The Presser’s aim has always been to pack as much wool as possible into the space occupied by a bale, as space, rather than weight, is the limiting factor in transport.
In the early days, the woolpack was hung in a wooden frame. Fleeces were thrown into it, and the presser trod the wool to compact it before closing and fastening the bale.
With the growth of the wool industry, mechanically operated box presses were developed in which the wool was compressed into bales by pressers working a winch or capstan. This was a task requiring considerable strength, and the pressers were often the brawniest men in the woolshed.
Today, machine power has taken the hard work out of pressing, and the modern woolshed is equipped with an hydraulic press.