Q: Can I run white vinyl through my ink-jet printer?

A: For the most part, no. The majority of ink-jet printers require a substrate that has been specially top coated to allow the ink to adhere. Without top coating, many inks would simply wipe off or bead up on the surface.

Q: How do you choose the right size flag for different pole heights?

A: Proper flag size is based upon three things: pole height, pole type and the number of flags flown on the pole.

Pole Flag Size Pole Flag Size
15′ 3′ x 5′ 50′ 8′ x 12′
20′ 3′ x 5′ 60′ 10′ x 15′
25′ 4′ x 6′ 65′ 10′ x 15′
30′ 5′ x 8′ 70′ 12′ x 18′
35′ 5′ x 8′ 80′ 12′ x 18′
40′ 6′ x 10′ 90′ 15′ x 25′

Q: How do you combat puckering when you are sewing banners?

A: These are suggested ways to reduce puckering when sewing banner fabric.

  1. Sew with less tension on both the upper and bottom thread than normal.
  2. Make sure that the tension check spring is in proper adjustment so that the thread casts off the bobbin case readily.
  3. Use the least amount of presser foot tension that will permit the movement of the goods during the sewing operation.
  4. Use the smallest size needle possible to avoid undue needle breakage.
  5. Use the smallest throat plate opening possible to prevent the fabric from being pushed down into the throat plate hole during the sewing
  6. Use the finest size thread consistent with good sewability

Q: How do you install banners and flags on lamp poles?

A: Banners and flags are generally installed on lamp poles by fastening metal bands around the poles. Die-cast brackets are often preferred, because each point on the bracket has the same strength, as opposed to welded brackets, which have varying strengths. Bands work particularly well on tapered poles because if an anchor slides down, it stops as it reaches a wider part of the pole. A trident clamp, used in plumbing applications, is used to keep the band tight.

Q: I have seen a list of the meaning of each folding of the U.S. Flag. They are religious in nature. Can you confirm?

A: There’s some disagreement about whether the folding of the flag has meaning. In “The Flag of the United States, Its History and Symbolism,” James Moss says the flag is carefully folded into the shape of a tricornered hat, reminiscent of the hats worn by soldiers who fought the War of the Revolution. The National Flag Foundation notes that, according to a flag-folding ceremony begun in 1782, the folds stand for liberty, unity, justice, perserverance, hardiness, valor, purity, innocence, sacrifice, honor, independence and truth. Another theory is that the folds represent various elements, including a belief in eternal life, remembrance of veterans, womanhood, and the weak nature of mankind. The urban legend Web site www.snopes.com, says there’s no meaning.

Q: Selecting the Right Flagpole

A: When selecting a flagpole, maximum wind speeds must be considered. Wind speeds depend on geographical locations and in what environment your flagpole is situated-the center of a city, a small town’s outskirts, on a seashore, at ground level or on the roof of a tall building. Wind speeds are generally higher along coastal areas, in open country and as the height above ground increases. The flagpole selected should be capable of supporting the largest flag intended to be flown in the highest wind speed to which it will be subjected. In order to determine the total wind load for a flagpole, you must add the load of both the flag and the pole. A wind velocity guide is available from the American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials at www.aashto.org

Q: There are so many fabric choices when selecting a banner fabric. What factors should I consider?

A: The key to selecting the proper fabric is knowing the banner’s function. Three factors to consider are longevity, color and appearance. Ask yourself these questions: How long should the banner remain up? What conditions will it have to face? Is the banner indoors or outdoors? Should the banner hang straight or float in the breeze? Heavier materials will hang well but will not flap in the breeze. Should the banner be translucent: Generally, the greater the translucency, the less the strength and stability. Regarding color, banner fabric comes in a wide variety of colors.

Q: What are the basic styles of fabric construction for tradeshow exhibit booths?

A: There are four choices for basic styles-single-skin construction where the fabric covers only one side of the frame. This is a good choice when sign or structure will be viewed from one side only. The second is pillowcase construction where the fabric covers both sides of the frame. The skin slides onto the frame like a pillowcase. Graphics can be applied to both sides. The third style is fully enclosed construction where the fabric covers all surfaces of a three-dimensional shape such as a cube. Graphics can be on all four sides. The final type is fabric-only construction which is a basic banner with graphics on one or both sides.

Q: What is a banner?

A: A banner and flag are products that are either interior or exterior and anchored to a device at one of both ends of the fabric. They are generally additions to a building or a streetscape.

A traditional banner is made of vinyl and has grommetting. Today banners are digitally printed on canvas, flexible-face material, nylon, polyester and mesh. Companies now incorporate extruded framing devices that give banners a taut, neat appearance previously not possible.

A banner is the application of messages and images on flexible materials. A banner can also be defined as a general term referring to a square or rectangular flag fastened to a staff or attached to a crossbar, having an armorial or other elaborate design and made of material.

Q: What is screen printing?

A: The screen printing process is relatively simple. A screen (similar to a window screen but much finer) is stretched tightly on a square, rectangular or tubular frame. Part of the screen is blocked with a stencil, leaving open mesh areas that will become the printed image. Next, ink is deposited on the screen and a flexible plastic or rubber blade (referred to as a squeegee) is used to press the ink through the areas of the screen not blocked by a stencil. As the ink passes through the screen, the design is “printed” on the item below.

With advances in techniques, inks, and automation, screen-printing allows images to quickly and affordably be placed on just about any surface.

Q: What is the difference between a banner and a flag?

A: A flag is a banner that is connected to a cable or pole at two points on one side of the fabric, or with the support running through a sleeve attached to the fabric. Although they can function strictly as decoration or aesthetic enhancement, flags typically have a symbolic purpose as well as their designs can be intended to represent a governmental or corporate entity. A banner can be categorized as interior or exterior with exterior being sub-divided into streetlamp banners and those that drape down or across the sides of buildings.

Q: What is the most common type of material used in flagpole manufacturing?

A: The most widely used flagpole material is aluminum, available in a wide variety of weights and thickness. Fiberglass poles are becoming more common, thanks to their non-conductivity to lightning and combination of great strength and lightweight.