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Next the lengths of cloth were dried in the open air.  They were hung on a wooden frame known as a 'rack' or 'tenter'.

"This operation has also for its object, to strain it so much in length and breadth, as will make all parts smooth and even; for were it dried without being fixed in a frame and stretched, the cloth would shrink up unequally, and leave it so rough and wrinkly, that it could not be sheared without cutting, nor pressed with an even face. A cloth intended for seven quarters, being fulled into six and a half within the lists, is stretched to seven in the tenters, and is pulled in length, one yard in twenty beyond what it measured when it came from the stocks. When set in the tenters, stretched, and hooked, the face is sprinkled with water, and then run from the last to the head end, first with fine cards, and then twice with long brushes made for the purpose. As soon as a cloth is dry, it should be taken from the tenters, particularly in the summer season; as being exposed long afterwards, hardens the face, by making the wool dry, harsh, and brittle."

Partridge, W., 1823, A Practical Treatise on dyeing, pp.82-83

The name 'Rack' occurs in a number of place names around the Stroud area.  Examples include Rack Close, Woodchester and Rack Mead, Ebley. 

Cloth was often stolen from tenter racks. Clothiers advertised rewards to those who reported anyone stealing cloth. In 1779, Thomas Rudder was sentenced to death for stealing cloth from Frome Hall.

Gloucester Journal 28.6.1725 Glos Local History Collection

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