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New In: The Paisley Motif

Our short-sleeved Cuban Collar shirt and Zen shirt for women are made of Japanese superb linen with a distinct tonal paisley motif print. So what's the origin of this fine design?

The Paisley motif is one of the oldest known patterns. It is an ornamental textile design using the buta, a teardrop-shaped motif with a curved upper end.
Some believe the buta is the blending of a stylized floral spray and a cypress tree: a symbol of life and eternity. This floral motif originated in 16th century Persia, and became a major textile pattern in Iran. The pattern was used for court garments, and gradually more widely applied for textiles.

When these textiles were imported to Europe, local manufacturers in Marseille began to mass-produce the patterns via early textile printing processes in 1640. England and Holland soon followed.

In the 18th and 19th centuries, the British East India Company introduced Kashmir shawls with the same pattern from India to England and Scotland. Here they became extremely fashionable. Soon they were duplicated, especially in the town of Paisley in Scotland. Here a vast production of shawls was made with this design, commonly known as 'paisley'.

In the 1960s paisley saw a popular western revival, when it became seen as a psychedelic style, worn by the likes of the Beatles and even used to decorate guitars. Now, Paisley remains popular on tattoos, jewellery, garments and interiors.

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