Paisley shawl

Contributed by Paisley Museum and Art Galleries

A traditional Paisley shawl

The Paisley Shawl Collection, cared for by Renfrewshire Council, is a recognised collection of national significance.Paisley holds a rare position in the history of woven textiles, and The Paisley Shawl Collection cared for by Renfrewshire Arts and Museums Service is a Recognised Collection of National Significance to Scotland. The exotically patterned, delicate woollen shawls were originally from Kashmir but European manufacturers began to produce cheaper versions to meet demand. The shawl went out of fashion in the 1870s, but the pattern that had decorated them is still popular today. Hand loom weaving was a traditional industry in Renfrewshire throughout the 18th and 19th centuries. At Paisley museum research is carried out on traditional textile design and technology in the Weaving Gallery. Although the woven shawls, and their patterns, are known as 'Paisley', these shawls did not originate in Paisley - and Paisley wasn't even the only place in Europe where they were produced!

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