We have come to think of the industrial revolution as something involving workshops, factories and heavy engineering, but there was another side to it too. Domestic industry thrived, and in the nineteenth century Hitchin was at the centre of England’s domestic straw plait trade. The plaiting was carried out mainly by women and girls in their own homes, where the raw wheat straw was turned into that universal accessory of the Victorian summer, the straw hat.
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Publisher: Hitchin Historical Society in collaboration with North Herts District Council Museums Service, second edition, 1998