This section is from the "A Complete Dictionary of Dry Goods" book, by George S. Cole. Also available from Amazon: A complete dictionary of dry goods and history of silk, cotton, linen, wool and other fibrous substances,: Including a full explanation of the modern processes ... together with various useful tables.
Shawl. [From Persian and Hindostanee shal] An article of apparel made after the shape of a large kerchief, the manufacture of which is believed to have originated in the valley of Cashmere, a district still pre-eminent in the production of these goods. The manufacture of shawls was first begun in England in 1784. They copied the Hindoo and Persian styles, but the process was very slow and the result consequently costly. The best specimens at this time were made with silk warp and worsted weft, but the designs were darned by hand. It was not until 1805 that a shawl was produced entirely in the loom in England. In Paisley and Edinburg, Scotland, the manufacture was introduced about the same time, but in the United States the manufacture of fine broche shawls has never been established. [See Shetland, Cashmere, Camel's Hair]