Boarding, Finishing, Pressing or Trimming
Socks are knitted on a circular knitting machine and then have their toes closed.
If required they are then scoured (washed), shrink-resist treated (to stop wool felting) and dyed.
The next process is to press (iron) the socks so that they are smooth, flat and properly shaped. This process is known as boarding, trimming, finishing or pressing.
This process was traditionally done by putting the socks on flat sycamore foot shaped boards that were placed in steam chambers to set the socks to the desired shape. Every different size of sock needed its own size of board to give the required finished sock.
Modern sock finishing is done using either ‘Hot Legs’ or a boarding machine.
- Hot Legs are flat foot shapes with electrical heating elements in their centre
- Boarding machines are a continuous process where the socks are placed on metal legs (flat steel leg shapes) and then pass through a series of operations that can include: pulling to length, steam setting, pressing, and drying.