This well-loved event in the Paisley calendar celebrates the historic victory of the weavers over their employers in the 19th century and has developed into an annual celebration of arts and culture.
The Sma’ Shot Day festival Paisley came about as a result of a political battle fought between the weavers of Paisley and their employers, the manufacturers, in the 19th Century.
The Sma’ (small) Shot was a cotton thread which bound all the colourful weft threads into the warps of the famous shawls. In 1856 the first Saturday in July, a traditional holiday for the weavers, was renamed Sma’ Shot Day in honour of the victory. Since then, on the first Saturday of July, once more the beating of the Charleston drum rallies the people of Paisley to a gathering outside Paisley Town Hall, and a procession is held through the streets of Paisley, led by ‘The Cork’, an effigy of one of the manufacturers defeated by the Paisley weavers.
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