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Inspiring Fabrics – The Ever Popular Paisley

Paisley… the English name for the fabric design inspired by the buta or boteh, a droplet-shaped vegetable motif of Persian origin. This is probably where the alternative name of Persian Pickle is from. Said by scholars of ancient design to variously resemble a twisted teardrop, the fig, a stylised floral spray, a bent cedar tree or a mango, it was also represented in Celtic Art before Roman influences took over.

The shape is seen in many forms within nature, but the prevailing thought is it’s primarily inspired by the palm tree and mango. In various languages, the names remind us of the root of the inspiration of these decorative shapes, cachemire and palme in French.

My fascination with Paisley is perhaps in part a nod to my Scottish roots, as my Mum was born not far from Paisley in Scotland. Paisley on imported fabrics, particularly shawls from India, became popular. When demand outstripped supply, Paisley textile factories took up the challenge to produce such patterned fabrics. Paisley patterns were named after the place that took up its manufacture.

You find it all over the place – I even spotted it on my pyjamas this morning!

Amanda and I are constantly inspired by art and nature. Amanda is a very skilled textile artist so alongside her love of gemstones, she has a passion for dying, quilting, felting and knitting fabrics. If you are into sewing, the Persian Pickle Club by Sandra Dallas is a great read!

So, after a couple of thousand years, Paisley patterns appear globally in antique and modern textiles and other decorative things - across many cultures. A successful and pleasing motif will live forever!

Our newest range of rings, earrings, bracelets and pendants is influenced and developed by paisley…. Exciting designs coming soon, keep an eye out!

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