Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online

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Fulling mill
(1,108 words)

1. Technique

Fulling, or waulking (German: walken), refers to the treading, beating, or pressing of textiles in water with the addition of fuller’s earth (fine clay), urine, and/or soap to achieve greater thickness, resistance, and cleanliness. The process felted the cloth so that it could be shrunk by up to a third [1]. Fulling by means of foot-treading is known as far back as ancient Pompeii.

Fulling mills were already mechanized in the High Middle Ages through the use of cam shafts that enabled rotation…

Cite this page
Reith, Reinhold, “Fulling mill”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Editors of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy, Andrew Gow. Original German Edition: Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit. Im Auftrag des Kulturwissenschaftlichen Instituts (Essen) und in Verbindung mit den Fachherausgebern herausgegeben von Friedrich Jaeger. Copyright © J.B. Metzlersche Verlagsbuchhandlung und Carl Ernst Poeschel Verlag GmbH 2005–2012. Consulted online on 29 March 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_COM_029998>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20180208

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