From Buteh To Paisley

From Buteh to Paisley: The history of a global icon

0. Cover page

The present online exhibition is based on an onsite event that was opened in March 2021 in the gallery of the Textile Research Centre, Leiden, the Netherlands. Because of the…

1. Introduction

We all know the motif, that cone-shaped curvy form which is so pleasant to look at and feels so peaceful. The eye is taken from the side to the top…

2. But what is paisley?

The paisley motif is a curved, tear-shaped design, which has become a classic form used in many countries throughout the world. It has been described, for example, as a ‘particular…

3. History of the paisley motif

There are various theories about the early history of the paisley/buteh motif. It would appear that it originated in Iran during the early first millennium AD. At this date it…

4. The world of paisley

The spread of the paisley/buteh motif around the world is closely connected with the vast trade in textiles from India which has been carried out for at least 2,000 years. From…

5. Kashmir and paisley shawls

The paisley shawl originates in Kashmir, India, and in particular among the shawls being woven and sometimes also embroidered in the 18th century for the Mughal court of India and…

6. Paisley and European regional textiles and dress

Given the popularity of the motif it is not surprising that it can be found on various forms of European regional dress. It occurs on Russian headcoverings and shawls for…

7. Some Western paisley variations

Over the centuries, various forms of the paisley motif have developed in the West. In particular throughout the 20th century, the paisley motif has been creatively transformed accordingly to the…

8. Paisley for all

One of the features of the paisley motif is its versatility. It can be worn on any occasion and in any place or occupation. It can also come in a…