See also SHIPBUILDING, Volume 2 where, at an earlier stage in the compilation of this volume of the Directory, entries were originally made before more detailed information became available.

In the heyday of sailing ships, sailmakers were organised in a congeries of local friendly and trade societies many of which are listed below. In 1889 a number of these came together in a loose organisation of autonomous societies, the Federation of Sailmakers of Great Britain and Ireland (Vol. 2, p. 77), formally established in October 1890. Initiative for the formation of the Federation came from the Hull Sailmakers Trade and Benevolent Society. Originally its headquarters moved from one local society to another. In 1898 this was at 37 Royal Street, Gourock. J.F. Sunderland, 50 Shore Street, Greenock was secretary from 1890 to 1900. Eventually it settled down in Hull at 24 Andrew Marvel Terrace, Wyke Street, with W.W. Hicks as secretary, followed by J. Eastwood, 5 Seymour Street, Hull. From the beginning it was faced by the growing obsolescence of the craft which it represented. As the steamship came to dominate maritime transport its membership constantly declined. In 1894 it was comprised of 16 unions and 1,182 members. Five years later this had fallen to 12 unions and 716 members. The history of the Federation was, as a commentator has described it, 'an agonisingly long search for work, first in sailmaking and then in any trade which required the stitching of canvas'.1 In 1891 it resorted to an anti-sewing machine movement and an informal overtime ban accompanied by the development of work sharing schemes. The Federation ceased to exist in 1926/27. The suggestion in Vol. 2, p. 77 that it may have survived as the Amalgamated Union of Sailmakers appears to be incorrect. The latter Union, based in Liverpool, continued to exist until 1971.