Boteh Paisley Design Rugs

Antique Rug Motifs: Boteh Plants – Also refereed to as Paisley design

Meanings of Boteh Plant Motifs / Paisley Design in Antique Rugs and Carpets

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The Boteh ( Paisley Design ) plant, more commonly known in the West as “paisley,” is incredibly common in the rugs of many different cultures, especially those located in the Middle East. The word “boteh” comes from the Persian word for shrub or bush. Alternate names for the motif include “Persian Pickles” in America, and “Welsh Pears” in western Europe. The symbol is particularly prevalent in wool or silk textiles from the areas of Kashmir in India, and Kerman in Iran.

Paisley Design / Boteh Motif by Nazmiyal
Paisley Design / Boteh Motif

The Boteh symbol is  often seen in the shape of a teardrop, however clusters of these shapes, or more abstracted versions of the shape are also prevalent. Commonly, this motif represents the ideas of eternal life and fertility, and can also symbolize fire, and the season of autumn. It is often used to symbolize expectant mothers and pregnancy.

Below are a few examples of antique rugs in the Nazmiyal Collection which incorporate the Boteh (or Paisley Design) plant motif. Click on the images to learn more about each rug:

Paisley Design in Antique Persian Esfahan Shawl 45777Antique Persian Esfahan Shawl 45777
Antique Persian Esfahan Shawl 45777
Paisley Design in Antique Persian Paisley Kerman Rug 1304
Antique Persian Paisley Kerman Rug 1304
Paisley Design in Antique Persian Senneh Rug 47230
Antique Persian Senneh Rug 47230
Paisley Design in Light Blue Antique Persian Khorassan Rug 47647
Light Blue Antique Persian Khorassan Paisley Design Rug 47647