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Paisley Shawl, black center
Paisley Shawl, black cent
Paisley Shawl, black center, 62" x 128". A few pinholes observed in the black center, some fringe loss. A popular mid-19th century fashion to be draped around the shoulders in cold weather, the shawls were either square of woven in long rectangles, and could be folder to accommodate the wearer's needs. (Today they are sometimes displayed on long tables.) The designs were English approximations from Indian textiles brought from India in previous centuries by traders from the British East India Company. Some sources suggest that Queen Victoria urged the creation of the woven shawl industry in Scotland to bolster sheep and wool production. The industry was centered in Paisley, Scotland, and the name became synonymous with the shawls.