Catherine Daniel Ceramics

Hello and welcome to my blog where I share some of the thought processes and textile/quilting inspirations behind my ceramic art, and occasionally other random topics!
For more details and pictures of my ceramic creations, please see my website -

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Paisley and Patchwork

This is the Indian woodblock which is used for printing onto textiles in India and which I use for imprinting into soft clay. I love Paisley patterns and have recently incorporated them a lot into my patchwork designs. But I didn't know why Paisley is called Paisley - so I looked it up in that wonderful internet site where we find out everything about everything these days and ....

Paisley is a droplet-shaped vegetable motif of Indian or Persian origin. The pattern is sometimes called "Persian pickles" by American traditionalists, especially quiltmakers, and "Welsh pears" in Welsh textiles as far back as 1888.

Imports from the East India Company in the first half of the 17th century made paisley and other Indian patterns popular, and the Company was unable to import enough to meet the demand.

And now for a bit of social history, which I always find interesting ....

In the 19th Century European production of paisley increased, particularly in the Scottish town from which the pattern takes its modern name. Soldiers returning from the colonies brought home cashmere wool shawls from India, and the East India Company imported more. The design was copied from the costly silk and wool Kashmir shawls and adapted for use on handlooms.

From roughly 1800 to 1850, the weavers of the town of Paisley in Renfrewshire, Scotland, became the foremost producers of these shawls, and so this pattern got called after the town they were made.

Obviously, if I'd had loads of Cashmere shawls lying around the place, I might of known all this!

Anyway, I am gonna now call it the 'Persian Pickle Pattern' as that sounds cooler than Paisley!

You learn something new ... or did you guys all know this anyway?


  1. Really beautiful...and interesting! Cx

  2. great hearts and great story.

  3. Well I've learnt something!
    Thanks x

  4. Are you familiar with Sandra's Dallas "The Persian Pickle Club"?

  5. Bozena - no I'd never heard of it but just checked in out on Amazon and am gonna order it for my holiday read - sounds great - will let you know how I get on! Thanks - you are a mine of info!

  6. really beautiful ;-)) And a lovely history lesson to ;-)) enjoy the rest of your week, dee x

  7. Lovely hearts. Did you see the BBC episode of The Next Big Thing? They had artists who work with silk, glass etc meeting the buyers from Liberty's. I thought of you and your work.

  8. What a nice blog! And thanks for the information on Paisley, no I did NOT know this at all, and I always wondered by this pattern which I'd seen on Indian fabrics, had the name of a Scottish town!

    I think "Paisley" is a nice word. Just think it could have been "Glasgow" :)

  9. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  10. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.