The twisted, tear drop shape of the paisley pattern has an interesting history. The pattern itself originated in India and Iran but the name paisley comes from a small town by that name in the west central Lowlands of Scotland where weaving industries thrived in the 19th century. Soldiers returning from British colonies brought home cashmere wool shawls from India and as demand grew, the East India Company imported more. Throughout the 1800’s, weavers in the town of Paisley, Scotland became the foremost producers of these shawls in Europe. Working initially in five colors, while most other weavers produced paisley patterns in only two, they eventually mastered a pattern exhibiting up to fifteen colors. The design became known as the Paisley pattern, exhibiting a much greater use of color in their shawls than those still being imported from Kashmir.
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