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There should be two articles here... Sunspeck 03:58, 11 December 2006 (UTC)
A fuller used TENTERHOOKS as far back as the fourteenth century in the process of making woollen cloth. The woven cloth still contained oil and some dirt from the fleece. The fuller - also known as a tucker or walker, or a waulker in Scotland - cleaned the woollen cloth in a fulling mill. She then dried it carefully outdoors to prevent shrinkage by placing the wet cloth on a large wooden frame, known as a tenter - from the Latin tendere, meaning to stretch. She stretched the cloth upon it using hooks or nails driven through the perimeter of the frame. The cloth perimeter, or selvage thus fixed, would dry; its shape and size maintained by the tenter. At one time, a common sight in manufacturing areas would be to see tenter-fields filled with these frames. By the mid-eighteenth century the phrase, on tenterhooks came into use to mean being in a state of uneasiness, anxiety, or suspense, stretched like a cloth on the tenter. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 18.104.22.168 (talk) 07:05, 4 October 2011 (UTC)