Long Shawl

Long Shawl


2/2 twill tapestry weave, double interlocked; wool

Overall: 325 x 104.1 cm (127 15/16 x 41 in.)

Gift of Arlene C. Cooper 2008.215



Artistic styles evolved with increasingly elaborate mosaic-like decoration during the 1800s to meet an insatiable European demand. Early shawls had plain fields with isolated plants in the end panels, which led to decorated side borders and vases of blossoming stems. Such flora was replaced by colorful, dense blossoms forming cone-shaped botehs, or paisleys, on trays. To this was added a gallery of small botehs and angular floral vines around a rich blue field with single botehs in the corners. Lightweight, supple, warm, and colorful, Kashmir shawls had no equal. Fine, soft goat-hair wool was woven in a 2/2 twill tapestry weave—the equivalent of painting with colored weft threads. Imitations woven in Paisley, Scotland, prompted the popular term paisley.

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