What is "Paisley" - Definition & Explanation
Last Updated on: 20-Feb-2023 (7 months, 9 days ago)
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Paisley: The Mesmerizing Tapestry of Art and Culture in Textile

Paisley in Textile: Meaning, Definition, and Explanation

From its intricate patterns to its rich cultural history, paisley has become an iconic design in the world of textiles. In this comprehensive article, we will explore the meaning, origin, types, handling tips, and profiles of top international users and manufacturers of paisley textiles.

Meaning and Origin

Paisley is a distinctive pattern that originated in Persia (modern-day Iran) and gained popularity during the 18th and 19th centuries. The pattern is characterized by intricate curved shapes resembling teardrops or droplets, often arranged in a swirling and symmetrical fashion. It is known by various names in different cultures, such as boteh, buta, and pine cone motif.

The paisley pattern found its way into Western fashion and textiles through the East India Company's importation of shawls from India in the 18th century. These shawls, known as paisley shawls, captivated European audiences with their vibrant colors and intricate designs. The popularity of paisley soared during the Victorian era and has continued to be a beloved motif in fashion and home decor.

Types of Paisley

Paisley patterns can be found in various forms, each with its own unique characteristics:

  1. Traditional Paisley: This type embodies the classic paisley pattern with teardrop-shaped motifs intricately arranged in a swirling pattern. It typically features vibrant colors and is commonly used in textiles, including fabrics, scarves, and wallpapers.
  2. Contemporary Paisley: Contemporary versions of paisley may feature modern twists, such as larger or abstract interpretations of the teardrop motifs. These designs often incorporate a broader color palette and are utilized in fashion, interior design, and accessories.
  3. Textured Paisley: Textured paisley fabrics are created by incorporating various weaving techniques or by using raised fibers to add depth and dimension to the pattern. This type of paisley is commonly seen in upholstery fabrics, carpets, and rugs.
  4. Embroidered Paisley: Embroidered paisley designs combine the elegance of embroidery with the timeless paisley motif. Intricate stitching techniques bring the paisley pattern to life on fabrics, garments, and decorative items.

Tips in Handling Paisley Textiles

When working with paisley textiles, consider the following tips to maintain their beauty and longevity:

  • Gentle Washing: Handwashing or using a delicate cycle on your washing machine is recommended to prevent damage to the intricate paisley pattern.
  • Cold Water: Washing paisley textiles in cold water helps preserve the colors and prevents potential fading.
  • Avoid Direct Sunlight: Prolonged exposure to direct sunlight can lead to color fading, so it's best to store and display paisley items away from harsh sunlight.
  • Ironing with Care: If ironing is necessary, use a low heat setting and place a thin cloth between the iron and the paisley fabric to avoid direct contact.

Top International Users and Manufacturers of Paisley Textiles

Paisley textiles are embraced by numerous international brands and manufacturers, showcasing their exquisite designs and craftsmanship. Here are five prominent users and manufacturers:

  1. Etro: Known for their vibrant and intricate paisley designs, Etro is an Italian luxury fashion house. They incorporate paisley patterns in various products, including clothing, accessories, and home furnishings.
  2. Liberty London: Liberty London, a British luxury department store, showcases a wide range of paisley fabrics and products. They collaborate with designers to create unique paisley pieces that embody their heritage.
  3. Johnstons of Elgin: As a Scottish textile company, Johnstons of Elgin combines traditional craftsmanship with contemporary paisley designs. They offer paisley scarves, blankets, and other accessories.
  4. Zimmermann: Zimmermann, an Australian fashion brand, infuses paisley prints into their collections, creating a fusion of bohemian and modern aesthetics.
  5. India Jane: India Jane, a British interiors and lifestyle brand, incorporates paisley motifs in their home decor products, adding a touch of elegance and charm to interiors.


Paisley, with its roots in Persian culture and its journey through history, has become an iconic pattern cherished in the textile industry. Its intricate designs and versatile applications make paisley a beloved motif in fashion, home decor, and beyond. By understanding its meaning, origin, types, and proper handling, we can appreciate the beauty and cultural significance of paisley textiles.

A design originating in Asia, traditionally in a teardrop shape with a curving point containing and surrounded by many small abstract and geometric designs.
Paisley is a droplet-shaped vegetal motif, similar to half of the T'ai Chi symbol, the Indian bodhi tree leaf, or the mango tree. The design originated in India and spread to Scotland when British soldiers brought home cashmere shawls.
A tear-drop shaped, fancy printed pattern, used in dresses, blouses, and men's ties.
paisley a fabric made typically of soft wool and woven or printed with colorful curved abstract figures.
A soft wool fabric with a colorful swirled pattern of curved shapes.

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