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  1. #1
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    Default Cordwainer to breeches maker

    Were breeches made from leather in the 1700s? Do you think it is a logical move to go from being a cordwainer to a breeches maker? I believe my ancestor may have done this in the mid 1700s.
    Thanks Jen

  2. #2
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    Were breeches made from leather in the 1700s?
    On the whole, no. Although I suppose they could have been but if so it would have been a small market.

    Do you think it is a logical move to go from being a cordwainer to a breeches maker?
    I wouldn't say so.

    Apart from anything else, it was more difficult in those days to move from one trade to another because of the apprenticeship laws - you couldn't practice a trade without undergoing an apprenticeship. The rules got much looser in the 1800s.

    I think you're probably looking at different people.

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    Knowledgeable and helpful stepives's Avatar
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    It would also depend where he was living or moved to, and what sort of market there were for his products or trade.

    My 3xGt Uncle was a bootmaker, and went on to make saddles. His son was a carpenter/joiner apprentice, and he went on to making saddle trees for his father, and continued making them all his life.

    Steve.
    Too many bones, too much sorrow, but until I am dead, there's always tomorrow.

  4. #4
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    I can well imagine he would. People who worked in leather could do just about anything the market called for. It wouldn't be a big leap from shoes to breeches.

  5. #5
    Brick wall demolition expert! ChristineR's Avatar
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    I found a website called Fabrics International. There, under Breeches, it says breeches replaced hose in the late 17th century as the male garment of choice for the lower body, traditionally made from cotton or leather, remaining prevalent until the early 19th century in England when pantaloons / trousers became popular.

    One another website I saw where a girl was taken on as an apprentice to a gentleman who was a fellmonger, glover and breeches maker. The occupation looks to be separate from tailoring, so I see no reason why someone used to working with leather couldn't make breeches.
    ChristineR

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    I agree Christine

  7. #7
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    Please don't forget that there was not a free labour market in the mid 18th century.

  8. #8
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    Peter would you like to explain? I don't quite follow. 'Free Labour' sounds like an oxymoron.

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    'Free' referred to the market, not the labour. Wikipedia will explain labour markets. I was referring the various legal restrictions which made it difficult to switch trades.

  10. #10
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    Thanks for that Peter, I will now go and look it up on Wikipedia

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