Document Collection - under development


Fullers processed both new and used cloth. Here is a quote that describes the Fuller's operations:

"The building, equipment, and materials used in the finshed profession demanded even more capital outlay than cloth making. The mill structure housed a variety of equipment and facilities that varied, depending on the type of cloth being finished and whether it was dyed. A complete operation would consist of a mill to wash and shrink the fabric, a dye house where it was colored, tented yards where it was stretched on frames to dry, a dress house where it was brushed and sheared, and a press shop where it was pressed and made ready to use1. The equipment contained within these working areas, most of which had to be purchased from local artisans or imported, would include hot and cold presses and weights, pressing (or fuller's) papers, furnaces, vats and kettles, napping tools, cloth (or fuller's) shears, and tenter hooks or bars2. A mill owner had to further invest in cleansing agents, dyestuffs (logwood, redwood, fustic, madder, and indigo), and mordants (chemicals used to set the dyte or render the fiber more able to accept the color) such as alum, copperas, oil of vitriol, and blue vitriol. Dyers imported the majority of their dyestuffs and mordants3."

The Weaver's Craft, Adrienne D. Hood, 2003, University of Pennsylvania Press.

See for photos of sets of fulling hammers. From Model Windmills,Watermills & related models made by Vic Newey, Worcestershire, England, and on permanent display at Bishops Lydeard Mill & Museum, Somerset, England

Fulling Mills in Tredyffrin township

St. Peter’s Mill - mentioned in records from 1739 to 1770.

James Davis tract - Fulling Mill mentioned in 1767 tax return.

Clintonville Mill - in records from 1783 to 1799. Mentioned in 1816 advertisement as 'gone out of repair'.

Hammer Hollow Mill - fulling mill in tax records for 1795, 1798 and 1801. Recorded as 'formerly a fulling mill' in 1802.

Howellville Mill - in tax record of 1839. Named as a Grist mill in 1827 and as a manufactory of woolen goods in 1842.

Fulling Mills in Charlestown township

Patrick Anderson Mill - sold to Matthias Pennypacker in 1775, who was taxed for Grist, Saw, and Fulling mills from 1775 to 1799.

Job Harvey tract - Samuel Harvey, son of Job Harvey, Fulling Mill, 1765 - 1778; Martha Harvey 1781 to 1783. Sold to John Longstreth in 1784, who is taxed for Fulling Mill in 1785 and 1786. Sold to Abraham Holderman in 1792.

Roberts Mill - in records as Fulling Mill from 1813 to 1824. Mentioned in 1843 Sheriff’s deed. Noted as a woolen mill on 1850 map.

Fulling Mills in Easttown township

None found

Reese Peters of Aston Township has 402 acres valued at £1,608 and a fulling mill at £600. [no date given]

Richard Downing, in 1788, had interests in merchant, saw, hemp, and fulling mills in East Caln.

Calvin Cooper (undertook) milling (fulling), dyeing, dressing, and pressing - account book 1791 to 1800, located in West Bradford.

Roger Kirk, of West Nottingham dyed, scoured, fulled, dressed, napped, sheared, and pressed.

Fulling Mills in Chester County

1765 15
1782 19
1799 16
1807 17
1814 26
1821 28
1828 20
1835 17

Note: the number of townships in the county varied with time so these can only be compared approximately. 18th century figures from reference 2; 19th century figures from the Septennial Census returns.

Notes and References

  1. Harry B. Weiss and Grace M. Ziegler, The Early Woolen Industry in New Jersey.
  2. The Weaver's Craft, Adrienne D. Hood, 2003, University of Pennsylvania Press, page 200, note 73.
  3. Hood, Op. Cit., page 200, note 74