Antique Victorian Paisley Shawl Woven Wool Mid 19th Century


Brand Poppy's Vintage Clothing

This is a lovely woven antique Victorian paisley shawl dating to the mid 19th century.  This antique Victorian paisley shawl is machine loomed and features tones of red, green, violet, orangey brown, with the centre being light green in tone.  The colour palette is more subtle than many of the darker toned paisley shawls that one may see - with improved looming techniques, full coloured paisleys came to be produced later on in the Victorian era.  This antique Victorian paisley shawl is made in a long rectangular form, measuring 112” (9 ft 4”) by 57” (4 ft 9”) - there are some remnants of fringe, but it appears that most of this is missing.  It has one small hole and a small repair (see last close-up photos, the repair shown both from the top and underside).  You can see some fray spots or separations in the weave by inspecting with a light behind it, but these are minor.  The green centre appears to be just a little discoloured to yellow, again very minor, and otherwise, this antique Victorian paisley shawl is in very good condition with or other holes, tearing or stains.  The wool is a lighter gauge/weight, which is what you would want in such a large shawl.

Paisley shawls were first imported to Europe during the early 19th century.  They originated in Kashmir, located in Northern India and came to Europe via French soldiers, who sent Turkish shawls back home as presents while waging the military campaign in Egypt.  The Turkish shawls, however, were imitations of the true Kashmir shawl and the type of design that we now associate with the term “paisley”, also known as the “pine” pattern, came into being only around 1820, when shawls from Northern India began appearing in England.  Machine based looming of these types of shawls was devised in Paisley, Scotland, which became a center of production, hence the name “Paisley”.  In 1842, in order to boost the domestic economy, Queen Victoria ordered 17 shawls from paisley, especially in order to wear one to the christening of the newly born Prince Edward.  At this point the paisley shawl became a fashion necessity.  By 1870, however, the paisley was no longer in fashion and very few were being made any more.     

This is a lovely piece....authentic antique Victorian paisley shawl and an interesting large example....