I spent yesterday working on a paisley inspired fabric pattern which got me thinking it’s time to put another textile in the spotlight, so this month’s pattern is Paisley. Recognized for its teardrop or tadpole shape, the paisley shape originated from a stylized plant formation of a drooping flower that was woven into expensive jewel tone shawls in 17th and 18th centuries, known as ‘paisley shawls’.
The motif originated in India but the pattern was given its English name from the town of Paisley in Scotland where it was produced in large quantities in the late 18th century. To this day major brands like Liberty of London continue to carry versions of paisley prints for fashion and home goods.
In traditional motifs, you’ll find elaborate paisley prints in woven textiles for home and silks for fashion in earthier colors from deep brown and blues to reds and oranges.
Surface and textile designers are changing the look of paisley with modern interpretations, many of them combining large scale prints with bold palettes.
Enlarging the white space between the droplet pattern and styling it in a half brick repeat is yet another way textile designers are keeping the pattern fresh in this century.