Early Cloth Fulling

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    AT a meeting of the Newcomen Society held in Prince Henry's Room, Fleet Street, on Dec. 16, Mr. E. Kilburn Scott read a paper on early cloth fulling and its machinery. Though it has remained for modern science to explain what happens to woollen threads when cloth is treated with moisture, heat, and pressure, the process of fulling, which involves the use of all three, goes back to very early days. There are references to fullers in both the Old and New Testaments, in the city of Pompeii can be seen pictures of the various processes of the fuller's craft and a fullery complete with its basins, cisterns, and compartments, and no one knows when machinery was first introduced which superseded the use of the hands or the feet in fulling. The object of fulling is to fill the interstices of the cloth as woven, to add to its appearance, its strength, and its ‘feel’, and the coarser the cloth the greater amount of fulling required. Cloth to-day is either treated in fulling stocks, in which are incorporated stamps which are worked somewhat in the same manner as tilt hammers,or in milling machines with rollers. The fulling stocks have been known for several centuries, but the milling machine was first introduced by John Dyer, of Trowbridge, Wiltshire, who took out patents in 1833 and 1838. Mr. Kilburn Scott himself was brought up in the works of Kilburn of Leeds and has been familiar with textile machinery all his life. His paper contained much of interest to the antiquarian, the inventor, and those connected with the cloth industry.

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    Early Cloth Fulling. Nature 129, 16–17 (1932) doi:10.1038/129016d0

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