European Vintage Paisley Collection
Kashmir shawls became a rage in Paris by early 19th century, with Queen Victoria and Empress Josephine setting the fashion. Even earlier, Kashmir shawls were being copied on draw-looms in Scotland and Jacquard looms in France. From the front side they looked just like the originals, but only a handful were woven in Cashmere wool. Most of these Paisley shawls were woven in silk warp and wool weft to make shawls lighter and to give them a Pashmina-like sheen. A lucrative shawl industry arose in major textiles centres of Europe to meet the demands of the fashionable elite who could not afford the originals. The Paisley shawls here represent examples of some of the fine ones made in those times.