These heavy blocks of metal are perhaps not what you would expect to find in a mill archive. The shelf they are perched on may catch your eye. If you can look at one of them closer the first thing you notice is how heavy they are. Approximately 1 kg, when caught off guard it feels like a lot more. The next thing you will naturally do is attempt to read the mirrored text. Usually you will come across various confirmations of the fabrics’ quality and origin. A few have intriguing type on them, like the one which reads “Funny night” which would likely have been the name of a collection.
A lot of the stamps pictured are a solid debossed metal newer ones, feature a porous plastic. This allowed the stamps to be self-inking, making up to 30,000 prints! These stamps with their heavy weight and self-inking properties would have made branding packaging as simple as possible. By 1912 the mill was known for its fine worsted cloth, these stamps would have been an important part in getting the mills branding and information out there, and build their reputation.
Blog post written by Kirstie Payne, Placement student from the University of Leeds
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TagsArts & Culture General Sunny Bank Mills Archive