A wedding shawl circa 1853

Contributed by Judith Yapp

A wedding shawl circa 1853

My great great grandmother, Margaret McGeorge came from the Dumfries area, but was in service in Manchester in 1853. She wore this silk shawl, with it's wool woven Paisley border, at her marriage to Joseph Hibbs in August 1853. Since then the shawl has been passed down through the family to successive generations of Margarets.
The Paisley design was very popular during the early 1800s, and connects Britain to its wider Empire and India. Original, and expensive shawls were woven in Cashmere and came from India. Cheaper versions were woven, particularly in Central Scotland, at Paisley. This shawl has a woven wool border and uses six colours. The border is placed to show the correct side on both aspects when the shawl is folded into a triangle.
This shawl demonstrates the type of garment worn by the Victorian working class for special events.

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