Do you have any cool and quirky Paisley pattern objects that you’d like to share? If you do then the Paisley Museum team want to hear from you.
Fashion designer Pam Hogg is leading a call-out for Paisley-patterned items you might have at home – from clothing to cookware – to mark the 150th anniversary of Paisley Museum.
The #ShowUsYourPaisley call-out will encourage the public to share any objects they have incorporating the famous pattern, with the museum considering the most intriguing and unusual submissions for inclusion in a new display being created as part of the museum’s £42million redevelopment. Items can be historic or contemporary, high-fashion or functional, but all need to feature the iconic teardrop motif.
Paisley’s Free Public Library and Museum opened on 11 April 1871, aiming to provide local people with the means of self-improvement inspired by the ideals of the Scottish enlightenment. In 1905, the museum held its first exhibition of Paisley shawls in recognition of the impact the textiles had had on the town’s fortunes. Many gifted these shawls to the museum permanently when the exhibition concluded, and over 115 years later the museum are asking the public to continue this tradition.
Kashmir shawls began to arrive in Europe in the 18th and 19th centuries, brought back by travellers and via trade routes, including with the East India Company and the Mughal Empire. Many featured the ‘boteh’, a motif in the shape of a curved droplet. By the 1800s they had become extremely fashionable and European textile centres began producing ‘imitation Indian’ shawls. Manufacturers in Paisley quickly adopted new weaving techniques and technologies including jacquard looms, allowing them to mass produce these items and become the market leaders by the 1830s. This sparked the start of the trend for referring to these shawls as ‘Paisleys’.
Although the fashion for the shawls that made the town’s fortune dwindled by the 1870s, the ‘Paisley pattern’ continued to appear in garments and in the 1960s had a dramatic revival with the likes of rock legends The Beatles and Jimi Hendrix wearing the designs. The pattern has continued to be a source of inspiration for leading fashion designers, including the Italian fashion house ETRO.
The public has until Sunday 30 May 2021 to submit their Paisley pattern item suggestions for consideration. They should be emailed to email@example.com, or shared on social media using #ShowUsYourPaisley and tagging @paisleymuseum and include a photograph, description and story behind the object.