Saturday, April 9, 2011

Friday-Free Patterns


Paisley

This time I want to introduce to you one of the most popular motif from India-Paisley....
Hand woven border on silk from Assam showing the Mango or Paisley design.

Paisley- tear drop shaped pattern- is of Indian origin. Some believe it to be of Persian origin. However the word "Paisley"  has been derived from a town Paisley of Scotland. This is called as Paisley Pickles by the American quilters and "Welsh Pears" by the Welsh and were used in their textiles as early as 1800s. French call this as Boteh and Plame.

Some feel that the tear drop shape can be traced back to ancient Babylon. It represented the growing shoot of  date palm which was considered as sacred and "Tree of Life" as it provided food, drink, fibres for clothing and for all other needs. Gradualy the growing shoot symbol began to be recognised as fertility symbol too.

Some believe that this shape is known as "Boteh" is the Zoroastrian symbol of life and eternity and originated from a combination of stylized floral spray and cypress tree. This later on was adopted by the Azerbaijan too in their textiles and architecture too. 

The floral motif of Iran known as "Buta" originated in Safavid dynasty of Persia. This sounds like the "Boteh" and I think it originated from that word. Buta is a word still used in indian textiles for tear drop shaped pattern. This was popular textile pattern used during Qajar Dynasty too. Textiles of royalty as well as common man-garments, carpets, shawls, furnishings, quilts,  and jewellery sported this motif.

Some believe that paisley pine cone, or tear drop, was derived from the Indian boteh or buta (from the Persian word for flower). Buta even today refers to tear shaped motif. Buta in general means motif but when specifically used- tear shaped one.

The boteh first started as a simple and naturalistic plant rendering used in both textiles and art; it was an attempt by artists and weavers of the Mughal court to imitate European botanical studies typical of the 17th century. Stylistically, the evolution of the boteh owes much to traditional Persian floral design, as it was depicted in carpets, tiles, and miniatures. By the 1700s, the motif was embellished with additional flowers and tendrils. Gradually  all those merged into a  slender conical “tree” with  a bent tip. Finally the motif evolved into the elongated serpentine abstraction as we see it today.

This is still a very popular motif in Asian countries.

Indians used this symbol or pattern since ancient times. In Sanskrit this symbol is referred to as Mankolam-Its a tamil word meaning Man-Mango and Kolam-rangoli or design. Mankolam means the Mango design. In Telugu it is known as Mamidi Pindelu, in Urdu -Kairi and Punjabi-Ambi; all meaning unripe small mangoes. For us this symbol is auspicious associated with prosperity.
          Paisley in Batik
These patterns were widely used by the Kashmiris in their shawls either woven or embroidered. In other parts of India these were woven with gold or silver threads as motifs or borders on saris and other materials, jewellery etc.
   Paisley in Kashmiri embroidery
The East India Company during their rule in India popularised this pattern during 17th and 18th centuries as Kashmir shawls were exported to Europe. To meet the huge demand, the manufaturers in Marseilles began to print the motif. Holland followed the suit. During 19th century  the design from the Kashmir shawls were copied and adopted for the hand looms and jacquard looms by the manufacturers of Paisely-Scottish town. Later on these motifs were printed on cottons and woollen fabrics which became famous as the paisley patterns.

Even today this motif is popular in our South Indian textiles and jewellery. So here is my motif.....
            Paisley Pattern
This would  look great on saris, blouses, cushion covers etc . You can paint it or embroider it. Satin stitch, herringbone stitch, chain stitch with French knots may look good.
Hope you like it. Try it out and let me know.


2 comments:

Elena said...

It's a very interesting post, and I love your patterns! Thanks!
Elena

Ms Sharma said...

Thank You Elena