The Paisley weavers were world-renowned for their skill weaving the Paisley Shawls; Weaving was a highly skilled trade, which up until the early 19th century was carried out in the weaver’s home on a drawloom. There were many weavers in Paisley, skilled in muslin, lawn and silk weaving.
The introduction of the Jacquard Loom in the 1830’s moved weaving from the home to the factory, and allowed for the production of more elaborate patterns.
The Paisley weavers wove shawls based on a Kashmir pattern which became very fashionable, especially after the young Queen Victoria wore one. Paisley shawls and the pattern became synonymous with Paisley and were known around the world as ‘Paisley Shawls’ and the ‘Paisley Pattern’. Eventually cheaper printed shawls affected the demand for woven shawls, and the last shawl was woven in Paisley in 1903