Paisley Watercolor Study by Penina S. FingerThis ink and watercolor drawing is part of a paisley study series I did awhile ago, and is still the most popular.

I scanned the nicest ones both before and after adding color, then digitized the ink drawings and experimented with patterns for fabric.

There is a pretty yellow-gold version (“Paisley Juice”), and also a cut-and-sew napkin set, available on Spoonflower. As of this writing, I’m open to doing other colorways on request. Drop me a line if you’re interested.

Paisley Cut-and-sew Napkin Set on Spoonflower

Click the image to learn about purchase options for the Paisley Napkin Set on combed cotton, cotton poplin, silk and more.

We get the name, Paisley, from the Scottish weaving town most famous for producing the pattern in the mid-nineteenth century, but its roots brush the most distant edges of written history. Design scholars believe it originated in Iran and India, and many are convinced it’s the convergence of a stylized floral spray and a cypress tree. However, the earliest fabric example I’ve been able to find depicts a mythical bird’s wing. If you’re curious, try researching the Persian name for the motif—boteh or buta.

2 Responses to Paisley or Nearly

  1. Julie Finger says:

    Looking at these from “all angles” I like the blue Paisley square and everything about it. Nice read on the history too.

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