From Buteh To Paisley

Printed cloth sample with paisley motifs, European, 1940's. Printed cloth sample with paisley motifs, European, 1940's. TRC 2019.2590

6. Paisley and European regional textiles and dress

Given the popularity of the motif it is not surprising that it can be found on various forms of European regional dress. It occurs on Russian headcoverings and shawls for the babushka (‘grannies’), and on incidental garments in Scandinavia, Germany and the Netherlands. It is a popular motif among the garments worn by women on the Dutch island of Marken, and occurs in both children’s and women’s garments. Paisley motifs can also be found on some women’s bodices from Staphorst, also in the Netherlands.

Paisley features prominently among the regional dress of the island of Kihnu in Estonia. In particular, it is used for the aprons, jackets and headscarves worn by the women.

2020.3192d 2Printed sample of Indienne cloth from southern France, with paisley motifs, c. 2020 (TRC 2020.3192).Paisley and Indienne

There has been considerable attention over the years for a typical type of Indian cloth generally called chintz (sits in Dutch), its European copies, and the popularity of these textiles in Europe in the 18th and 19th century. There is a specific form of these textiles that is still alive in southern France. It is known as tissu de Provencetissu Indienne, tissu provençal, cotonnade provençale, or, briefly, simply Indienne. The production of these textiles, which still continues, is based on 17th and 18th century cotton chintz textiles that were initially exported from India to France and then copied in various southern French towns, notably Avignon, Marseille, Mulhouse and Rouen.

The designs used for Indienne have changed over the centuries and may include both Indian based motifs as well as ones that are designed to appeal to local people and tourists. European influence can be seen in the Regency style examples, which use broad bands or ‘ribbons’ in a single colour, alternating with small, sometimes chintz-like motifs. But the buteh is still an often recurring motif in these ‘Indian’ textiles from southern France.



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