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Bible Dictionaries

Smith's Bible Dictionary

Fuller

Fuller. The trade of the fullers, so far as it is mentioned in Scripture, appears to have consisted chiefly in cleansing garments and whitening them. The process of fulling or cleansing clothes consisted in treading or stamping on the garments with the feet or with bats in tubs of water, in which some alkaline substance answering the purpose of soap had been dissolved. The substances used for this purpose which are mentioned in Scripture are natron [Native carbonate of soda, or mineral alkali.], Proverbs 25:20; Jeremiah 2:22, and soap. Malachi 3:2

Other substances also are mentioned as being employed in cleansing, which, together with the alkali, seem to identify the Jewish with the Roman process, as urine and chalk. The process of whitening garments was performed by rubbing into them chalk or earth of some kind. Creta cimolia (cimolite) was probably the earth most frequently used.

The trade of the fullers, as causing offensive smells, and also as requiring space for drying clothes, appears to have been carried on at Jerusalem outside the city.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.

Bibliography Information
Smith, William, Dr. Entry for 'Fuller'. Smith's Bible Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/sbd/f/fuller.html. 1901.

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