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HOW are Feather Flag Banners Made in Adelaide?

 

In our Willunga-based workshop, each feather banner begins with a customer’s pattern… this will have been designed earlier by Linda Sanders (no extra artwork / set up charge) and confirmed as “the one” by the customer.

 

This pattern is laid out on our fully-lit workbench; the bold pattern lines form the guide for the design, indicating which coloured fabric goes where.

 

The OzFeather applique process is somewhat similar to glass leadlight, or even mosaic work, where the laying & cementing of tile pieces slowly produces the bigger picture.  Instead of broken crockery, we’re using heat-sealed slivers of pre-dyed fabrics.

Banner fabric cut & sewn

Instead of broken crockery we’re using heat-sealed slivers of pre-dyed fabrics.

How do we know which colours to put where? – this is dictated by referring to the approved proof.  Any part of a logo which is red requires Canada Red fabric.  Anything to be yellow could require either FM Yellow or Spanish Yellow, all depending on whether the logo is wanting a fluorescent or a natural shade.  With over 40 dye colours to choose from, there’s no issue with finding the right match.

SolarMax colour range

Our UV-inhibitor coated flag nylon comes in over 40 solid colour dyes.

Next step will be to wield the hot-cut iron, and carefully slice up the coloured fabrics.  This step is a little like making a jigsaw puzzle, where you’ve drawn the picture first yourself and then sliced it into individual pieces.  An experienced cutter finds this work enervating – there are so many colours and a myriad of shapes to work with, making sure the hot iron and soft flesh never make contact!

 

Piece by piece, the full image materialises.  Logos are cut and welded into place.  Text letters are cut individually, lined up carefully and then also welded into place.  When all the “jigsaw pieces” are attached / tacked together, it’s off to the sewing machine.

 

Polyester thread zigzag

How to make a SOLID design even stronger – sew in zigzag with polyester-core thread.

Working with polyester-core sewing thread and a heavy-duty zigzag stitch, an industrial machine will whizz through the work to ensure that each welded seam is firmly applique-encased with thread.  Much like a caterpillar spinning a cocoon, or a spider weaving its web around the prey.

 

At this stage, work is checked for quality control, making sure that no raw edges are left uncovered  and all seams are anchored securely, as the OzFeather will need to withstand Australia’s uniquely harsh weather conditions.

 

The task of attaching the reinforcement binding is the shortest job of all, taking only a matter of minutes.  We use a UV-stabilised edging tape which is well-suited to daylight.

 

Leaving only the sleeve to fit, the end is in sight.  We use the same heavy-duty flag nylon for the sleeve as we do for the banner to ensure there is no “weakest link”.

 

Finally, adding a top cap of 1000denier strength Cordura, then the necessary shock-absorbing bungee cord, it’s “job complete”.

 

Linda likes to add the date at this point to help keep lifespan – our customers can see at a quick glance how well their advertising is working for an average of just 35¢ each day.

 

From the first banner made in 1998, up to the most recent in January 2020, it’s always been our firm belief that feather flag banners ought to stay stunningly bright for much longer than just a few months.  That’s why we make OzFeathers to be tougher, brighter and sturdier from UV-inhibitor-coated flag nylon; these are the only banners of their type in Australia.

 

Expect lifespans in years, not months.  And now… HOW it happens, a short movie!

 

If you’re now thinking about big, bold messages in stunningly bright colours, now’s the time to ask what Linda can design for you.