The Press 360

Explore the press in 360 degrees

Each Mill had its own special cloth “finishing” routine that was a closely guarded secret. Here at Sunny Bank Mills, our secret weapon was the Paper Press. Every 60-metre piece of cloth was lapped into the press by hand. It was then pressed over night between smooth cards that had been heated. Sunny Bank Mills was famous in the Middle East for its “Double Press Finish” when each piece was pressed twice! We have kept various bits of this machine to tell it’s story, photographed it, and had an archaeological historian do a detailed report on it’s features!

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What can you find....

Search the press room and see what you can discover!

Fun facts

  • The Paper press was the final process before cloth headed to the warehouse and would give the cloth a unique soft, lustrous finish. Every piece of cloth was left under warmed smooth cards under several tonnes of pressure to press during overnight hours. Think about how good food tastes if it is cooked slowly. This is the difference between our cloth and other mills who generally had a modern “instant” rotary press.
  • The pressmen had to be very careful when they lapped the cloth into the press. It was important they had the same length arms so it was fed in evenly.
  • The biggest disaster was when the 20ft stack of cards, with cloth in between would topple over amongst the grease and dirt below. Luckily we only saw it happen once!