The Evolution of Paisley

Tanya Knannlein brought two Seattle Central textile technology and design classes to the Collections Study Center last week to look at and sketch examples of woven and hand-printed fabrics.

SCCC Surface Design Class 001

Henry Collections Curator Judy Sourakli discussed the various techniques used to produce the textiles and fragments on hand: ikat, batik, compound weave and block/hand printing, among others.

And I learned this: The British-seeming-as-tea-and-waving-queens paisley pattern in fact originated in Persia about 500 years ago. The contemporary, very common nomenclature is a nod to the foremost producers of the paisley shawls that were all the rage in Europe during the first half of the 18th century. (Judy explained that the advent of the bustle ended this trend – no good covering your bump with a strip of pretty fabric.) Production location: Paisley, Scotland. More on paisley here.

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