Early Masterpiece Shawls of Kashmir

Plate Navigation


Plate Eight
Length: 11 inches
Width: 5 inches
Warp: 256 per inch
Weft: 256 per inch
Condition: fragment
Collection: on loan to Weaving Art Museum


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This shawl is the first to introduce the paisley design, which is better known in India and other Near Eastern countries as the boteh or buta pattern. Plate Eight is one of the early, if not the earliest, example with a full-blown version of this ubiquitous pattern. A hundred years more or less after this shawl was woven the paisley became one of the most recognized and influential designs in history, eventually becoming synonymous with the words Kashmir Shawl and spawning numerous copies and look-alike reproductions.

The origin of the paisley has never been positively determined and no effort will be made in this description or in any of the others to attempt it here. Fact is the paisley existed long before this shawl or any other was made and suffice it to say the paisley was adopted by shawl weavers and not formulated by them or for them. This archetypal version can be dated to the end of the LCP, circa 1750, and, like Plate One, holds a key position in the design developments of early Kashmir shawls and the continuum developed in this exhibition.