A reader asked "when did they first design paisley"?
|Spring 2011 from Elle magazine|
The term "paisley" stems from the Town of Paisely, formerly a weaving center in Scotland, not far from Glasgow.
|The Paisley town hall|
Hardly any time passes before English weavers make hand-woven knock-offs. By 1823ish thanks to the Jacquard loom, weavers in the town of Paisley do it so well and inexpensively they eventually dominate the shawl market for decades to come.
The shawl market?
Yes, there was one. Big skirts, big sleeves and pleasing necklines were de riguer for decades. Overcoats positively ruin the lines of this style of dress. A shawl is required.
|If it is cold outside, an overcoat will simply ruin the lines of these dresses. Emily Blunt as The Young Victoria.|
|From the Victoria and Albert Museum.|
|An 1845 paisley dress and shawl from the Victoria and Albert Museum.|
By 1860 millions of shawls woven in Paisley Scotland were sold. The distinctive design has by this time achieved icon status and is foreverafter referred to as "paisley".
All my bright readers have by now noticed that I haven't answered the "when" question. I'll save that for Paisley, Part Two.
Thanks for reading,
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