THE SEWING DIVAS sewing, design, fashion

February 27, 2007

Pressing equipment part 2

Filed under: Els,Notions,Pressing,Tools — Els @ 6:00 am

Since there were some questions asked by readers of the previous post I will try to answer those.

Pressing tools like hams,  clappers, steam rolls  can be ordered from suppliers of tailoring tools like wardrobesupplies  or greenburg-hammer in the USA.

Pressing aids from the UK

Different shaped tailor’s hams from my supplier in The Netherlands

Some of you asked for information about where to look for the press buck ( persbok)

To my knowledge this rectangle one is a Dutch design, made for a  tailoring course at a fashion school, I never saw this rectangle shape outside The Netherlands.

And I was lucky to find one at a Dutch Auction site.

If you are interested in buying one, let me know and I can look around to see if I can find another one.

Press bucks and tailoring hams are used by tailors and dressmakers and are available in different shapes and have different pressing features, like you can see from these German tailor suppliers, the press bucks  from  are velvet covered . Like this one.

The bucks from  k-m-versand  are covered with linen.

ebay has an auction for a bügelblock covered with linen right now

I could not find any information about ordering from outside Germany, but it will give you an idea what kind of bucks are used in tailoring and dressmaking.

At the famous vintagesewinginfo website you can find lots of info for pressing  like pressing needs for pressing ,

scope of tailoring 

Pressing techniques can be found in a lot of vintage tailoring/ dressmaking books .

A  pattern for making different kinds of pressing hams and a ham holder can be bought from


  1. Thank you Els, this information is very helpful!

    Comment by Tany — February 28, 2007 @ 3:33 am

  2. What are type of material is used to fill the inside of a buck – sawdust? Sand? I have an vintage Dritz ham, a nice once my mother gave me, which is much heavier than the new models. It feels like it’s filled with sand or sawdust. Is a buck heavy? It woudl seem that heavy weight is a good thing.

    Comment by PhyllisC — February 28, 2007 @ 10:01 am

  3. I’ve had really good luck getting all sorts of nifty pressing tools (and other notions) from estate sales over the years. They’re usually very cheap and in good condition. I paid $2 for a really nice clapper last month.

    Comment by vespabelle — February 28, 2007 @ 2:55 pm

  4. Phyllis, to my knowledge the filling of the tailors hams and press buck which I owne is pressed straw. I can squeeze the hams a bit and hear the sound of the straw. The press buck weights nearly 4,5 kilo but that is included the wooden legs.
    The small tailors ham weights 300 grams and the large tailors ham weights 4,2 kilo.
    I can hardly imagine that sand would be used as a filling, because when you use a steam iron to shape a garment on a tailors ham sand becomes wet and clotted.

    Comment by Els — March 3, 2007 @ 8:59 pm

  5. Great. Something I must have that I can’t get! 😦

    Comment by Gigi — March 8, 2007 @ 11:45 am

  6. I was wondering if you would have any information on where I can get some of these items in the U.S. – the seam roll and pressing ham, for instance. In my sewing books they recommend these items for pressing seams and such. I’m just starting out sewing, but I haven’t been able to locate these myself. You have some very nice items and I love your press setup. Thank you.

    Comment by Doug — April 1, 2007 @ 9:02 pm

  7. Doug, If you click at the links in my post you can find some US ( wardrobesupplies or greenburg-hammer ) UK, Dutch and German suppliers for pressing tools like a seam roll or pressing ham.

    Sometimes you can find a seam roll, pressing ham on
    On search for bügel bock

    Comment by Els — April 2, 2007 @ 5:31 am

  8. I would like for my husband to make some pressing tools for me, but I have been unable to find out what the dimensions of these items: point presser, clapper, combination board, seam stick and a stand for my pressing ham. I would greatly appreciate any help that you could give me. Thank you in advance, I would also like to Thank You for having a wonderful site. Have a Wonderful Day.

    Comment by DARLENE WARD — May 13, 2007 @ 1:11 pm

  9. If you click at the link “scope of tailoring” you can see some pressing tools to copy with the dimensions.

    Comment by Els — May 13, 2007 @ 1:34 pm

  10. Thank you so much for the information, you have been very helpful. Have a wonderful day.

    Comment by DARLENE WARD — May 19, 2007 @ 8:20 pm

  11. My 30 year old wooden point presser has become dry and developed cracks. I filled the cracks with a product called water putty. I want to seal or moisturize the point presser but am unsure what product would withstand the heat of pressing and not come off on fabrics. Please advise?

    Comment by Betty Colburn — July 16, 2007 @ 10:32 am

  12. Betty, I have no idea what the best treatment is for your cracked point presser, maybe a carpenter can advise you what to do.
    I have an ancient clapper that belonged to my grandfather and I used a flat wood rasp and sandpaper to make it smooth again.

    Comment by Els — July 17, 2007 @ 5:42 am

  13. THANK YOU! I have been searching online for kidney shaped tailor’s hams all morning – I am so glad I clicked the link for your blog. Thank you for putting the links to the German companies – it is exactly what we want. I am just waiting for a friend to translate the page!

    Comment by Angela — October 12, 2007 @ 4:25 pm

  14. I have some very old documents that are falling apart that talk about how to make hams. They talk about sawdust inside and also talk about how to translate the sizes to the hams. Some of the instructions have been destroyed, since they are from the early 1800’s. Do you know of anywhere that I could find additional information? I would like to also build a pressing buck for the larger curves. Your information has been very helpful so far.

    Comment by Kat — March 11, 2008 @ 5:53 pm

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