Learning Zone Home > schooLMAte > French Community > Timeline > 1682 - Huguenot hatmakers settle...
Learning Zone
London Metropolitan Archives The Archives of the City of London
Theatreland Look at London schooLMAte Archive Work Data Online Learning Zone Home
   Black and Asian Londoners  |   French Community  |   Irish Community  |   City Communities  |  Teachers' Notes
   Maps  |   Stories   |   Images  |   Documents   |   Timelines   |   Audio Gallery   |   Related Links
1682 - Huguenot hatmakers settle in Wandsworth
<< Back

Hatmaking in Wandsworth began in the middle ages. Now the Huguenot refugees bring trade secrets that turn it into an important manufacturing centre. They have the secret of felting hair from rabbits and beavers to make high quality beaver hats.

They also have the secret of a red dye that becomes famous as 'Wandsworth scarlet'. When they dye hats, the dye stays fast. Other red dyes run when it rains and stain the head of the wearer.

The Catholic cardinals in Rome wear red hats as the badge of their office. From now on, they have to have their hats made by refugee Huguenots in Wandsworth.

The River Wandle is important for this industry. It provides water for dying and for driving the mill that grinds up red Brazil wood from South America to make the dye. 

<< Back
  French Community: Things to see and do
 Site Map    |   Disclaimer    |   Terms and Conditions    |   Privacy Policy    |    Credits