Preview Mode Links will not work in preview mode

Haptic & Hue

Apr 7, 2022

Over the past months, we have watched in horror as nearly ten million people have fled their homes in Ukraine to escape the Russian invasion. They have become the world’s latest refugees. That word was first applied to some of the most skilled and expert handweavers who began arriving in London in the 1500 and 1600s to escape death and persecution in France. This is the story of how these forced migrants – known as Huguenots - changed the face of London, and created some of the world’s most complex and beautiful silk fabric. It is also a tale of hope and resilience in a time of difficulty and darkness.


This episode tracks the story of the Huguenots, who they were, and why a summer wedding ignited a violent massacre that forced them to flee France. It looks at some of the striking parallels between the Ukrainian refugees and the arrival of the Huguenots in Britain, and it also thinks about the amazing silk cloth the Huguenots were able to create on draw looms, working entirely without power in London weaving lofts.


For a full script of this podcast and show notes please go to  where you will also find pictures and links to further information about the people you can hear in this episode.