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Monday, 24 May 2010

Silk ancestors

My latest feature on researching your ancestors in the silk industry has just been published in the July issue of Family History Monthly. When I was doing the research for Regency Cheshire, I was struck by the long hours children worked in the silk industry. All raw silk was imported into this country, so changes in import tariffs badly affected the silk towns of Macclesfield and Congleton; many workers suffered hardship in the late 1820s when new legislation opened the floodgates to cheap foreign silks.  Changes in fashion could also have a huge impact on silk workers' livelihoods.
Image: London Promenade Dress with a ‘robe of one of the new mourning silks’.Ladies’ Cabinet of Fashion, Music and Romance, Vol. XII, 1837.

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