A Brief History of the Iconic Paisley Print – PhixClothing.com

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A Brief History of the Iconic Paisley Print

by Adam Ward |  | 1 comment

Paisley print has its legacy intertwined through India, Iran and Scotland, and its connotations buried deep within the Swinging Sixties and British culture.

The iconic teardrop design on clothing originates from Kashmir, India, and first became popular through hand embroidered paisley shawls during the 17th century. Travelling the ‘silk road’ from East to West by the East India Company, the motif then became a popular textile pattern across Europe and began to be replicated locally. Picking up on the progressive high demand for the print, the Scottish town of Paisley (hence the name) began to mass-produce the pattern, and became the leading producers of paisley shawls between 1800-1850.



After a decline in the fashionability of paisley shawls during the 1870s, we fast-forward to the 20th century. During this time the motif shifted from a symbol of the Victorian times, and began to resonate with the rebellious, free-spirited zeitgeist of 1960s Britain. Popularised again by the likes of the Beatles, the colourful, floral, and sinuous pattern became a symbol of the hippy, psychedelic era and the Summer of Love.


Following on from the 60s, the print has since become a favourite within rock & roll, with some of music’s greatest: David Bowie, Prince, Paul Weller, Mick Jagger and Liam Gallagher, sporting the motif. 



We at Phix are heavily influenced by the motif and those who wore it, and we pay homage to this with our jacket and shirting collections. Although the origins of the print lie far from Western culture, the connotations still remain rooted within British subculture and music, and we continue to channel this though our designs.