Posted on June 18, 2012
Over the centuries, the influence of Indian textiles and designs has been a lasting one — perhaps even as old as the concept of clothing itself! For nearly five thousand years, India has been expertly crafting textiles from fine materials like cotton and silk. The development of techniques like block printing and creation of patterns like paisley, whose popular use continues to this day, shows us that India has been a key contributor to the arts and sciences of textile design.
Paisley is a perfect example of this longevity. The paisley motif hails from Kashmiri, India and is modeled after a fertility symbol made to resemble a newly-emerging shoot of date palm. The design came to England in the 1760s and was enjoyed by the rich and wealthy as an indication of their status. Two full centuries later, its popularity surged yet again, and interestingly enough, paisley remains to many an indicator of the 1960s counterculture movement.
Beyond specific patterns like paisley, Indian textile design techniques can be clearly seen in modern design — the use of colorful embroidery, metallic threads, beads, and mirrors are all reflective of Indianâ€™s design principles. Colorful fashions and lively clothing that continue in their popularity make it clear that the Indian textile industry has been an important influence for many thousands of years.