This page cannot be viewed in frames

Go to page

If you have found a spelling error, please, notify us by selecting that text and pressing Ctrl+Enter.

Fuller in Roman world

This post is also available in: Polish (polski)

Roman stone "bathtub" in which fullers worked. Located in Pompeii
Roman stone bathtub in which fullers worked. Located in Pompeii

In the ancient Greco-Roman world, fulling machines were involved in both the production and washing of fabrics. During the excavations at Pompeii destroyed by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 CE several great fulling workshops were discovered, and the best-preserved and located at the so-called Abundance Street belonged to a certain Stefanus.

Fullers whitened and cleaned the materials in special pools into which they poured urine mixed with probably soda and sand. Large amphorae were often displayed in front of fulling factories, asking passers-by to donate urine there.

After a few days, ammonia, useful in bleaching and cleaning textiles, appeared in the decomposing urine. The fabrics were first soaked in urine fluid, and then the fuller (in a terrible stench) kneaded the sheets of fabric with their feet, trying to remove the dirt from them. The washed textiles were placed on flat roofs and dried in the sun.

  • Duda Sebastian, Od moczu w basenie do proszku w pralce, "Gazeta Wyborcza", 9 czerwca 2014

IMPERIUM ROMANUM needs your support!

If you like the content that I collect on the website and that I share on social media channels I will be grateful for the support. Even the smallest amounts will allow me to pay for further corrections, improvements on the site and pay the server.



Find out more!

Check your curiosity and learn something new about the ancient world of the Romans. By clicking on the link below, you will be redirected to a random entry.

Random curiosity

Random curiosity

Discover secrets of ancient Rome!

If you want to be up to date with newest articles on website and discoveries from the world of ancient Rome, subscribe to the newsletter, which is sent each Saturday.

Subscribe to newsletter!

Subscribe to newsletter

Spelling error report

The following text will be sent to our editors: