These objects were hand woven and extremely costly which inspired European manufacturers to attempt to produce cheaper copies for the masses.

The central subject is a leak over which hang varieties of exotic vegetation; it is populated by a diverse collection of equally fanciful beasts, fishes, and birds, some of which are drawn from Chinese mythology.

Miniature people can be observed plucking fruit from trees, enjoying tea, hunting or going about other daily activities.

By the seventeenth century it was springing up on textiles woven in Kashmir.

The beautiful array of colors and intricate combinations of them, in the complex designs of the borders and stripes, shows the fine quality of French mills adapting the designs of Indian and Persian shawls.

In weaving this chinoiserie fantasy, a three-by-one twill, approximately sixty wefts per centimeter was used.

The Jacquard loom would have been fitted with about 200,000 punch cards to direct the wave of the pattern, which is unique over two-thirds of the shawl.

To see more paisley, visit Brenna Barks’ blog, where Monica Murgia has written about an exhibition at the Allentown Art Museum.

by Fiona Ellis For centuries, paisley patterns have wound their way in and out of fashion favor.

As I experimented with the stitches (the result is Paisley) I found myself wanting to learn more about the history of this iconic motif.

This led me on a journey where I not only spent several afternoons in the library at the museum in Toronto but also on a pilgrimage of sorts to the Paisley Museum in Scotland.

The shawls from this location were so prominent on the market that the style and boteh form of the shawls has been generally referred to as paisleys since.