the writer is a lonely hunter

writing by Gail Aldwin and other Dorset writers

#TenThings

Are you interested in finding out #TenThings about me that you might not otherwise know?

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If so, pop over to the Portobello Book Blog where I reveal some best kept secrets.

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Women and shawls in 19th century art

In the style of Marina Sofia’s Friday Fun Reading Women post, I have collected images of women in paintings wearing paisley pattern shawls. These shawls became popular in the nineteenth century when mass production of the design (which originated in Kashmir) started in Norwich and then Paisley in Scotland. Thus paisley shawls became an exotic, must-have garment that became a marker of respectability. Although popular in Britain, the shawls were widely available in Europe, too.

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Paisley Shawl by Robert Lewis Reid (1862-1929)

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Sunday Afternoon by George Morren (1868-1941)

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Portrait of a Young Lady by Eduard Friedrich Leybold (1798-1879)

 

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Irish colleen wearing green plaid shawl (1890)

Departing for the Promenade

Will you go out with me Fido? by Alfred Stevens (1823-1906)

If these images have pricked your curiosity about the place of paisley pattern in the arts, why not read the story in my collection Paisley Shirt which was inspired by this design?

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About Paisley Print

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According to the Textile Glossary, paisley pattern “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.”

The East India Company began importing shawls from Kashmir and Persia and due to their popularity, production of paisley shawls began in the small town of Paisley in Scotland. By the 1850s six thousand weavers were employed to produce paisley shawls made from wool. Although the pattern produced by these weavers became known as paisley due to the link with the town, this pattern is known as palme in French and bota in Netherlands.

Over the years, paisley patterns continued to be worn, but it was not until the late 1960s that the print was once again fashionable. More recently in 2012 the print also appeared in fashion shows.

Paisley Shirt is the title of a story in my new collection of short fiction which bears the same name. Can I encourage you to purchase a copy here? The paperback edition is available from 7 March 2018.

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