What is a paisley pattern? Paisley pattern is a distinctive intricate pattern of curved feather-shaped figures based on an Indian pine-cone design. Itìs one of the fashion industry’s oldest and most iconic patterns to date. Paisley is the definition of a design realized by drawing the boteh or buta, the Persian word for ‘flower’, and which is a drop-shaped kind of leaf, a vegetal motif, that has Persian origins, more specifically Iranians origins.

We’ve seen the revival of the much-loved paisley, and A timeless classic, in the last 70s inspired collections for men, one of the most welcomed comebacks to the fashion & textile industry. The print has played a defining role in fashion for over 2,000 years. Still to this day, we’re seeing paisley designs incorporated into high-end collections from top brands all over the world. Used mostly for shawls in the early days, now we can enjoy the beautiful design on suits’ jackets linings or front panels, and of course neckties in men’s luxury accessories, especially Italo Ferretti neckties. It’s a fun, royal, retro and vintage-inspired pattern and it actually will never go out of fashion.

What’s the history of the paisley pattern?

The history of the paisley pattern dates back to over 2,000 years ago, the design originated in India back in the 11th century, near Kashmir. Apparently, the pattern originates from the Zoroastrian symbol of life and fertility represented by a cypress tree combined with a floral motif. The fame of paisley print arose in the 16th century, thanx to luxury Kashmir shawls, which became the must-have item and thus breaking into the fashion industry. With the luxury scarves becoming incredibly sought after products, Persian royalties started wearing with pride and the item starde being perceived as a noble accessory.

Therefore, luxury paisley shawls started being offered as much appreciated gifts from Kashmiri princes to European noble families and royals, and finally landing in the wardrobe of Empress Josephine, one of the first fashion icon, influencer and royalty of those times. It’s then that European textile manufacturers started finding ways to copy and replicate the designs to offer the paisley scarves on local shops and markets.

Only in the 19th century the design acquired its name, paisley. And even if the design didn’t originate in Scotland, the town in Scotland that goes by the name Paisley, became the most famous and the leading producer of the oriental design inspired shawls and scarves, and therefore the buto print became known as paisley.

In fashion the historic pattern is famous also for being seen on huge stars, from The Beatles, Queen and David Bowie to Victoria Beckhamn, Oasis and more. The design hit its peak during the 60s and 70s, when psychedelic art and fashion was all the rage. It was a time where vivid colours, swirling patterns and Eastern-influenced fashion was thriving – and the paisley pattern reflected just that. Paisley has always been popular for men’s ties, but is has been also incorporated into many ladies fashion pieces by high-end designers including Dolce & Gabbana, Raf Simons and Jil Sander in recent years.

Italo Ferretti’s Luxury paisley printed accessories and garments, are a unique and stylish products, handcrafted in Italy. We offer traditional printing and state-of-the-art digital printing of bespoke designs, on the finest quality silk, velvet, cashmere, wool and more. We can also manufacture custom-made printed silk fabric in any design of your choice. Our team of designers are experts in creating unique paisley designs, and can work with any colour scheme or design requirements submitted. We can offer our historical print archive for design inspiration – which comprises thousands of vintage paisley designs.

The paisley symbol is typically repeatedly printed throughout a length of fabric, sometimes interspersed with other design elements and patterns to create a beautiful, all-over floral paisley print. Thanks to its versatility and flexibility, every colourway and variation of the pattern is entirely unique, just like all the patterns bu Italo Ferretti.

How to wear Paisley patterns? From flamboyant paisley silk shirts or silk blazers and jacket, to simply accessorising with a paisley printed scarf or tie, there are endless options! Considering paisley prints can have multiple different colours within, simply choose the colour palette that you’ll easily be able to incorporate into your wardrobe, and sticking to a subtle all-blue print, for example, will avoid a “loud look”. Solid colors are indeed the best options to match the beautiful but busy design print. But you can also play hard and pair a big paisley tie with a dotted or striped hankie, perfectly combining the colors.

To discover more about our printings or bespoke accessories services, get in touch with us!


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