Flag Fabric for Custom Flags

This is a bit of techie blog from me today, I thought it would be interesting to explain a little more about the fabrics that we use for our custom and bespoke flags and the reasons why we select different materials for different situations. A question that we are asked virtually every day is "How long will my custom flag last?" We can not give an precise answer to this question, however the Ministry of Defence (MOD) generally expects a polyester flag to last around 180 days based on daily usage from sunrise to sunset - but not during periods of severe weather. In reality most people simply fly their flags 24hrs a day, however tests have shown that this can reduce it’s life by more than 50%, it’s a simple case of the number of hours it’s up for. Regardless of how well it is constructed, a flag is, after all, only a piece of cloth and will sooner or later succumb to the elements. The comparison I often make is to ask whether you would expect a tea towel to be in perfect condition if you left it on the washing line for 6 months. However, it is a fact that reasonably good care will contribute greatly to a longer life. There are many types of fabric that can be used to make custom flags with, here at Flagmakers we use 3 main materials and they are:
  • 115gsm Knitted Polyester. This is used extensively for our printed flag ranges, it is suitable for digitally and screen printed flags. The material gives excellent colour reproduction and also the colour dyes through to the reverse of the flag, the strength of the colour on the reverse is aprox 95% on the face. The material balances the requirements of a fabric that is light enough to fly but strong enough to last a reasonable period.
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  • 150gsm Woven/ Spun Polyester. This is the traditional flag material, its origins come from the woollen fabrics that were once used for ships flags, the construction of the cloth remains the same but now synthetic fibres are used. This is used as the field (main background) material for most of our sewn and appliquéd flags, and it can also be screen printed. It is chosen for extra durability -it's the most durable flag material you can get. Woven Polyester has the traditional look which is important when the aesthetics of the flag are considered. The trade off with having a heavier flag fabric is that it needs more wind to fly.
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  • 205gsm Decotex. This is another kind of knitted polyester. It’s heavier weight means that the print does not show through to reverse so it is more suited to single sided applications or flags which are made double thickness with two panels of material so they read correctly on both sides. We also use Decotex for other kinds of fabric print including table cloths, café windbreaks, exhibition graphics and displays.
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The best material for you will depend on the type of flag you require and the location you intend to fly it in. A woven polyester flag will typically cost 30% more than a knitted polyester one, but it’s life span can be at least 50% longer so it is an economic trade off.

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