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Full \Full\, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Fulled; p. pr. & vb. n. Fulling.] [OE. fullen, OF. fuler, fouler, F. fouler, LL. fullare, fr. L. fullo fuller, cloth fuller, cf. Gr. ? shining, white, AS. fullian to whiten as a fuller, to baptize, fullere a fuller. Cf. Defile to foul, Foil to frustrate, Fuller. n. ] To thicken by moistening, heating, and pressing, as cloth; to mill; to make compact; to scour, cleanse, and thicken in a mill.


Fulling \Full"ing\, n. The process of cleansing, shrinking, and thickening cloth by moisture, heat, and pressure.

Fulling mill, a mill for fulling cloth as by means of pesties or stampers, which alternately fall into and rise from troughs where the cloth is placed with hot water and fuller's earth, or other cleansing materials.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

early 15c. (in fulling mill), verbal noun from full (v.).


Etymology 1 n. baptism. Etymology 2

vb. (present participle of full English) To make cloth denser and firmer.


Fulling, also known as tucking or walking, is a step in woollen clothmaking which involves the cleansing of cloth (particularly wool) to eliminate oils, dirt, and other impurities, and making it thicker. The worker who does the job is a fuller, tucker, or walker, all of which have become common surnames. The Welsh word for a fulling mill is pandy, which appears in many place-names, for example Tonypandy (fulling-mill ley).

Usage examples of "fulling".

The greatest source of power available at the time - water power - was aggressively developed, and employed to do ever more kinds of work: not only grinding grain but fulling cloth, blacksmithing, beer mashing, woodworking, mixing mortar and cement, papermaking, rope making, oil pressing, preparing dyes for cloth, and powering bellows to heat blast furnaces for steel.

More expensive fabric would be lighter and finer, could involve a patterned weave instead of a straight basket weave, and would have been softened by fulling.

Although the exact dates are unknown, the Middle Ages saw the invention of the spinning wheel, the European horizontal loom (other horizontal looms already being in use elsewhere in the world), and the fulling mill, which beat, shrank, and softened wool cloth mechanically.

A week before it had been a thriving settlement with its own fulling mill, pottery and dairy, but the Franks had been there and now the villa was a smoking ruin, splashed by blood, its walls tumbled and its spring poisoned with the corpses of women and children.

This done, they broke their fast on the remains of the spoils of war plundered from the sumpter mule, and drank of the brook that flowed from the fulling mills, without casting a look in that direction, in such loathing did they hold them for the alarm they had caused them.

Am I, perchance, being, as I am, a gentleman, bound to know and distinguish sounds and tell whether they come from fulling mills or not.

Another stack represented industry: iron foundries, fulling mills, jewelry shops, armories, glassblowers.

On the far side of the marketplace were the mills, all kinds, grinding, sawing, and many fulling mills, for here the River Witham took a right angle in the middle of town.

Hearing this, Sancho with tears in his eyes entreated him to give up an enterprise compared with which the one of the windmills, and the awful one of the fulling mills, and, in fact, all the feats he had attempted in the whole course of his life, were cakes and fancy bread.