Originally published in 1904. Contemporary newspapers said:
"An interesting and very beautifully illustrated memorial of a now closed chapter in the history of British manufacture." - The Times.
"The Epoch of the Shawl Trade in Paisley," writes the author of this interesting volume, "is now rounded off. Like a flower it came up, blossomed, and decayed." Even thus, in Paisley, does the poetic imagination weave garlands of blooming thoughts round textile fabrics. The book, however, is description and history, not an effusion of creative art. The shawls are now rarities sought for by collectors. To such persons this volume must prove uncommonly valuable as explaining, both by pictures and by written descriptions, the technical excellences of garments that must always rank among the most wonderful productions of the world-old craft of the weaver ." - The Scotsman.
"Mr. Blair is one of the few who still possess the necessary qualifications for writing a record of the lost trade, for he was brought up in it. He has performed his task with the competence of a craftsman and with the enthusiasm of a man who looks back on scenes to which distance and intervening success combine to lend enchantment. His treatment is singularly vivid and interesting, even when the picture appears somewhat more highly coloured than is quite consistent with absolute truth to nature. The illustrations consist mainly of shawl patterns. Their execution is admirable, and the striking effect which they produce might almost be expected to bring our grandmothers' favourite Paisley shawls into fashion again. " - The Glasgow Herald.
Matthew Blair was Chairman of the Incorporated Weaving, Dyeing,and Printing College of Glasgow. Blair is also the author of The Paisley Thread Industry