I admit. I’m a history nut. I don’t know where I came across the battle between the stockingers and hosiers, but to me it’s fascinating. Somewhere along the way wealthy merchants began buying up looms that stockingers couldn’t afford. The merchants were called hosiers. They had no idea how to actually work the looms, but they hired the stockingers (and took out rent monies for the use of their looms), and pretty much dictated what they wanted the stockingers to do. Then after the stockingers finished their weaving, the hosiers would make the stockingers cut up their weaves to make socks, sweaters, etc. The stockingers knew their weaves/knitting wouldn’t be as sturdy or last as long after it had been cut, but they had to do what the hosiers wanted or else they would be out of a job. Then the hosiers would charge exorbitant prices for their clothing, which only lasted a few months.
The public blamed the stockingers for low quality products, who in turn blamed the hosiers. That’s what led to the Luddite Rebellion, spearheaded by the imaginary General Ludd, who, like Robin Hood, was reputed to live in Sherwood Forest. The stockingers made up the general to protect them by having the government search for one fictitious person, as well as to give the people an ideal to look up to and to encourage them to keep up the rebel rousing. During the skirmishes stockingers would smash the looms.
This whole situation is the backdrop to Rescue a Rogue, the first book in my trilogy coming out soon, either late September or early October.