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Fullo

γναφεύς or κναφεύς). A fuller or laundryman. The fuller's trade was one of the most important and most widely extended in Greek and Roman antiquity. It embraced all the processes, now distributed among different trades,

Mural Painting from the Fullonica, Pompeii. (Overbeck.)

necessary for converting the rough web into smooth cloth, the chief material used by the ancients for clothing. It was also usual to send clothes to the fuller for cleaning and working up. Clothes when sent to be cleaned were stamped with the feet in pits or troughs filled with warm water and substances which separated the fat from them, as

Fullo. (From a Pompeian Painting.)

urine, nitre, and fuller's earth. Soap was not known before the time of Pliny , who speaks of sapo (q. v.) as a Gallic invention ( H. N. xxviii. 191). If the object was to felt the web and make it thicker and stronger, the same process was gone through, and the cloth was then beaten with rods, washed out in clean water, dried, carded with a kind of thistle or with the skin of a hedgehog, fumigated with sulphur, rubbed in with fuller's earth to make it whiter and stronger, and finally dressed by brushing, shearing, and pressing. The fuller's earth, when well rubbed in, prevented the clothes from becoming soiled too soon, and freshened up the colours which the sulphur had destroyed. Some frescoes preserved on the walls of an ancient fuller's shop at Pompeii give a clear notion of the different processes. The fullones at Rome formed one of the oldest guilds. Like all mechanics, they worshipped Minerva as their tutelary goddess, and took a prominent part in her chief festival, the Quinquatrus. See Schöttgen, Antiquitates Triturae et Fulloniae; Beckmann, Hist. of Inventions, vol. ii. pp. 92 foll. (ed. Bohn); Blümner, Technol. und Terminol. i. pp. 157 foll.

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