Cloth Preparation - Weaving Cloth Preparation - Fulling Cloth Preparation - Teazing Cloth Preparation - Dyeing Cloth Preparation - Shearing By Hand & Machine Cloth Preparation - Streaming Cloth Preparation - Tentering Cloth Preparation - Marketing Cloth Preparation - Changes In Production

Fulling or milling is the process of shrinking and thickening woven cloth either by hammering or squeezing it.

Water powered fulling mills are recorded in the Stroud area as early as the 1300s.  Cloth was placed in a trough and pounded with wooden hammers or 'stocks' for over 12 hours. Fullers' earth was added as a cleansing agent which was dug locally near Minchinhampton.  Soap and water was added to wash the cloth. During this process the cloth was removed and inspected to ensure that it shrank evenly. The cloth would shrink to produce a thick felted cloth with no visible weave, which was more resistant to water and well suited for uniforms.

From the mid 1800s, cloth was fulled using milling machines. A  milling machine was designed and made locally by James Ferrabee of Phoenix Iron Works.

CM 3983 Fulling stocks
SM 2522 Model of Fulling Machine
SM Ferrabee's patent milling machine for forming bats of fleece

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From January 2016, this website is managed by Stroud Local History Society