Fausset's Bible Dictionary 
Kobes , from Kabas "to tread." The fuller's chief work was cleansing and whitening garments for festive and religious occasions. The white garment typifies Christ's spotless righteousness, put on the saints. Revelation 3:4-5; Revelation 3:18; Revelation 6:11; Revelation 7:9; Revelation 7:14; Ecclesiastes 9:8, "let thy garments be always white"; the present, even if gloomy, should never rob saints of the festive joyousness of spirit which faith bestows, in consciousness of peace with God now, and in the prospect of glory for ever. Fulling or cleansing cloth was effected by stamping on the garments with the feet or bats in tubs of water containing some alkaline dissolved.
The alkaline substances mentioned are "soap" and "nitre" ( Proverbs 25:20; Jeremiah 2:22), a potash which mixed with oil was used as soap. Malachi 3:2, "fullers' soap." Job 9:30, "if I make my hands never so clean," translated, "if I cleanse my hands with lye." Carbonate of potash is obtained impure from burning plants, especially the Kali (from whence, with the Arabic Al , the article, comes the word "alkali ") of Egypt and Arabia. "Nitre" is not used in our sense, namely, saltpeter, but native carbonate of soda. Natron is found abundant in the soda lakes of Egypt (Pliny, 31:10), in the valley Bahr-bela-ma (the waterless sea), 50 miles E. of Cairo, during the nine months of the year that the lakes are dry.
The Mishna mentions also urine and chalk used in fullers' cleansing. This may have suggested the indelicate filthy sneer of Rabshakeh to Hezekiah's messengers in "the highway of the fullers' field" ( 2 Kings 18:27). The trade was relegated to the outside of Jerusalem, to avoid the offensive smells. (See Enrogel .) Chalk, or earth of some kind, was used to whiten garments. Christ's garments at the transfiguration became "shining" white "as no fuller on earth could whiten them" ( Mark 9:3). Christ's mission, including both the first and second advents, is compared to "fuller's soap" in respect to the judicial process now secretly going on, hereafter to be publicly consummated at the second advent, whereby the unclean are separated from the clean.
Smith's Bible Dictionary 
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.
Vine's Expository Dictionary of NT Words 
akin to knapto, "to card wool," denotes "a clothcarder, or dresser" (gnaphos, "the prickly teasel-cloth;" hence, "a carding comb"); it is used of the raiment of the Lord in Mark 9:3 .
Morrish Bible Dictionary 
The word kabas simply implies 'to wash,' as it is often translated, and would include 'bleaching.' The coming of the Lord is compared to a 'refiner's fire, and like fullers' soap,' when the dross and dirt will be cleared away. Malachi 3:2 . At the transfiguration the clothing of the Lord became so white that it exceeded the whiteness produced by any fuller on earth. Mark 9:3 . It was a reflection of heavenly glory.
Webster's Dictionary 
(1): ( v. t.) One whose occupation is to full cloth.
(2): ( a.) A die; a half-round set hammer, used for forming grooves and spreading iron; - called also a creaser.
(3): ( v. t.) To form a groove or channel in, by a fuller or set hammer; as, to fuller a bayonet.
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary 
A cleanser of cloth. His process is unknown. Christ's robes at the transfiguration were white "so as no fuller on earth can white them," Mark 9:3 . We read also of fullers' soap, Malachi 3:2 , and of the fullers' fountain. See En-Rogel
Holman Bible Dictionary 
Psalm 51:7 Jeremiah 2:22 Jeremiah 4:14 Malachi 3:2
Easton's Bible Dictionary 
Malachi 3:2 2 Kings 18:17 Mark 9:3
King James Dictionary 
FULL'ER, n. One whose occupation is to full cloth.
Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature 
( כֹּבֵס , Kobes', from כָּבִס , to tread [comp. Gesenius, Monum. Phoen. page 181]; Γναφεύς ). The art of the fuller is beyond doubt of great antiquity and seems to have reached at an early period a comparativa degree of perfection. Very scanty materials, however, exist for tracing its progress, or for ascertaining exactly, in aney particular age or country (see Pliny, 2:57), what substances were employed in the art, and what methods were resorted to for the purpose of making them effectual. At the transfiguration our Samioum's robes are said to have been white, " so as no fuller on earth could white them" ( Mark 9:3). Elsewhere we read of "fullers soap" ( Malachi 3:2), and of "the fullers field" ( 2 Kings 18:17). Of the processes followed ile the art of cleaning cloth and the various kinds of stuff among the Jews we have no direct knowledge. In an early part of the operation they seem to have trod the cloths with their feet (Geseneius, Thes. page 1261), as the Hebrew Ain-Rogel, or En-rogel, literally Foot- fountain, has been rendered, on Rabbinical autbority, "Fullers fountain," on the ground that the fullers trod the cloths there with their feet (comp. Host, Marokko, page 116). They were also rubbed with the knuckles, as in modern washing (Synes. Ep. 44; compare Euseb. Hist. Ecclesiastes 2:1-2). A subsequent operation was probably that of rubbing the cloth on an inclined plane, is a mode which is figured is the Egyptian paintings (Wilkinson, 2:106, abridgm.), and still preserved in the East. It seems from the above notices that the trade of the fullers, as causing offensive smells and also as requiring space for drying clothes, was carried on at Jerusalem outside the city (comp. Martial, 6:93; Plaut. Asin. 5:2, 57). A fullers town (officina fullonis) is mentioned in the Talmudical writers (Midrash, Kohel. 91:2) by the name of, בֵּית הִמַּשְׁרָה , " house, of maceration." So far as it is mentioned in Scripture, fulling appears to have consisted chiefly in cleansing garments and whitening them (compare EAlian, Var. Hist. 5:5). The use of white garments; and also the feeling respecting their use for festal and religious purposes, may be gathered from various passages: Ecclesiastes 9:8; Daniel 7:9; Isaiah 64:6; Zechariah 3:3; Zechariah 3:5; 2 Samuel 6:14; 1 Chronicles 15:27; Mark 9:3; Revelation 4:4; Revelation 6:11; Revelation 7:9; compare Mishna, Taanith, 4:8; see also Statius, Silv. 1:2, 237; Ovid, Fast. 1:79; Claudian, De Laud. Stil. 3:289. This branch of the trade was perhaps exercised by other persons than those who carded the wool and smoothed the cloth when woven (Mishna, Baba Kama, 1, 10:10). In applying the marks used to distinguish cloths sent to be cleansed, fullers were desired to be careful to avoid the mixtures forbidden by the law ( Leviticus 19:19; Deuteronomy 22:11; Mishna, Massek. Kilaim, 9:10). Colored cloth was likewise fulled (Mishna, Shabb. 19:1). See Schottgen, Triturae et fulloniae antiquitates (2d edition, Lips. 1763). (See Handicraft).
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia 
fool´ẽr ( כּבס , kābhaṣ ; literally, "to trample," γναφεύς , gnapheús ): The fuller was usually the dyer, since, before the woven cloth could be properly dyed, it must be freed from the oily and gummy substances naturally found on the raw fiber. Many different substances were in ancient times used for cleansing. Among them were white clay, putrid urine, and the ashes of certain desert plants (Arabic ḳali , Biblical "soap"; Malachi 3:2 ). The fuller's shop was usually outside the city ( 2 Kings 18:17; Isaiah 7:3; Isaiah 36:2 ), first, that he might have sufficient room to spread out his cloth for drying and sunning, and second, because of the offensive odors sometimes produced by his processes. The Syrian indigo dyer still uses a cleaning process closely allied to that pictured on the Egyptian monuments. The unbleached cotton is soaked in water and then sprinkled with the powdered ashes of the ishnan , locally called ḳali , and then beaten in heaps on a flat stone either with another stone or with a large wooden paddle. The cloth is washed free from the alkali by small boys treading on it in a running stream or in many changes of clean water (compare En - rogel , literally, "foot fountain," but translated also "fuller's fountain" because of the fullers' method of washing their cloth). Mark describes Jesus' garments at the time of His transfiguration as being whiter than any fuller on earth could whiten them ( Mark 9:3 ).
Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature 
At the transfiguration our Savior's robes are said to have been white, 'so as no fuller on earth could white them' . Elsewhere we read of 'fullers' soap' , and of 'the fullers' field' . Of the processes followed in the art of cleaning cloth and the various kinds of stuff among the Jews we have no direct knowledge. In an early part of the operation they seem to have trod the cloths with their feet, as the Hebrew Ain Rogel, or En-rogel, literally Foot-fountain, has been rendered, on Rabbinical authority, 'Fullers' fountain,' on the ground that the fullers trod the cloths there with their feet. A subsequent operation was probably that of rubbing the cloth on an inclined plane, in a mode which is figured in the Egyptian paintings, and still preserved in the East.
- ↑ Fuller from Fausset's Bible Dictionary
- ↑ Fuller from Smith's Bible Dictionary
- ↑ Fuller from Vine's Expository Dictionary of NT Words
- ↑ Fuller from Morrish Bible Dictionary
- ↑ Fuller from Webster's Dictionary
- ↑ Fuller from American Tract Society Bible Dictionary
- ↑ Fuller from Holman Bible Dictionary
- ↑ Fuller from Easton's Bible Dictionary
- ↑ Fuller from King James Dictionary
- ↑ Fuller from Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature
- ↑ Fuller from International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
- ↑ Fuller from Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature