LISTSERV mailing list manager LISTSERV 16.5

Help for CELTIC-L Archives


CELTIC-L Archives

CELTIC-L Archives


CELTIC-L@LISTSERV.HEANET.IE


View:

Message:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

By Topic:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

By Author:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

Font:

Proportional Font

LISTSERV Archives

LISTSERV Archives

CELTIC-L Home

CELTIC-L Home

CELTIC-L  December 1999

CELTIC-L December 1999

Subject:

Celtic Textiles

From:

silkee <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

silkee <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Sat, 11 Dec 1999 10:02:22 -0500

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (84 lines)

Well since you are all so quiet, I shall tell you about Paisley Shawls (I
said I have a penchant for textiles).

According to folks to who know more than me, Kasmir textiles began being
imported into the Celtic Isles from India and Turkey, and the western women
developed a liking for the Kasmir shawl which is woven in highly stylized
eastern patterns, including the boteh (which is what you think of when you
think of the Paisley teardrop).  I believe they began becomming popular in
the 1700's.

The demand was so great for these textiles, that local weavers began
weaving them, and copy-cat shawls were being woven in Paisley, Scotland
(and Glasgow and Edinborough Scotland) and Norwich, England by the 1800's.
(Shawls were also being woven in France).  Paisley, Scotland was a great
weaving center at that time, and eventually the shawls started being called
"Paisley Shawls" since most were being produced there.  The boteh pattern
eventually began to be called "paisley" by western women.  Early shawls,
which measure up to 6' wide and 12' long, took about a year to weave.  By
the mid-1800's, the shawls were being woven in sections (more than one
weaver could work on a section) and then were pieced together by
craftspeople so skilled that the joins were invisible.

Paisley used to subcontract its weaving work out to local area towns and
weavers.  Because the patterns were intricate and woven into the shawls,
the underside was covered with carried threads.  Although lovely, also, it
was obvious that it was the reverse side.  About the 1860's Glasgow came up
with a method where it made double faced shawls, which were essentially two
shawls fastened together so both sides were "right sides."  So when you see
one of these reversible shawls, you know it dates from Glasgow during this
period.

As you imagine, these shawls were expensive, therefore usually only wealthy
women had them.  By about 1900's these shawls were out of fashion with the
ladies, and some shawls from the late 1800's and nearly all shawls from the
1900's tend to be printed patterns on wool or silk, or a combination,
rather than woven patterns.  The printed shawls were far less expensive,
and many could afford to have them.  Today, Liberty of London still offers
Paisley Shawls measuring about 54" square printed on wool challis.

Glasgow Museum had a big exhibition on Paisley Shawls this past fall (not
sure if they are still having it).  Kent State has an exhibit now
http://www.kent.edu/museum/paisley/paisleypics.html
There are several Paisley Shawls on permanent exhibit in the Smithsonian in
Washington, and I'm sure many other museums have them on permanent exhibit
also.  American women wore them also.  I really don't know if any were
woven in America or if they were all imported.

My gran went to work when she was 12 as a weaver and by the time she
married (and left work) was so skilled she was operate 6 power looms
simultaneously (probably jacquard power looms although I never asked her
specifically).   The mills hired skilled men (they were usually men) to
dress the looms for the weavers.  She got paid by the length of cloth she
could weave without an error in the pattern.  When an error appeared, the
finished cloth would be cut at that point.  She told me she when she
started she earned about 6 shillings a week.  My gran worked in a mill, not
at home, as many weavers did.  Power looms were located in mills as they
were both huge and expensive.  Apparently, because the weavers were paid by
the length of cloth, it was not important who did the actual work and my
gran and her little brother used to switch off on the loom and the mill
never cared who actually appeared to do the weaving.  My auntie now has my
gran's shuttle.

I have collected 3 woven paisleys and a batch of the printed ones, most of
which I wear regularly but some are too deteriorated to do more than
display.  My aunt insists that they are "table cloths" because that is how
people used these prevalent and sturdy textiles in the earlier part of this
century (when women didn't wear huge clothes anymore and didn't need huge
wraps -- I understand they also re-used them as bed spreads).  She also
tells me they used to hang them in the doorways between rooms to prevent
the heat from escaping (these were the days when they relied on the fire
for heat).  Earlier this century, it was also common to cut the huge
lengths of the beautiful shawl fabric up and make it into jackets and coats
(handweaves are rarely cut and tailored, and usually worn in their original
rectangular shapes).  I also found a coat somebody made from a paisley
shawl.  Its amazing how warm these shawls are, as the tight weave really
cuts the wind and insullates.  Even the thin modern Liberty shawls are as
warm as a light sweater.  My understanding is on cold days, the women might
wear several of these shawls as you coats were difficult to wear a coat
over those big dresses they wore.

Well, that's most of what I know about Paisley Shawls.

M.

Top of Message | Previous Page | Permalink

Advanced Options


Options

Log In

Log In

Get Password

Get Password


Search Archives

Search Archives


Subscribe or Unsubscribe

Subscribe or Unsubscribe


Archives

January 2019
December 2018
September 2018
March 2018
January 2018
December 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
November 2016
August 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
March 2015
February 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
August 2014
June 2014
May 2014
February 2014
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004
September 2004
August 2004
July 2004
June 2004
May 2004
April 2004
March 2004
February 2004
January 2004
December 2003
November 2003
October 2003
September 2003
August 2003
July 2003
June 2003
May 2003
April 2003
March 2003
February 2003
January 2003
December 2002
November 2002
October 2002
September 2002
August 2002
July 2002
June 2002
May 2002
April 2002
March 2002
February 2002
January 2002
December 2001
November 2001
October 2001
September 2001
August 2001
July 2001
June 2001
May 2001
April 2001
March 2001
February 2001
January 2001
December 2000
November 2000
October 2000
September 2000
August 2000
July 2000
June 2000
May 2000
April 2000
March 2000
February 2000
January 2000
December 1999
November 1999
October 1999
September 1999
August 1999
July 1999
June 1999
May 1999
April 1999
March 1999
February 1999
January 1999
December 1998
November 1998
October 1998
September 1998
August 1998
July 1998
June 1998
May 1998
April 1998
March 1998
February 1998
January 1998
December 1997
November 1997
October 1997
September 1997
August 1997
July 1997
June 1997
May 1997
April 1997
March 1997
February 1997
January 1997
December 1996
November 1996
October 1996
September 1996
August 1996
July 1996
June 1996
May 1996
April 1996
March 1996
February 1996
January 1996
December 1995
November 1995
October 1995
September 1995
August 1995
July 1995
June 1995
May 1995
April 1995
March 1995
February 1995
January 1995
December 1994
November 1994
October 1994
September 1994
August 1994
July 1994
June 1994
May 1994
April 1994
March 1994
February 1994
January 1994
December 1993
November 1993
October 1993
September 1993
August 1993
July 1993
June 1993
May 1993
April 1993
March 1993
February 1993
January 1993
December 1992
November 1992
October 1992
September 1992
August 1992
July 1992
June 1992
May 1992
April 1992
March 1992
February 1992
January 1992
December 1991
November 1991
October 1991
September 1991
August 1991
July 1991
June 1991
May 1991

ATOM RSS1 RSS2



LISTSERV.HEANET.IE

Secured by F-Secure Anti-Virus CataList Email List Search Powered by the LISTSERV Email List Manager