Paisley dress with shawl, designer unknown

Paisley dress with shawl, designer unknown

Dress and shawl
Designer unknown
1845-50
Great Britain
Printed wool, lined with linen
Museum no. T.849-1974
Given by Mrs Geoffrey Myers

The popularity of cashmere shawls reached its peak from the 1840s to the 1860s. Originally imported from India in the late 18th century, British manufacturers were making woven and printed versions by the early 19th century, based on the Indian designs. A key motif was the boteh or pine cone, what we know today as the paisley. This design was popular as a dress fabric. This example was printed by the company Swaislands of Crayford in Kent, and registered in the Patent Office between July 1845 and April 1847. The bodice of the dress has vertical slits fastened with buttons on either side of the centre front. This indicates that the owner wore it while nursing her children.