For centuries, paisley patterns have wound their way in and out of fashion favor. The swirling, stylized teardrop shape borrows its English name from a small town just outside of Glasgow, Scotland, but its origins are a wee bit more exotic. Taking root in ancient Babylonia (where it decorated everything from plates to palaces) and moving west with the East India Company in the form of luxury shawls that became a status symbol for the stylish women of the Napoleonic era.

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