Reflections of the Exotic East | India

Stars, Hearts & Cross and King’s Crown variation
quilt top
Circa 1850-1870
Possibly made in Montgomery County, PA
IQSCM 1997.007.0231, Ardis and Robert James Collection

Two variations of the paisley design appear in the vivid Turkey red fabrics in this block-style, appliqué quilt top. The paisley design originated in Persia and flourished in India. The featured motif on Kashmir shawls gained its Western name from the city of Paisley, Scotland, where manufacturers produced Jacquard-woven copies of the Kashmir shawls. Mass-produced Paisley shawls were fashionable for several decades in the early 1800s. As a symbol of distant, romantic India, the paisley motif decorated a wide variety of other early nineteenth-century fabrics. It remains a standard Western pattern, although most people are unaware of its Eastern origins.