Paisley Love

Does paisley remind you of the 60's and the "Summer of Love?"
It certainly was when the paisley pattern was revived. Remember the Beatles had been to India and there was an interest in Indian spirituality?

Actually, the paisley pattern was used in the manufacture of shawls in the Scottish town of Paisley way back in the 19th century.
But wait. The Scots borrowed the pattern from the cashmere shawls which were made in Kashmir, India and imported in the early 1800's.

Whatever, it's these 19th century shawls that I have been lusting after and collecting for the past two or three years.

It's very hard to find one in perfect shape. Most are ripped, torn and just plain smell bad, as is the case with this one that I picked up for $40!

I don't care. I just folded it a certain way and am letting it live out its days thrown over our leather chair.

This one hangs on the back of the loveseat. It is all handmade.

I love the turquoise color, as well as the intricate fringed border.

I found this one at the Hillsborough Antique Show last week.

It is a perfect square, with a black/brown center. I bought it to use as a table topper.

I found this paisley on One King's Lane. I'll admit it, it was a splurge.
It is 120 inches long and 60 inches wide. I bought it to use as a tablecloth.
It is is mint condition!

Not all paisleys are super expensive. This one is machine made, so it was more reasonable.
Since it's not so delicate, it can actually be used as a throw.

Traditionally, these were used as piano shawls.
Kind of a Victorian thing. My piano shawl is a knock-off from Marshall's!

It's fun to use the reproduction throws as tablecloths.
This one was purchased several years ago on a trip to France.
It has an apple green center! I used it for an Indian inspired tablescape that I did here.

Paisley seems to be very popular right now.
Even Pottery Barn got on the bandwagon with their wool paisley pillows, runners and tablecloths of recent seasons, all influenced by the Victorian and Kashmir shawls of the 19th century.

Designers have been using them forever though, creating that layered, European look that I love so much.
I'll never forget visiting a friend who had been transferred to London over 15 years ago.
She always had amazing taste, so I was excited to see her apartment. The first thing I noticed was a huge red Victorian paisley on her table, skirted to the floor that she had recently purchased at a flea market.
I was in love!

And of course, I'll never forget falling in love with this room. I saw it in a book featuring Bonnie Broten's home in Minnesota. She was using paisleys in her decor way back when too!

What is it about this amoeba like shape that appeals to me, I ask?
What does it mean or represent? Some say it is a symbol of fertility.

The Persians call it a boteh. Also called Persian Pickles and even Welsh Pears, it is a pattern that I'm continually drawn to!

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