Sunday, 10 June 2012

Paisley Patterns

The moment I spied this little bit of fabric in the charity shop I came over all nostalgic - not actually sure why!  Think my Gran may have had a "pinnie" in this fabric, but it just seemed so familiar.


I think it is too small to be an apron, or perhaps it was a child's apron, but it could also be an old fashioned lap bag.  These were for wearing like an apron, but you kept your knitting or sewing in them so that it was always handy.  I remember making one in primary school.  It was pink fabric with simple embroidered stitches around it.  Each year after that, we kept our knitting in it.  Did anyone else make anything like that in school?  (Perhaps I'm just really ancient!)


I love the paisley pattern and the hollyhocks (such a great word)!


The town of Paisley is just abut 15 miles from Greenock and it gave its name to that particular pattern. The pattern actually originated in fabric work in Kashmir, but during the 19th century, the town of Paisley became one of the major producers of shawls which contained this pattern and they were known as Paisley shawls.


Paisley museum has a wonderful collection of vintage shawls with paisley pattern which were made in the town and were popular with Victorian women.  Their displays are fabulous, and show how the shawls changed with the fashions of the day, for example when the bustle was introduced, a shawl would have covered this, so shorter jackets became more fashionable and there was a decline in shawl making.


There are some wonderful examples in Victorian art.

Charles Rossiter - To Brighton and Back For 3s 6d (Birmingham City Art Gallery)
 


William Holman Hunt - The Awakening Consccience - 1884, The Tate, London

Hope you've enjoyed this little sidetrack from my nostalgic charity shop find!

Love, Liz

Popping over to see everyone's treasure at Flea Market Finds.

36 comments:

Catherine said...

Absolutely I enjoyed the side track..how fascinating..thank you! I do love your fabric. I feel the same about paisley.. so familiar but I'm not quite sure why. Perhaps Nan had a feather eiderdown covered in paisley fabric. Have a lovely week Liz. Much love Catherine x

Annie said...

I love this pink Paisley pattern, it reminds me of vintage eiderdowns. My mum has some very old Paisley shawls that have been passed down through the family. When she was up in Scotland visiting my sister she took them in to Paisley museum and found out a lot more about the different patterns and age of them. They are really beautiful and very large but so fragile.
Ann x

Bijou Sugar-Socks said...

beautiful! i love paisley too! precious :)

Amy Seven-Stitches said...

What beautiful, beautiful fabric. Far better than any Cath Kidson attempt at imitation. Is it a polished cotton?

I'm with you on it being a lap bag. I heard about how you could hide one under your work apron and instantly remedy idle hands with your latest handcraft.

sue said...

I am a paisley fan! I love it in all its manifestations - from Victoriana to Seventies skirts! Your fabric is just lovely.

Rose H (UK) said...

I'm ancient and I'd never heard of a 'lap bag', maybe its a local thing Liz?
I like paisley patterns too and remember my first flying visit through Paisley many, many years ago (please forgive me if you live there) I expected a pretty place and was bitterly disappoined to see the parts we drove through seemed quite run-down and a lot of steel shutters :o( I'm certain it must be different now though!
When I was small my Mom made a dress from a greeny grey background with a yellow paisley design on it, I used to call it her 'banana pattern' dress!
Sad or what?
Rose H
x

Missy said...

Ooh I love that pink paisley! Really pretty. What will you do with it?
x

Shortbread and Ginger said...

Rose H - you are right - unfortunately Paisley has become rather run down due to the decline of heavy industry in the area. Also because a big new indoor shopping complex was built nearby which took a lot of trade away from the town centre. It is such a shame!
Liz

Little Nell said...

Lovely paisley pattern. I’ve never heard of a lapbag but what a good idea. I’m off to make one!

Anonymous said...

I have always liked Paisley fabric, showing my age probably as it was around such a lot as I was growing up. I remember my mother having a Paisley scarf, greens and blues and purples, wonderfully rich colours and pattern.
Lovely post.

Erna said...

Thanks for this wonderful post, I love the Paisley pattern ..and the history behind it..
I made an apron too at school in Amsterdam, we learned knitting,crocheting and embroidery, but I'm in my 50's so rather old ..:)
Hugs from Amsterdam
Erna xx

Sarah Jane said...

Beautiful paisley floral pattern. I love the colours. 'The Awakening of the Conscience' is such as interesting piece of pre-raphaelite art. I really enjoyed your little deviation :)

Meg said...

Gorgeous paisley Liz

Lea said...

The fabric is beautiful. I have never heard of a lap bag. I love the idea of it though.

Helen and her Daughters said...

Beautiful Paisley fabric! The colors are so lovely.

Riitta Sinikka said...

Hi! I love your things! Beautiful!

Trashsparkle said...

Lovely post - thanks for sharing the history of the fabric; must have been a devil for those artists to depict though;) I love paisley designs in pinks, reds and purples - sure someone must have thought of bringing out a paisley patchwork wallpaper design? I'll go and do some googling... xx

Linda said...

Enjoyed your sidetrack history on Paisley!

Poppy said...

What a lovely little apron, I love the aqua trim. I wandered over from Her Library Adventures, you have a beautiful blog!

OhSoVintage said...

I love paisley especially eiderdowns in paisley fabric. I know I made a pinny at school but it's far too long ago to remember what it looked like!

MelMel said...

I love paisley too!
Very pretty pinny!
Melx

Anonymous said...

I love the Paisley pinny, my auntie Ruby used to wear a apron very similar in blue, I love the idea of wearing your knitting, we made a large material envelope at school for ours and we had to embroider our initials on it, I remember it well! but I think your Pocket is a much better idea.
Thea x

patchworkandlace said...

Gorgeous fabrics and pictures xx

Pam~ Virginia Retro said...

Visiting from Her Library Adventures. Really enjoyed your post! Love the paisley and the art too!

vintage grey said...

Beautiful paisley! Love the idea of the lap bag. I need to make one! Have a great night! xo Heather

blackenpot said...

Wonderful paisley, there are some beautiful patterns. I can remember a peg apron that looked like your lap apron. Anyway it brings back memories.
Thank you for your kind words, I shall try and keep the blog going.

Enjoy you week.

Sally said...

Hi Liz, the paisley reminds me of one of my Nan's eiderdowns too! I thought that the apron could be a peg apron, for wearing when you are hanging out the laundry. And thanks for explaining the connection between Kashmir and Paisley I didn't realise.

made-and-found said...

I really enjoyed reading your interesting post and feel quite educated lol! I love your paisley find the colours are just perfect.
Anne x

The Green Lady said...

That's a lovely Paisley pinny Liz, great find! x

Maria said...

Hi Liz,
Thought I had left you a comment, but I can be very rubbish on computers!
Soo if you recieve two,I have pressed twice!
Loved the paisley and have a vintage eiderdown on my daughters bed complete with feather filling in the same....
Soo very nostalgic!

The Vintage Knitter said...

What a lovely piece of paisley to find! The colours in it look lovely together. I always think there;s something quite comforting about paisley.

Lakota [Faith Hope and Charity Shopping] said...

It looks so like a Cath K - but in a good way, very pretty, am sure she'll bring out something similar soon!

The paintings reminded me of 'Salem' a painting my neighbour when I was a child used to have in her house. It showed an aged woman in traditional Welsh dress at chapel, and she's wearing a paisley shawl you're supposed to be able to see the devil's face in. Do you know it?

http://www.liverpoolmuseums.org.uk/ladylever/collections/salem.asp

sky-blu-pink said...

i love pink, I love paisley too. I was rather smitten with a young man at University worse name I never knew, but we always called hin Paisley Shirt owing to the fetching Purple number he always seemed to be wearing. My friend Kate had a similar
crush on a chap we named Green Cardigan. I have a penny I now know is a lap apron for looking after my scissors and a pins etc. when I am sewing.
Thanks for the history of the pattern, Liz

Streetcomber said...

I love your paisley fabric, so pretty. What a lucky find!

Kay said...

I am in love with paisley a tthe moment, I would have bought this too.

Trudy said...

I love paisley! I've made a quilt made entirely of paisley fabrics. My ancestors lived in Paisley, in fact my great, great, great, great grandfather (yes, that far back!) was a weaver of silk in Paisley!