Paisley is an English term for a design using a droplet-shaped vegetable-cum-floral motif of Persian origin. As Wiki tells us ‘such designs became popular in the West in the 18th and 19th centuries, following imports of post-Mughal versions from British India, especially in the form of Kashmir shawls.’ Although of Iranian and Indian origin, its western modern name comes from the textile town of Paisley in Scotland where these particular designs were woven.
Paisley is a classic heritage print and one that that‘s grown on me. It has swirled its way into my wardrobe and now I have a small stash of fine wool shawls. Paisley is perfect for interiors too. I think that one of the reasons why is that this teardrop motif works a bit like a tartan. Tartan is famous its for balance and colour harmony. It can take a lot of colour but in an ordered way. If you used the same number of shades in a print it would look riotous but with a tartan it’s much more rigid. A paisley works in a similar self-contained manner and like tartan, it is wonderfully unisex, as well as cosy and stylish. Designers have also experimented with scale and this design can be any size as long as the proportions are correct.
If you’re after paisley perfection then discover de Le Cuona. Here are exquisite wool paisleys made in the same age-old manner that has been used for centuries. It is woven on very old looms in Kashmir and washed by hand to achieve the soft drape and subtle shades.
‘To perfect our paisley for modern tastes we have re-coloured the designs as the traditional palette is very strong. We have used soft colours such as celadon and grey-blues, and have introduced one in chocolate and stone; it makes paisley much more contemporary.’
Bernie de Le Cuona
If you would like to win a gorgeous hand-crafted Avignon Woven Paisley throw, you can enter a special competition on de Le Cuona twitter. Link below.