Some local lace makers responded to declining prices for hand-made lace by turning to the production of straw plait. The hub of this industry was the growing town of Luton, which had cornered the market in the production of straw hats. Cottagers in the agricultural districts around Luton supplemented their income by weaving split straw into the plait used by the hatters. Coleshill was very much on the periphery of the straw plait area, but a small plait market was established at nearby Chesham by 1847. There were 16 plait makers in Coleshill in 1881.