The earliest friendly society of cocoanut mat makers of which record has been found dates from 1844; the earliest known union claimed to have been formed in 18S3. This was based in the East End of London and had a branch at Diss, Norfolk, from 1872. For reasons unknown, the London branch of the United Cocoanut Fibre Mat and Matting Weavers Trade Society failed towards the end of the nineteenth century, leaving that at Diss still in existence. Meanwhile other unions had been formed in Suffolk at Chilton Mill and Glemsford in 1883 and in the following year a separate Suffolk United Trade Society was established. This seems to have been, in its day, the most successful of all these organisations, with three branches and 372 members by 1892, one of which branches, at Long Melford, broke away in 1894. By 1900 therefore, there were five unions in the trade, a Sudbury Mat Makers organisation having foundered after 1895. Glemsford was dissolved in 1909 and Long Melford about 1919. The Suffolk United remained until after 1925 and Chilton Mill until 1939, the Diss Society continuing in some form until the Workers Union, which it joined in 1920, merged into the Transport and General Workers Union in 1929.