The Invention of Paisley

Portrait of a young elegant lady, three-quarter length, in a red dress with an embroidered shawl, standing in a landscape

This painting depicts a fashionable young lady who is sporting a shawl whose ends are adorned in a Paisley pattern. This pattern is an imitation of an Indian decoration known as the pine cone pattern.

As business in Kashmir scarves grew it became profitable for those in England and Scotland to begin production of copies.  These craftspeople also created their own patterns inspired by the Indian embellishments which became popular and are still used today. One of these designs was Paisley, which depicts a teardrop shape whose top corner is curled, and originated from Paisley Scotland.

(Review of Textile Progress, Volume 8. Page 257.)