David Hill – early paisley shawls

David Hill - early paisley shawls

Categories : Collectables

David Hill, an avid collector of Paisley shawls, fascinated his listeners with the history of the pattern and, with the assistance of his wife Anne, showed some of his collection.

The making of Paisley patterns began in the 1600s in India, where they were hand-worked on to fine goat fleece for shawls and worn as status symbols by princes.

The original pattern was based on a sprig of flowers, gradually becoming more stylised as time passed. The scarves caught the imagination of the European population and, by the late 1700s were being made there. They became rare and expensive objects of art. The town of Paisley, near Glasgow in Scotland, began manufacturing the material. From there the name of Paisley became widely used. The fashion of wearing a shawl died out in the late 1800s, as a shawl could not be worn comfortably over a lady’s bustle.

One of the shawls shown by David and Anne was a Kirking Shawl, worn traditionally by a bride on the first day she attended church after her marriage. This was a white shawl with intricate Paisley pattern around the edges.

David and Anne began collecting in 1969 and their first shawl was one made in 1810 from silk.

David was thrilled while doing family research to discover his great-grandfather had lived in Paisley in the very lane where the mill stood.

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