What You Should Know About Flag Materials
Understanding the difference in flag materials will assist you in choosing the right type of flag for your needs, ensuring you get the best value for money and life out of your flag.
There are give main types of fabrics used in the flag industry worldwide. The following guide will outline their differences and strengths in various applications to help you get the best satisfaction from your flag purchase.
- Woven polyester is the best option for durability, cost effectiveness and traditional flag look. This is what we use for our fully sewn flags.
- Knitted polyester is a more affordable and versatile alternative, although less durable than woven polyester.
- Nylon comes in the widest range of vibrant colours, perfect for special-purpose flags.
Satin is fantastic for ceremonial and indoor display flags due to its prestigious look.
Top of the Line: Woven Polyester (aka Woven Flag Bunting)
Also known as flag bunting or woven bunting, Woven Polyester is a popular choice for its strength and traditional use in Fully Sewn flag making. The fibres of this fabric weave at right angles similar to a basket, creating a tough yet pliable material that will last longer against the elements while still flying with ease.
Wear and Life Expectancy of a Woven Flag:
Wear in a woven flag is first apparent on the outside (fly) edge and corners where the wind causes the fibres to whip and rub against each other. The hem breaks through at the corners, then the wear progresses steadily inwards as the fabric gets thinner and thinner. If the wear is noticed and repaired in the first stages, a flag's life can be extended greatly. This makes upkeep of woven flags much easier and more affordable in the long run.
Also called Trilobal or Poly Knit, this material is a light-weight and diverse alternative for Woven Polyester. Our printed flags and most detailed applique are achieved using this fabric, which offers a fantastic and affordable alternative to woven flags, with reduced durability. This fabric can be used to print very detailed and colourful custom designs accurately and efficiently.
Wear and Life Expectancy of a Knitted Flag:
Knitted flags deteriorate more quickly than woven flags due to the construction of the fabric. Wear begins at the hem, where the fabric is the weakest due to being perforated by the sewing needle. After consistent flying the hem can peel off along the fly end, after which the wear is rapid and will spread throughout the flag. Unfortunately, our Frayless Fly option is not recommended for these flags because of this "peeling off" effect. To get the best lifespan out of your knitted flags, we recommend following our Flag Care Guidelines.
200 Denier Nylon
This flag material has similar characteristics to woven polyester in terms of weight and durability, though has a closer weave and is more expensive. Nylon is available in a wider range of vibrant colours than bunting, making it the perfect material for special-purpose flags that require bright, vibrant colours.
We can also use nylon in our applique designs where those colours are required, so if you're wanting to have your custom design made but are concerned about colour matching, contact us today to discuss our full range of fabrics.
Acetate Satin and Polyester Satin
Suitable for indoor use only, Satin is the preferred cloth for ceremonial flags, which one side of beautiful shining colour and an attractive matte finish on the reverse. Being a "one-sided" cloth, it's common for customers to order a double-sided flag so that both sides of the flag show the shiny fabric. This fabric makes for superb ceremonial banners, and are usually fitted with a sleeve for use on a flagstaff or pike for parades. You can find examples of our satin flags in our Defence Force Gallery.
Budget Polyester Flags
Budget flags are often available at discount stores, souvenir shops or offered at very low cost on the internet. While these flags are suitable for waving at sporting events or keeping as mementos, they are printed on very thin material and have a life of merely weeks when flown on a flagpole. Most of the time, these flags are also not produced in the correct proportions so should not be used for official events.
Frayless Fly Option
If you're planning to fly one of our Fully Sewn flags all day, every day, or are concerned about the life of your flag, we also offer a Frayless Fly End (unavailable for knitted flags). This option entails sewing a sacrificial strip of light, perforated cloth to the fly end of our flags, which will wear out first when subjected to winds. New Frayless ends can be sewn on once or twice before the damage extends to the rest of the flag, and it will drastically extend the lifespan of your flag. If you're likely to leave your flags up often, ask us about this option when you place your order, as it is a great solution for only a fraction of the cost of the flag itself.