The paisley motif has an ancient origin and a rich history. It is believed that it originated in the Sasanian Empire, which existed from 224 to 651 AD on the territory of modern Iraq and Iran. Then the fabric with this pattern spread throughout Central Asia. The paisley pattern evolved mainly in The Kingdom of Kashmir. During Mughal Emperor Akbar’s reign (1556–1605), shawl-weaving production increased dramatically.
The East India Company imported paisley shawls from Kashmir and Persia to Europe in large quantities from around 1800. The pattern became so popular that in the small Scottish town Paisley was began British production of woven shawls with beloved motif. In Britain in the 19th century the paisley shawl was the ‘must-have’ accessory, it was recorded in numerous portrait paintings. Changes in fashion led to the demise of the popularity of the shawl in the late 1800s.
There are many versions of what exactly this pattern means: flower motif, flame, cashew nut, mango tree seeds, cypress. In any case all theories converge on the meaning of fertility and the birth of life.
It is not a coincidence that the pattern returned to its former glory in the late 1960’s, in the days of hippies. In 1968, The Beatles visited India and embraced its philosophy, music and of course paisley fabrics. It became a symbol of rebellion, a statement of non-conformity. The famous print was worn by The Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix, The Who. Paisley was on the color bandanas of street groups. The print became the emblematic symbol of many famous fashion houses, among them Etro, Pucci, Missoni. It never ceases to amaze with the abundance of modern variations.
After reading such a rich history I wondered how often paisley was used by jewelers. So here it is jewelry paisley. I hope you enjoy it!