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What is a stitched cotton mop?

To be able to mirror polish metals on a polishing mill, you need to apply polishing soaps  / compounds to the metal surface.  The most common way to do that is with a cotton mop.

To create a stitched mop, a set of cotton discs are stacked in a pile and stitched together to meet the strength and hardness required.

The more tightly stitched the mop is, the harder, and therefore more aggressive it becomes.

For general purpose polishing, a stitched cotton mop is sufficient to give the brightness required.

For a higher gloss finish it may then be necessary to use a loose leaf polishing mop with either the same or a finer polishing compound.


What is a Sisal polishing mop?

Sisal is a natural fibre which was traditionally grown in Mexico and South America.  It has a high percentage of natural silicates in it’s construction which makes it aggressive and rough to the touch.  Those same characteristics make them excellent for the first stage of a polishing process.

The natural sisal fibre is layered between cotton discs which are then stitched together to create the sisal mop.  You could use a sisal mop ‘dry’ to polish the metal but it would very quickly generate heat and burn the metal.  The sisal mop is normally used with an abrasive cutting compound or with a cut and colour polishing compound to bring the first stage pre-polished finish onto a metal surface.

Basic principles for metal polishing:

For removal of deeper marks in the metal:  Use a sisal mop with a cutting compound.  Cutting compounds such as our PV569 Carbrax contain abrasive particles which have the aggression to remove 320 or sometimes even 240 grit sanding lines.

For pre-polishing:  The shape is correct and deeper scratch marks have been removed, use a sisal mop with a cut and colour compound or with an intermediate polishing compound such as our PV101 (green soap)

For initial polishing:  Switch to the stitched cotton mop with the same intermediate polishing soap such as our PV101.  On stainless steel this should leave a good bright reflection with a slightly ‘milky’ look to the surface.

For a brighter polished finish:  Using a clean stitched cotton mop switch to our pink PV102 polishing soap.  This is the most popular mirror polished finish.

Note:  there are many options to improve a mirror polished finish from here.  The options including.

Using a loose-leaf cotton mop, a swansdown loose leaf mop or going to an airflow mop.  All will lift the colour in the surface of the metal even further if used with the correct compound

Stitched and Loose Cotton Mops

Step1:  Sisal mop with our PV/101 (cut & colour compound) green soap.

Step2:  Stitched cotton mop, again using the PV/101 green soap.

Step3 (if required):  Loose cotton mop with the PV/102 (finishing compound) polishing soap.


Tip:  When changing polishing soap make sure all of the previous compound has been removed with our Vienna Chalk (PV/103) before moving to a new mop for the finer polish.