But first, some history. Last year, I attended a wonderful exhibit at Los Angeles County Museum of Art, "Power of Pattern, Central Asian Ikats." I didn't realize until then, that this teadrop-shaped motif with a curved tip originated in Persia and was brought to Central Asia in the fifth century BCE. During the late eighteenth century beautiful shawls with this pattern were exported to Europe from Kashmir, India. And only after workshops in Paisley, Scotland began mass-producing imitation woolen shawls was this shape called 'paisley.' In the Uzbek language, this shape is called bodom, which means almond.
OK - so here we go. After searching items showing off the paisley pattern in my fair trade community, I've discovered these fabulous finds. And these may be perfect for you (we all enjoy buying for ourselves) or make a perfect gift.
Dunitz & Company - Yes, that's me! You know I had to feature something from my collection. These earrings are new this season and are available for wholesale or retail. Dunitz & Company's Tiny Paisley Drops are always offered in many colors each season. Click to find the perfect color for you. These small earrings are crafted in Guatemala and made with Czech & Japanese glass beads. $20.00
HoonArts - Are you looking to update your bedroom decor with something spectacular? This Ikat & Suzani Bedspread Set handcrafted in Tajikistan might be the perfect thing. Check out those wonderfully embroidered large paisley shapes! Rikki Quintana, the muscle behind HoonArts recently wrote a blog post about paisley. Click here to read it. Rikki has also provided a discount code to encourage shopping on her site. (No, I am not taking any kick-backs.) Use CODE: DUNITZFANS35OFF - BTW, this bedspread set is regularly $425.00, so the code makes it a steal at $276.
Sevya Handmade - If you're looking for the perfect summer top, I have found it for you! Right on trend is this embroidered tunic that prominently features the paisley design. Sevya's Karishma White Tunic is fabulous, absolutely fabulous. Loose and comfie too. Embroidered by women artisans in Northern India on soft cotton. $55.00
Global Gifts - I've discovered the most adorable coin purse, and so affordable too. This Paisley Art Deco Coin Purse sparkles with beads and sequins. Doesn't it feel like a 1920's classic? Crafted in India. Only $18.00
Zee Bee Market - You can never have too many Paisley Earrings! Click now and you'll find these fabulous earrings available in several colors. I'm particularly proud of these because I designed them. They are hand-crafted in Guatemala and created with wire and Czech & Japanese glass beads and crystals. I love this color combo shown. And I know it's Julio's favorite too. Julio is the brains behind Zee Bee Market. $29.95
Passion Lilie - Is this the most adorable and lightweight scarf ever? Made of 100% cotton in India. You already know it's right up my alley, because I adore paisley. This Pink Paisley & Orange Stripe Scarf will be great on you this summer. Or why not purchase it for someone you are thinking of? It's so affordable. $22.00
Fair Trade Winds - Looking for tablecloths, runners or napkins? Then look no further than Fair Trade Winds. They have some wonderful paisley designs from India, and better yet, many of them are currently on sale. I'm partial to earth tones and I have a very big dining room table. That means my choice is the Block Print Tablecloth that is 60" x 90". But seriously folks, roam around their site and find the perfect thing for you. You'll definitely feel as if you won big time. This piece shown took 7-10 days to make and, crazy, it's only $47.60
Pachamama Market - Are you familiar with Kashmiri paper mâché? Or perhaps you've seen beautiful items made with this technique and didn't know what it was. These pretties start with wooden eggs which are then covered in recycled paper and painted. No two are ever the same. Lindsay, the mastermind behind Pachamama Market told me that of her stock, at least a third features swirling paisleys. All of the Kashmiri Eggs are fabulous. But, if you're partial to paisley, just let her know. These come in two sizes, Petite and Regular. Buy a few and put them in a bowl. $7.00-9.00
Ya gotta love paisley. And are these some great gift ideas for you or others, or what? I can't stress enough how your purchases from Fair Trade Federation, fair trade verified members like me, Dunitz & Company and those listed above make a big difference. This is not charity. We all work closely with the artisans that make the beautiful pieces we offer. We assure that the artisans are treated with respect and earn living wages. And, we need to eat too. (Just saying.) Your purchases make a big difference for all of us. And you can see from all the stunning things offered here, we all will make a difference in your life too. -ND