One of a series of finishing processes when the selvedges of an open-width textile fabric are held at a predetermined width and the tension maintained.  The attachment to the selvedges can be by needles, hooks or clips.  Traditionally done on simple frames, is now done in a stentering machine which usually contains a dryer.  The term stentering is used for passing a fabric through a stenter, or tenter. Stentering is done for a variety of reasons:

A flexible stick, called a stenter or tenter, is often used when weaving on a handloom to maintain a constant width of the fabric under an even tension, as it is being woven.  Hence the term ‘to be under tenter hooks’ means to be tense.