The canuts were Lyonnais silk workers, often working on Jacquard looms. They were primarily found in the Croix-Rousse neighbourhood of Lyon in the 19th century. Although the term generally refers to Lyonnais silk workers, silk workers in the commune of l'Arbresle are also called canuts.
Canut is a surname of Catalan origin. It is of religious lineage. Canut is one of the oldest surnames of Catalonia. The name was taken to pay tribute to King Canute IV of Denmark, a devout Catholic king. It can likewise be found around the immediate areas surrounding Catalonia.