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Leicestershire Hosiery


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[Link to: hosiery homepage]

[Link to: the production of knitware]

[Link to: Working conditions in the hosiery industry]

[Link to: Further reading and books about hosiery in Leicester]


The history of hosiery

The first knitting machine was invented in 1589. For around the next 300 years workers produced goods in homes and workshops on individual hand frames. The modern knitting industry started in the mid-1800s and by 1891, 95% of knitted goods were produced in factories.

The resources on the following pages will show how the twentieth century hosiery industry was experienced by those who worked in it in Leicester. All of the oral history resources and many of the photos on these pages are available for further research on request from the East Midlands Oral History Archive. View our Catalogue pages to find out more information about how to access the collection yourself.

The pages are divided into three main sections which correspond to the buttons to right of this page:

  • Knitting describes the process of producing knitwear itself.
  • Work details the conditions people worked in and shows how they fought to improve those conditions.
  • Books offers a series of links, references and ideas about where to look for further information about this topic.
  • Visit our sitemap if you get lost.

Last updated: 20/06/02
East Midland Oral History Archive Web maintainer
This document has been approved by the head of department or section.