"Les canuts" and the history of Lyon

In 1466, Louis XI tries to introduce the way silk weaving but fails in the process.
The creation of the french factory was a succes thanks to François the 1st in 1531, and in 1540 Lyon get the monoply of silk.
It is a family work : Men work on the loom, while women prepare the weaving coils.
All the familial cell is organised around that job : In the flats, the looms take the majority of the available space, and at the back of the room, you can find the kitchen, above, a mezzanine used as sleeping room.

 

In 1831, the "canuts" start a rebellion and ask for a minimum wage before starting to work again, because the few money they earn isn't enough to live decently.
However some weaver, too weak, put an end to their strike, and eventually started to work again without obtaining anything.
In 1835 an other attempt of rebellion started, and ended up aswell as a failure.

 

Story on Wiki:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canut
See also:
http://www.soierie-vivante.asso.fr/ENG/Histoire_Canut.php

 

"Canut": Word's origin

Several legends exists to explain where it comes from.
Some believe that it comes from the stick (cannette) on which was coiled the weft yarn, other believe that it comes from the silk workers, that used to have the monopoly of the silk industry in Lyon.
Richer than the "Canuts", they were showing off their wealth displaying their canes decorated with golden and silver ornaments, in opposition to those of the "Canuts" that could only own canes... nudes.

 

La marche des p'tits canuts

Refrain
Voilà les p'tits canuts
Qui se la coulent douce
De Saint Just à la Croix-Rousse
Partout ils sont connus
et bistanclaque pan

La navette et le battant
Regardez comme ils sont ch'nus
Voilà les p'tits canuts