In the 17th century, Huguenot silk weavers brought new skills to England and settled in Canterbury, Norwich and Spitalfields in London, escaping persecution in France.
Initially, English weavers resented the Huguenots, fearing a loss of business caused by the new arrivals. English weavers challenged the qualifications and the finish of their Huguenot contemporaries. The Huguenots, however, brought with them the new fashions of France, and the skills with which to create the most contemporary fashions with intricate fabric details.
Notable Huguenot Silk Weavers of East London include James Leman of Leman Street in Spitalfields, whose infamous pattern designs are now displayed in the V&A Collection and Edward Peck of Spitalfields, notorious for the crimson dye he used for royalty and aristocracy.