55+ Traditional Paisley Tattoo Designs – Tenderness, Beauty & Originality

The term paisley tattoo is used to refer to a tattoo formed out of an intricate pattern of curved and feather-shaped figures that is based on a pine cone design, predominantly associated with India.

This means that contrary to popular perception, these tattoos are not expressly drawn on their own but are used together with other animal or object patterns to form a complete tattoo design.

This is why you will often hear them being referred in terms of another animal or object, such as the Paisley Henna tattoo, the paisley butterfly tattoo and the paisley flower tattoo.

These tattoos, like any other, have a rich background and their meanings are infinite depending on their pattern as well as an individual’s attitude towards them. Join me as I take you through some of the facts about these tattoos you probably didn’t know of.


Origin of the Design

Paisley tattoos are believed to have originated from ancient Babylon, the present-day Iraq. There is also a common theory that places their origin in the city of Yazd in Iran.

This theory borrows from the fact that in Yazd, there is a traditional fabric known as termeh which is basically a cloth made form wool and silk which happens to be a common inclusion in many paisley designs.

  • Paisley Tattoo 56
  • Paisley Tattoo 57
  • Paisley Tattoo 55

There is yet another common theory on the origin of these tattoo designs, claiming that they might have originated from Persia between 200 and 650 AD during the rule of the Sassanians, the ruthless ruler who created an empire that tamed the Romans for centuries.

The Sassanians Empire is what we could presently refer to as The Middle East, The Caucasus as well as The Central Asia. Over the years, the symbol has continued to be used among different cultures and with varying degrees of importance and meaning.

Some countries such as the Azerbaijan have even incorporated this symbol into their national flag, a fact that goes to show the depth of emotional and sentimental attachment the paisley symbol has to certain people.

It is also important to note that the shapes have changed dramatically but be that as it may, the symbol has upheld its iconic identity that of a pine-cone design.

  • Paisley Tattoo 52
  • Paisley Tattoo 53
  • Paisley Tattoo 54

Many people may have asked, but why the name? The paisley design was especially popularized in Scotland due to the huge production of shawls that bore the design. It is for this reason that the design was christened “paisley’”, and so would be the tattoos that would be drawn from it.

back to menu ↑

Placement Ideas

Like is the case with any other tattoo designs, a paisley tattoo can be placed on various areas of the body. You may decide to show it off on your arm or even on your ankle. These tattoo designs may also be placed on the chest or your foot.

Some people, especially ladies would want to have them behind their ears and in this case, you could enhance their appeal by placing them along with a butterfly as well.

If you are a person who likes to flash their lower back, you might want to place them there too. The leg is also a prime spot for placement and in order to make them stand out on your legs, consider having them along with a lotus.

Last but not least, you could place these tattoos on your neck, wrist or even shoulder. For the shoulder, you could place them with a turtle design and it will come out much more conspicuous and elegant.

back to menu ↑

Meanings of the Tattoo

Paisley tattoos have different meanings depending on the wearer and the design in question. The meanings can range from spiritual to purely sentimental.

For many contemporary lovers of these tattoo designs, their significance is mostly related to the prevailing fashion trends.

In India, for instance, these tattoos are a symbol of harvest. They are a symbol of bounty and generosity as shown to humanity by the gods and those who place them on their bodies do so in a bid to try and make this connection.

In this regard, they are looked upon as the shortest step between man and God, as they offer a spiritual connection between the two by highlighting one of the attributes of God – kindness and generosity.

  • Paisley Tattoo 49
  • Paisley Tattoo 50
  • Paisley Tattoo 51

Paisley symbols have long been created into botanical drawings, an act that could be symbolic of an organic being. The mere fact of their spiral shape means it encompasses everything organic, from the seed to root and to blossom.

The meaning that comes out here is the intersection between the spiritual and the physical world. For this reason, these tattoo designs have been used as a tool for mediation.

Many regard them as a means of connecting with one’s inner being, either for the purpose of zoning in or zoning out.

As we mentioned earlier, these tattoo designs vary depending on the accompanying drawing. When used together with a lily drawing, it symbolizes love and when used together with the phoenix, the meaning that comes out is that of innocence.

The tattoos could also be used with an orchid drawing to symbolize something that is rare and exotic, or with a mermaid to show elegance. Most commonly, they are used with peacock drawings where they symbolize charm and luxury.

I hate to mention the obvious but fashion has a way of seamlessly swaying people and many will often follow a trend without caring to know exactly what it means.

For this reason, it is important to stress that there is a whole lot of people who place these tattoos on their bodies on the mere account of their popularity.

To them, the meaning is fashion itself and as long as it appeals to their senses, nothing else matters.

In short…

Paisley tattoos have, for many years defined the lives of many people. While their meanings may be vast, it is their connection with the spiritual world that has continued to have them regarded in high esteem among many.

Their long history only lends credence to their originality, mystery, and timelessness.

The fact that they blend with almost any drawing makes them a little universal, which is why you will most likely see them in any place all over the world.

Therefore, they are not only a way of adding elegance to a man’s life as far as fashion goes, they could totally change the way we view life and spirituality.

In order to experience the true magic of these tattoos, just determine what they mean for you and choose where you want to place them – then you are fixed.

  • Paisley Tattoo 47
  • Paisley Tattoo 46
  • Paisley Tattoo 48

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

Register New Account
Reset Password

Send this to a friend