Kidderminster carpet industry

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The cloth trade in Kidderminster dates back to the Middle Ages. However it was during the 18th and 19th centuries that the town developed into the centre of British carpet manufacturing.

Early trade[edit]

By the early 13th century Kidderminster had gained the status of borough most likely due to its importance as a cloth-making centre, aided by the fast-flowing River Stour.[1] Over the following centuries the town specialised in textile trades such as weaving, fulling, cloth working and milling, and was also home to numerous other trades including shoemaking, haberdashery, saddle making, dyers, tailors, tanners and glovers.[2] In 1670/1 Kidderminster's cloth industry obtained a guild by act of parliament and by 1677, the town had as many as 459 weavers and perhaps 3,000 spinners.[3]

Huguenot influence[edit]

King Louis XIV’s revocation of the Edict of Nantes in October 1685 and the subsequent renewed persecution of French Protestants in France initiated an exodus of Huguenots to other European nations such as Great Britain, the Dutch Republic, Germany, Prussia and Switzerland. The immigration and settlement of waves of industrious Huguenots brought the benefits of skilled artisans, merchants and manufacturers to Britain. They contributed to a preexisting but basic cloth weaving industry in towns and cities throughout England, in some cases establishing new businesses. In Worcestershire, the Huguenots established themselves at Worcester, Evesham, Droitwich and Kidderminster.[4]



  1. ^ Brooks and Pevsner, Worcestershire, 394.
  2. ^ Tomkinson and Hall, Kidderminster since 1800, 4.
  3. ^ Kerridge, Textile Manufactures in Early Modern England, 240.
  4. ^ Cooke-Taylor, Introduction to a History of the Factory System, 337.