|Metallic gold and green design of graceful vines that have grown holiday paisley|
When Akbar, the famous mughal emperor (1542-1605), first got the inspiration to bring Kashmir's yarn producers and spinners, dyers and weavers together — both Moslem and Hindu — for his important shawl project, it was with the knowledge that the boteh or paisley motif that would be used in the designs was sacred. It was to be worn only by very important men. Somehow through centuries of weaving and printing, we continue to recognize the power and dignity of the motif when it decorates clothing, home furnishings and stationery, even birthday cards and shopping bags.
Above, a hand-stamped design on a card from The Rubin Museum of Art gift shop, New York. By its very two-color simplicity on a blank card, it offers a special inspiration.
Happy holidays. JP