Below are excerpts from two sites that show information on the pagan origins of paisley. I have also read that it has roots as a fertility symbol too. I used to be an interior decorator and I can share with you that more textiles are being manufactured with patterns originating from various country’s heritages. What ELOHIM’S [Hebrew word for GOD and who I believe is FATHER/SON/HOLY SPIRIT] people today may not be thinking about clearly is that HE gave HIS Way to the Hebrew nation. That meant ALL other nation’s were pagan, worshiping other gods! ELOHIM/GOD is very clear in Scripture that HE is who HE is and the enemy is who the enemy is! Also, that HIS people are to be separated from every way and hold of the enemy!
It looks like many patterns originated from design motifs used in celebrating, offering thanks, and worshiping pagan gods. I have met Christians who told me they never liked paisley. I stay away from many patterns and images [second command Exodus/Sh’mot 20] and only wear solids or stripes or checks that are simple and do not draw attention. I do have some lace that I have wondered about and have prayed about.
This is what I choose to do with the walk I have with ELOHIM/GOD because I do not want to connect to the enemy unknowingly. In Hosea 4:6, ELOHIM/GOD talks about HIS people being destroyed because of lack of knowledge. There is much about the spiritual realm we do not understand and ELOHIM/GOD has HIS laws set-up to protect us from what we do not know or understand! Praise HIM!!! There are many things in our society that people do not realize are demonic hooks and can end with one connected to the enemy through them. A goal of mine is to shed and repel the enemy, not attract or attach to the enemy! Please look at this link on yoga to learn about what many do not realize, how the enemy can attach to us through use of ritual and symbolic elements that open doors of the spiritual realm: http://glclifestyling.com/2012/06/yoga/
Modern youth also use it as a symbol of rebellion and for gang use. In Scripture, rebellion is like unto the sin of witchcraft, I Samuel/Sh’mu’el Alef 15:23.
Resembling a twisted teardrop, the kidney-shaped paisley is of Iranian and Indian origin, but its western name derives from the town of Paisley, in West Scotland, a centre for textiles where paisley designs were produced.
In Iran the design, known as Boteh Jegheh, has been used since the Sassanid Dynasty (AD 224 to AD 651).
Some design scholars believe it is the convergence of a stylized floral spray and a cypress tree: a Zoroastrian symbol of life and eternity. A floral motif called Buteh, which originated in the Sassanid Dynasty (200–650 AD) and later in the Safavid Dynasty of Persia (from 1501 to 1736), was a major textile pattern in Iran during the Qajar Dynasty and Pahlavi Dynasty. In these periods, the pattern was used to decorate royal regalia, crowns, and court garments, as well as textiles used by the general population. According to Azerbaijani historians, the design comes from ancient times of Zoroastrianism and is an expression of the essence of that religion. It subsequently became a decorative element widely used in Azerbaijani culture and architecture.
The pattern is still popular in Iran and South and Central Asian countries. It is woven using gold or silver threads on silk or other high quality textiles for gifts, for weddings and special occasions. In Iran and Uzbekistan its use goes beyond clothing – paintings, jewelry, frescoes, curtains, tablecloths, quilts, carpets, garden landscaping, and pottery also sport the buta design. In Uzbekistan the most frequently found item featuring the design is the traditional doppi headdress.
Imports from the East India Company in the first half of the 17th century made paisley and other Indian patterns popular, and the Company was unable to import enough to meet the demand. It was popular in the Baltic states between 1700 and 1800 and was thought to be used as a protective charm to ward off evil demons. However, in modern culture, Western youth have used it as a symbol of rebellion.
Dr. Cyrus Parham, in an article published in 1999 in Nashr-e Danesh, vol.16, no. 4, 1378, Tehran, states “We have a multitude of outstanding examples of this motif in the pre-Islamic and Post-Islamic Iranian arts. We find the first manifestations of this ancient motif in Scythian and Achaemenid art, mainly portrayed as the wings of Homa or Senmurv (Simorgh?), and which lasted in the same manner till the Sassanian period (PL.1a).” Regrettably, we cannot locate the Achaemenid and Scythian examples or images cited by Dr. Parham.
Other articles on the boteh also link the motif to the Cypress and to the significance of the Cypress as a tree of life in Zoroastrian folkloric tradition. In addition, the boteh motif is sometimes referred to as the flame of Zoroaster. We are informed by Fiona Maclachlan that in Azerbaijan, the buta (botteh) is regarded as a symbol of fire.
The motif looks like one half of the yin-yang symbol, a resemblance that has led to speculation about the symbolism behind the motif. However, except for one relatively modern (10th century CE) use of the motif in stucco work from Nishapur presently in Iran’s northwest province of Iran, we do not find any other credible examples of the boteh motif used in a yin-yang manner.
Slide 25 – Today paisley has multiple connotations: Victorian opulence, 1960s rebellion, and gang affiliation.