History of the “Rag Trade”

Tailoring and dressmaking were the most improtant thing for thetions for Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe to the East End in the early 20th century,five out of every seven male immigrants worked in the ready-to-wear clothing workshops that were built all over the East End. The workshops were very crowdy, often built onto the backs of houses or in unhealthy basements or attics, and the work was very hard and poorly paid. Women also worked in the tailoring industry when they were single, they often worked alongside the men, and after they were married, many women helped out in their husbands’ by doing workshops. The low pay and poor conditions were a strong movement during the 20th century .By 1914, more than 50 specifically Jewish tailoring trade unions were held in London. This was mainly because of the continuous supply of new immigrant workers.However, the ready-to-wear clothing industry developed in larger, more modern factories. These provided a more pleasant working environment,women became an increasingly important part of the workforce and this helped Petticoat a lot.


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