Dating paisley shawls

The British Fleet was active in the Mediterranean about that time, which may explain the arrival of Kashmir shawls in this country.A Kashmir shawl might take three people more than a year to make, so fine and so laborious were the methods of embroidery and hand weaving used.They were consequently very valuable, and such shawls became the property of princes and nobles, and were commonly given as royal gifts.

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A French trade journal Le Cachemirien, of designs copied from Indian examples cites the owners of the shawls - the King of the Belgians, the Due de Berri, and others.

It was the nobility of Britain who acquired them too. These soon succeeded, and eventually the Indian trade was almost entirely superseded.

In spite of their high price, the demand for Kashmir shawls became so great that it could hardly be satisfied. This happened first in France, where Paris and Lyons became the centres of manufacture, next in Norwich and Edinburgh, and only lastly in Paisley, where about 1800 a Mr Paterson made the first attempt to copy an Indian shawl.

June 1949 The Paisley Shawls have been for long regarded as masterpieces of design and weaving, worthy to rank with the best tapestries, and greater than the finest brocades.

It is to be regretted, therefore, that there is so much misapprehension and even ignorance among their admirers, and that the art and craft of their manufacture is almost forgotten.

Last modified 27-Dec-2015 19:20