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The Origin of Paisley Design


This popular twisted teardrop pattern has a Persian (Iranian) origin, but its western name originates from the town of Paisley, in West Scotland. The paisley pattern traces its origins back to Persia and the Sassanid Empire around 221 AD. It was originally called “Boteh Jegheh” and was created as a motif for Zoroastrianism religion. The design represents the Cypress Tree, which is a Zoroastrian symbol of life and eternity.  In modern Persia, Iran, paisley is still called “Boteh Jeghe” and is very popular. Paisley designs can be found on Persian carpets, curtains, jewelry, paintings, clothing, and variety of art works.  

The fashion for using the paisley pattern spread to many other Asian and Indian countries, and it became the most popular in the Moghul period between the years 1526-1764. The pattern was used on almost everything from stone carvings to the accessories and regalia of Princes and Holy Men.

During the 1600s, the paisley pattern began to appear on shawls. In the first half of the 17th century,  imports from the East India Company made paisley even more popular. Around 1800s, the weavers of the town of Paisley in Renfrewshire, Scotland, became the primary producers of these shawls. And that is how the design became known as the Paisley pattern.

 1860s Western Fashion include square paisley shawls folded on the diagonal and full skirts held out by crinolines.

 1860s Western Fashion include square paisley shawls folded on the diagonal and full skirts held out by crinolines. 

The Paisley Shawl, by Francis Henry Newbery at Paisley Museum and Art Gallery

P.S. Maison Termeh is inspired by the phenomenal fabric ,Termeh. Termeh is one of the ancient arts of Iran, and one of the common designs on Termeh is Paisley!  Now you know the connection between paisley patterns on this beautiful ancient fabric.

Paisley patterns on Persian Termeh

Paisley Patterns on Persian Termeh