Monday, June 10, 2013

Paisley in Civil War Jubilee

Here's the paisley in my latest reproduction collection
Civil War Jubilee

This pack of Layer Cake precuts 10" square gives you an idea of the scale.
You can fussy cut borders and blocks

Here's the original document print, a cotton stripe...
We made it a little more red, a little less orange.

It also comes in browns

And blues

And here's our nod to today's bedrooms---grays.
NOT an authentic Civil War color, but a lovely shade of gray.

Paisleys with their cone-shaped figures have been quite popular since the early 19th-century when the west began importing cashmere or Kasimir shawls from India, and then knocking them off in Paisley, Scotland.

There were many variations on the design.

The 1840s and '50s were a bad hair era, but a great dress era.
This dress drapes like a wool or wool combination fabric.

The dress may be a cotton paisley print; the larger sunshade a fussy-cut wool.

Shawls remained quite popular throughout the century.

I asked my sister Dr. Barkman to identify the dog and she says---more bad hair---hard to say.

Aside from shawls, paisleys by the 1860s were considered most appropriate for at-home wear in intimate settings rather than as prints for street wear.

Two wrappers (dressing gowns)---
woman's on the left, man's on the right.

Men's dressing gowns were called banyans.

Posing in one indicated a kind of casualness.

And here a silliness that is quite contemporary.

Marie Clerc 1875

See some fantastic portraits from the Louvre at this post:

Check out this Pinterest page on wrappers. She has the topic wrapped up.
Links to other posts I've done about paisleys:

And a post on a show at Allentown Art Museum:


  1. The new prints are beautiful. I did get a red paisley from our local store, need to redo my fabrics so I can see what I have for a bed quilt.


  2. Love the paisley print and colors. Just looking at those pic's makes me feel better about my hair do. LOL

  3. I love the old dressing gowns and also the brighter colors like the orange. It seems like most of the reproduction prints are so muted in color that they lose appeal to me a bit.

  4. I hadn't realized that some shawls were worn to cover the derrière rather than the shoulders. Did one remove them before sitting? Kind of show-off-y, I would say.

  5. I love your paisley but am so glad I won't be fashioning it into something like that bustle-cover thingy.

  6. Almost all the paisleys in my stash are very mono-toned. Has there ever been a paisley with more color?

  7. The old wool paisley shawls and the cotton prints inspired by them are confined to that brick red to dark brown range by the dye used to color them. Madder root dyes wool and cotton in shades of those colors with a little bit of bright orange thrown in. For more color in paisley prints you have to look to the 1960s revival.

  8. I have really enjoyed your paisley pics and humorous comments about the hair-do's.
    Patrick - paiselypower.com

  9. hi Barbara
    the 3rd image of woman with parasols in a modern image. Her name is Marta and she lives in IL. she recovers all her parasols for a living. we are so glad that her image is so well done that it could be mistaken for and period piece. thanks for taking the time to read my post.

  10. Dear Barbara, I certainly appreciate you using a copy of a tintype of me as an example. However, It would be better if you at least mention that this is a modern (2004) tintype, take of a living person (Marta Vincent) by Vivian Harrington who is a professional CW period photographer who does very good work.>

    Andm by the way, the dress is a semi-sheer cotton in a Red/pink print of large flowers on a white ground. The parasols are all 1860's original, two of which I have recovered in new silk, and on which is all original. The covers on the large one and the one on the floor are black silk/cotton lace woven to specifically fit a paraslo.

    BTW, I have the original of the Tintype in my home.