Northern Flags nets FA Cup job

By Jez Abbott, Friday 03 June 2016

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Northern Flags scored at the 2016 FA Cup Final after creating the largest fabric banner in Europe for the football match's opening ceremony.

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Cornerstone of the ceremony was the 10,500sqm banner sporting the club badge images of Crystal Palace and eventual winner Manchester United.

Northern Flags did the job in two and half weeks using a 3.2m-wide Durst Rhotex HS that runs at 300sqm/hr onto tight-knit 200gsm/sqm polyester that was sewn together to create the monster banner.

Managing director Iain Clasper said: "This pitch banner took all of our combined print production and seeing it all come together on the grandest stage of them all, Wembley, was a proud moment.

“The most challenging aspect was stitching three sections that zipped together in a fabric that was light enough to unfurl without too much trouble but durable enough to avoid tearing easily.”

As well as the giant banner, made in Poland, his team created more than 100 large stadium – or kabuki – team banners on HP Latex machines in Holland.

However, flags and streamers were printed at the company's recently reopened UK base, in Leeds, on two 2.5m-wide Dgen ink sublimation machines.

Back in January Northern Flags re-established its UK print and finishing operation after a £500,000 investment and an eight-year absence from Britain.

The UK arm of Europe’s largest printed fabrics supplier Faber Vlaggen had moved all production to the group’s digital and screen facilities in Poland and Thailand to take advantage of lower costs. 

“Having the pool of resources across the group's UK, Dutch and Polish facilities guaranteed we could deliver not only the pitch cover but the ceremonial and display flags, streamers and large kabuki team banners within a tight turnaround time,” said Clasper.

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