When Paisley patterns on a tie play with your emotions, know that in 18th and 19th century Europe some luxurious Kashmir shawls bearing the pattern cost the price of a small house. It took the continent by storm when imports from the East India Company via the silk route brought the textile pattern to Europe. While the western world appropriated much of eastern culture and design, Paisley is by far the most popular. The pattern was traditionally woven into silk clothing using silver and gold strands. It was worn to represent elite social status and nobility.
Kashmir Shawls bearing the buteh pattern
The Paisley pattern is an ornamental textile design using the buteh, a teardrop-shaped motif that originated in Persia. Design scholars believe the buteh is the convergence of a floral spray and the cypress tree, a Zoroastrian symbol of life and eternity. But for something of Persian origin, it is most commonly seen in English-speaking countries where it adorns men's ties, waistcoats, scarves, even musical instruments, and buildings. For one, the name Paisley is not Persian at all.
Buteh pattern on phone case
When Kashmir shawls with the buteh pattern from India made their way into England and Scotland, the town of Paisley in Scotland which was Europe’s top producer of textiles at that time was the first to imitate the design. The pattern eventually got named after Paisley which is easier for the western tongue to pronounce.
Naturally, Paisley found it’s way into the crown jewel of men’s attire where it’s executed in a breathtaking array of color and color combinations in ties, bow ties, and pocket squares. It is a favorite pattern in luxurious 7-fold ties, considered to be the pinnacle of men’s neckwear.
It also how Edison wanted to contrast himself against the Navy Blue motif of his wedding. He wore a Crimson on Black Paisley for his special day, and it was stunning. So when he started KissTies which was initially targeted at the wedding market, Crimson on Black Paisley was a big part of it. In fact, Paisley as a collection was the first KissTies bestseller and continues to be so ever since in neckties, bow ties, and pocket squares. Customers all over the world just love it.
And the Paisley tie Edison wore at his wedding, he still keeps to this day, now heavily woven with so many memories. But it looks like this.