FlagCraft silk screen flags are printed on a woven, best quality polyester textile where in excess of 100 individual jet spun fibres are spun into a length of yarn, which is then woven into the finished product. Given the potentially extreme stress to which a flag is subjected during storms, it is essential that the appropriate fabric weight to tensile strength balance is created. A fabric that is too heavy, would result in the flag only flying under strong wind conditions, in which case instead of fluttering, it would destructively crack back and forth, resulting in a notably shorter structural life. Flag textile does however require adequate bulk in order to permit the colour to have a strong visual yield. As stated, our fabric is compliant with the referring specifications of the South African Bureau of Standards, the British Ministry of Defence and NATO. It is the best available and the standard from which best quality flags are manufactured worldwide.
Digitally printed flags are typically printed on a knitted fabric, similar to running vest material, where individual fibres only make up the matrix of the cloth. Once the micro thin individual fibre breaks through stress and abrasion against the adjacent fibre, the whole flag will rapidly disintegrate. Woven textile in contrast, requires the entire 100 plus individual fibres comprising the yarn to wear through, before breakage will occur.
In the inland areas of South Africa, with its generally moderate wind conditions, a woven polyester flag will likely retain structural integrity for up to two years. Atmospheric pollution and strong ultra violet sunlight will however, generally combine to limit the colours effective life of a flag, to a maximum of around eighteen months.
On account of the flimsy construction of digitally printed knitted fabric, the structural life of this cloth will not be longer than two – three months, that is, if the flag is not discarded earlier on account of premature colour fade.
Digitally printed flags are printed on one side only, with an inferior show through to the other side of the substrate. In contrast, dispersed dye screen printing chemically changes the colour of the fibre completely through, offering a vastly superior colour life.
We print only with dispersed dyes with the highest wash and light fastness, which are sourced exclusively from the leading German and Swiss manufacturers.
As a general rule, White is not the ideal background colour for a flag. It tends to become visually lost in the light blue colour of the sky and will show up the dirt. If the logo and text of a flag is one colour, the convention is to effect a reversal and have the logo and text in white, on a colour background. This creates a colour block, which is appreciatively more visible and will not show up the dirt to the same extent.
To optimise the visibility of the name and logo on a flag, we typically recommend, for example, on a 120 x 180cm standard flag, taking the logo and name, to a maximum height of 100cm and length 165cm, which can be optically adjusted to a larger or smaller size, if appropriate.
1. Structural life. The fabric of our dispersed dye screen printed flags will last structurally, for around five times that of a digitally printed flag.
2. Visual Colour Yield. As a result of the thinness of digitally printed knitted cloth, the visual colour yield is notably inferior. It simply has insufficient bulk to present a strong colour image.
3. Colour perception and vibrancy. Screen printing is effected with solid spot colour. In contrast, digital printing is made up of a mix of the primary colours of Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black, which is sprayed onto the one side of the cloth, with no penetration to the reverse side. Screen printed flags accordingly offer much stronger, deeper and richer visual colour yields.
4. Visual life. Screen-printed dispersed dye printed flags, on average, will have a colour life of up to 8x longer than that of digitally printed flags, which will show notable signs of fading within 2 months.
5. Cost. The unit cost of a digitally printed flag may be lower for short production runs, however a dispersed dye screen printed flag will still win on the comparative basis of structural life and visual colour yield, over time. Accordingly digitally printed flags will effectively cost, in real terms, five times more than the individual purchase price which is quoted.
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