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:
- drying and setting fabrics
- heat-setting of thermoplastic materials
- dye fixing
- controlling the width of fabrics
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.