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Fulling shrank the cloth. When lengths of woollen cloth left Exeter’s fulling mills, they were typically one third shorter and one quarter narrower than when they had arrived.

This presented a problem – shrunken cloth meant smaller profits, so the next stage in the process involved re-shaping it, stretching it to a suitable shape and size.

This process was known as ‘tentering’. It involved the use of tentering frames, also known as ‘racks’. The cloth was attached to each side of the frame on metal hooks called ‘tenterhooks’. Once in place, the cloth was not only stretched, but dried and bleached evenly by the sun.

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