volumes containing seven hundred mounted and classified samples of Indian textiles. A second set, examples shown here, was published from 1873 to 1877. Although never completed, each set also included more than seven hundred samples. The designs and textile samples were intended to inspire students and show textile manufacturers in Britain the vast potential market in India.

Paisley

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/2318796598/

  • Smithsonian Libraries, TS1403.W3c 1873 folio, Vol.2, No. 97, Second Series

John Forbes Watson began his career as a physician in the Bombay Medical Service in 1850, later becoming Director of the India Museum in London until the transfer of its collection in 1879 to what would become the Victoria and Albert Museum. He promoted Indian industries, and his idea for "portable industrial museums" led to the publication of The Collections of the Textile Manufactures of India in 1866, eighteen volumes containing seven hundred mounted and classified samples of Indian textiles. A second set, examples shown here, was published from 1873 to 1877. Although never completed, each set also included more than seven hundred samples. The designs and textile samples were intended to inspire students and show textile manufacturers in Britain the vast potential market in India.

Paisley

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/2318796595/

  • Smithsonian Libraries, TS1403.W3c 1873 folio, Vol.1, No.1 Second series

John Forbes Watson began his career as a physician in the Bombay Medical Service in 1850, later becoming Director of the India Museum in London until the transfer of its collection in 1879 to what would become the Victoria and Albert Museum. He promoted Indian industries, and his idea for "portable industrial museums" led to the publication of The Collections of the Textile Manufactures of India in 1866, eighteen volumes containing seven hundred mounted and classified samples of Indian textiles. A second set, examples shown here, was published from 1873 to 1877. Although never completed, each set also included more than seven hundred samples. The designs and textile samples were intended to inspire students and show textile manufacturers in Britain the vast potential market in India.

Paisley

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18620799/

  • Manufactured by Elephant Brand
  • cotton
  • Gift of Penelope McCain

Bandanas, like the paisley motif they commonly feature, can be traced back to India. Indian tie-dyed silk scarves were the inspiration for the patterned handkerchiefs that later became symbolic of the American West.

Paisley

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18620807/

  • Manufactured by Elephant Brand
  • cotton
  • Gift of Penelope McCain

Bandanas, like the paisley motif they commonly feature, can be traced back to India. Indian tie-dyed silk scarves were the inspiration for the patterned handkerchiefs that later became symbolic of the American West.

Paisley

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18620833/

  • cotton
  • Gift of Penelope McCain

Bandanas, like the paisley motif they commonly feature, can be traced back to India. Indian tie-dyed silk scarves were the inspiration for the patterned handkerchiefs that later became symbolic of the American West.

Paisley

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18443143/

  • cotton
  • Gift of Nasli Heeramaneck

The block-printed cottons coming out of north and west India were intended for clothing such as coats or trousers. This pattern of offset rows can be traced back to the Mughal Empire (1586–1753).

Paisley

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18418035/

  • cotton
  • Gift of Hooshang Motamed

Although the paisley motif’s history is too complex to trace in one chronological arc, early designs show the motif’s roots as a flowering plant, usually still in its grounding mound or pot. The bulbous bottom and narrowing top reflect the natural taper of some plants.

Paisley

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18309151/

  • wood, metal
  • Purchased for the Museum by the Advisory Council

Fine, linear components of block-printed designs were often created with copper strips and pins. The diagonal bars seen throughout this block were intended to mimic the distinctive diagonal effect of twill weave.

Paisley

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18464225/

  • wood
  • Gift of Harvey Smith

Jaipur, India, was one of the leading centers for producing block-printed cotton fabrics. After designs were worked out on paper, the paper would be pasted onto a wooden block to guide the carver.

Paisley

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18621711/

  • cotton
  • Purchase, Au Panier Fleuri Fund
  • pattern
  • decorative
  • brightly colored
  • paisley

In addition to their beautiful complex patterning, European-printed paisleys showcased the latest advances in textile dye chemistry, including the discharge and discharge and replace methods. These allowed for bright, clear colors to be printed on a deep colored ground, like this saturated Turkey red.

Paisley

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18162921/

  • brush and orange-pink, yellow gouache, graphite on brown oiled translucent paper
  • Gift of Eleanor and Sarah Hewitt

Pattern drawers would first draft their paisley designs onto plain paper, usually in gouache. The pattern would then be transferred onto point paper, a type of specialized graph paper for planning weaving drafts, before being turned over for production.

Paisley

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18162903/

  • brush and orange-pink gouache on brown oiled translucent paper

Pattern drawers would first draft their paisley designs onto plain paper, usually in gouache. The pattern would then be transferred onto point paper, a type of specialized graph paper for planning weaving drafts, before being turned over for production.

Paisley

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18162929/

  • brush and orange-pink gouache on brown oiled translucent paper
  • Gift of Eleanor and Sarah Hewitt

Pattern drawers would first draft their paisley designs onto plain paper, usually in gouache. The pattern would then be transferred onto point paper, a type of specialized graph paper for planning weaving drafts, before being turned over for production.

Paisley

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18162915/

  • brush and orange-pink, yellow gouache, graphite on brown oiled translucent paper

Pattern drawers would first draft their paisley designs onto plain paper, usually in gouache. The pattern would then be transferred onto point paper, a type of specialized graph paper for planning weaving drafts, before being turned over for production.

Paisley

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18443665/

  • woodcut on cream laid paper

This ornamental endpaper design would be on the inside of a book cover.

Paisley

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/2318795523/

  • paisley-printed silk with metallic embroidery
  • Courtesy of Etro

Fifty years after its founding, Etro maintains its fascination with paisley, constantly reinventing the motif through color, form, and texture. Taking inspiration from the Tree of Life interpretation of the motif’s derivation, this collection includes exuberant combinations of colors as well as a brilliant white with gray pairing to serve as backdrops for a torrent of paisley motifs.

Paisley

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18180989/

  • brush and gouache on brown oiled translucent paper mounted on dark brown paper

Paisley

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18562003/

  • brush and watercolor on paper
  • Museum purchase through gift of Mrs. Richard Irvin

The invention of the Jacquard loom in the first decade of the 19th century provided Europe with an efficient and cost-effective means of shawl production. While there were considerable differences in the quality of the shawls on the market, the new loom meant a larger number of women could now afford them.

Paisley

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18306083/

  • brush and gouache on brown oiled translucent paper

These vivid designs show three interpretations of the paisley motif. While two are firmly planted on their bases, the third is just beginning to break away, retaining only the suggestion of a stem.

Paisley

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18306129/

  • brush and gouache on brown oiled translucent paper

These vivid designs show three interpretations of the paisley motif. While two are firmly planted on their bases, the third is just beginning to break away, retaining only the suggestion of a stem.

Paisley

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18306109/

  • brush and gouache on brown oiled translucent paper

These vivid designs show three interpretations of the paisley motif. While two are firmly planted on their bases, the third is just beginning to break away, retaining only the suggestion of a stem.

Paisley

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/1108711743/

  • silk
  • American Textile History Museum Collection, gift of Karen Herbaugh

This American silk was produced for men’s neckties. The diagonal print allows the ties to be cut along the bias, or at a forty-five-degree angle to the warp and weft. A textile formatted for a specific end use is known as an "engineered" pattern.

Paisley

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/2318793703/

  • wool, silk
  • Courtesy of Museum of the CIty of New York, Gift of Parsons The New School for Design, 1986

Paisley

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/2318793702/

  • silk, lurex
  • Courtesy of Museum of the City of New York, Gift of Ms. Rosamund Bernier, 1989

Born in Jerusalem and raised in Damascus, London-based designer Thea Porter brought inspiration from her Middle East upbringing to her fashions. Paisleys are the highlight of this evening dress, their metallic forms catching the light and playing on the surface of this chiffon dress.

Paisley

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/2318797133/

  • cashmere wool

This exquisite shawl was likely one of the French products shown at the Great Exhibition of 1851 at the Crystal Palace in London. While the design is crowded with an abundance of floral motifs, both ends have two elongated, overlapping paisley motifs seemingly connected at the top by a flowering plant with spiky leaves.

Paisley

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18631969/

  • Designed by Franz Xaver Unterseher
  • silk, glass beads, silver
  • Gift of Betty Ivey Martin

Paisley

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18431985/

  • cotton ground; silk, wool, metallic thread, glass and metal beads
  • Gift of Madame Sabo

In this unfinished design, a variety of different embroidery techniques, metallic threads, and beads are used to build complexity and volume.

Paisley

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/2318795525/

  • gouache and digital print on white wove paper
  • Courtesy of Etro

This intermediary drawing takes inspiration from the 1851 shawl to your left and translates the flowers and paisley motifs into a hand-painted assemblage. The overall pattern is more clearly articulated than the shawl and is further transformed in the large digital paper proof behind you with attenuated paisley motifs reverting to more stem-like forms.

Paisley

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/2318795524/

  • paisley-printed silk with metallic embroidery
  • Courtesy of Etro

Fifty years after its founding, Etro maintains an enduring fascination with paisley, continually reinventing the motif through color, form, and texture. Taking inspiration from the Tree of Life interpretation of the paisley motif, this collection includes exuberant combinations of colors as well as a brilliant white with gray pairing to serve as backdrops for a torrent of paisley motifs.

Paisley

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/2318793700/

  • paisley-printed silk with metallic embroidery
  • Courtesy of Etro

Fifty years after its founding, Etro maintains an enduring fascination with paisley, continually reinventing the motif through color, form, and texture. Taking inspiration from the Tree of Life interpretation of the paisley motif, this collection includes exuberant combinations of colors as well as a brilliant white with gray pairing to serve as backdrops for a torrent of paisley motifs.

Paisley

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/2318795522/

  • paisley printed silk, cotton, and linen with gold embroidery and mirrors. looks are embellished with swarovski jewels (earrings and pins).
  • Courtesy of Etro

Fifty years after its founding, Etro maintains an enduring fascination with paisley, continually reinventing the motif through color, form, and texture. Taking inspiration from the Tree of Life interpretation of the paisley motif, this collection includes exuberant combinations of colors as well as a brilliant white with gray pairing to serve as backdrops for a torrent of paisley motifs.

Paisley

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/2318795527/

  • fabric covered board, paper, wool samples
  • Courtesy of Etro

Etro founder Gerolamo Etro began a life-long fascination with paisley in 1968, and, with his wife, Roberta, collected antique shawls and sample books, such as this one, as inspiration for their clothing and home collections.

Paisley

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/2318795526/

  • digital print
  • Courtesy of Etro

This digital print is the final version, or paper proof, of the design before the textile goes into production.

Paisley

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18632737/

  • Designed by Zandra Rhodes
  • cotton

Textile and fashion designer Zandra Rhodes is known for her outrageously colorful prints. Many of her feminine designs are combined with the spikes, holes, and safety pins emblematic of the punk era. Here, she uses a series of spikes to demarcate her paisley pattern, giving a sharp edge to a usually soft shape.

Paisley

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18649799/

  • Designed by Nathalie Du Pasquier
  • cotton
  • Gift of Natalie du Pasquier

Well known as a member of the Italian design group Memphis, purveyors of playful postmodern style, Natalie Du Pasquier worked to break design hierarchies, mixing high and lowbrow motifs in saturated colors. Perhaps referencing the high fashion history of Kashmir shawls, Du Pasquier balances this paisley pattern with polka dots and zig zags.

Paisley

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/68743581/

  • Designed by Lockwood de Forest
  • cut and perforated sheet brass
  • Gift of Sullivan Goss-An American Gallery
  • foliate
  • panel
  • pierced
  • metal foil
  • paisley
  • exoticism

De Forest ordered large numbers of decorative foils in a variety of shapes and patterns of piercing, often numbered like the teak panels. At Bryn Mawr he used them to decorate ceiling beams. They may have helped reflect light in the dark teak interiors.

Paisley

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18760317/

  • Manufactured by Manuscreens, Inc.
  • screen-printed, flock, vinyl, foil, mylar
  • Gift of Israel and Ruth Fiedler
  • revival
  • brightly colored
  • texture
  • paisley

This sample book would allow the consumer to pick among eight wallcoverings, all variations of the paisley motif. Each pattern is shown on one full spread, with alternate colorways on the subsequent pages. The name of the pattern on display is Kashmir, paying homage to the motif’s origins in Indian shawls.

Paisley

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18715411/

  • Designed by Maharam
  • 76% polyester, 24% cotton
  • Gift of Maharam
  • flowers
  • upholstery
  • domestic interiors
  • furnishing fabric
  • curving line
  • large repeat
  • paisley

In this contemporary interpretation of the paisley motif, Maharam’s use of scale recalls the exuberant art nouveau-inspired shawls of the 19th century. The individual cones become confrontational, demanding a familiar form be given new consideration.

Paisley

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18632743/

  • Designed by Zandra Rhodes
  • brush and gouache, graphite on pink paper
  • Gift of Zandra Rhodes

Paisley

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18471049/

  • Manufactured by Woodson Wallpapers, Inc.
  • screen printed
  • Gift of Woodson Wallpapers, Inc.
  • All-over

Credited with bringing pure, vivid color to wallpaper, Woodson Wallpapers upended the trend of pastel colors for walls. This vibrant paisley pattern on a black ground would bring an effervescent energy to any interior.

Paisley

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18471035/

  • Manufactured by Philip Graf Wallpapers, Inc.
  • screen-printed paper
  • Gift of Philip Graf

The simple lines of the paisley shape have been layered, echoed, and distorted to create a chaotic tumbling effect. The oversize scale of the print ensures none of the details are lost in the frenzy.

Paisley

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18394387/

  • silk, metal
  • Gift of Mrs. Albert Blum

Paisley

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18401309/

  • wool
  • Gift of Mrs. Evsie Beloussoff

Paisley

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18401973/

  • wool
  • Gift of Mrs. William Randolph Hearst, Jr.

Paisley

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18423715/

Paisley

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18443161/

  • cotton
  • Gift of Nasli Heeramaneck

Paisley

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18454777/

  • Designed by Tzaims Luksus
  • silk
  • Gift of Tzaims Luksus

Paisley

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18517683/

  • engraving on paper
  • Gift of Cooper Union Library

Paisley

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18562545/

  • rayon ground, silk and wool thread, glass beads
  • Gift of Madame Sabo

Paisley

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18562549/

  • silk, metallic ribbon, metallic thread, glass and metallic beads
  • Gift of Madame Sabo

Paisley

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18563909/

  • silk
  • Gift of Anonymous Donor
  • borders
  • flowers
  • women's fashion accessories
  • women's clothing
  • warmth
  • Imitative
  • paisley
  • carnations

The boteh, or paisley motif, is derived from Persian, Indian, and European sources, and developed its current form during the Kashmir shawl craze of the late 18th and 19th centuries. Its English name refers to Paisley, Scotland, a major production center for imitation Kashmir shawls.

Paisley

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18575133/

  • wool

Paisley

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18615883/

  • cotton

Paisley

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18620809/

  • Manufactured by Elephant Brand
  • cotton

Paisley

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18620823/

  • cotton
  • Gift of Penelope McCain

Paisley

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18632739/

  • Designed by Zandra Rhodes
  • Gift of Zandra Rhodes

Paisley

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18633481/

  • woodcut on paper

Paisley

https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/2318796677/

  • cashmere wool
  • Courtesy of Museum of the City of New York, Gift of Harry Harkness Flagler, 1952

In the early 19th century, European women abandoned their cloaks, choosing to stay warm and covered under shawls. The fashion press described women as “draped” as they wound shawls over their shoulders, circling their arms, or tied around their waist.