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Expansion for Hampshire Flag

Marking 40 years in business, company is moving into the signage and personalised gifts markets.

12th January 2022

Innovation in Textiles
 |  Waterlooville, United Kingdom


Hampshire Flag, based in Waterlooville, UK, has invested in a Mimaki JFX 200-2513 EX UV LED flatbed printer from CMYUK. The investment coincides with the company’s 40th anniversary and marks a new chapter in its history.

Traditionally a large format fabric printer producing flags, exhibition and event equipment products, the company has also always printed vinyl which it mounted onto substrates such as Foamex and Corex for a small number of clients. 

“Increasingly customers were asking for more of this type of work and it was becoming more time consuming,” says sales manager Rod Sessions. “We felt the need to go faster but also open ourselves up to more opportunities within the signage market. We are known as a flag and fabric manufacturer but felt we could easily become a signage manufacturer. We just needed the right equipment to help us do this efficiently and quickly.”

Historically signage has accounted for 5-10% of the business.

“We’ve always looked at the  huge market potential of signage and thought we’d like a bigger piece of it,” said Sessions. “It’s nothing too different from what we’re doing but because of the machinery we have at the moment, our price point for this type of work isn’t competitive enough. There was no point us doing a signage tender because with our existing kit, we’d be priced out of the market, hence the motivation to purchase the new flatbed.”

The onward diversification doesn’t stop there. Due to Covid-19, the company, which has an established web presence, started to look at opportunities within personalised gifting.

“We felt that with the pandemic there would be a trend towards personalised and customised gifting so we’ve positioned ourselves favourably to meet the additional revenue streams bought about by market demand,” Sessions said. “Again, the new machine will help us with this and we’ve got the expertise in-house to do it.”

The JFX 200 -2513 EX is the industry’s best-selling UV-LED curing flatbed printer that combines high-value-printing with high productivity.  Features include embossed printing that makes a surface look bumpy due to the ability to lay down multiple ink layers. Offering white and colour, the flatbed automatically detects any missing print nozzles and performs recovery. In addition, the printer uses advanced algorithms  to print optimum gradation patterns on each pass, significantly eliminating banding effect on the print.

Hampshire Flag was founded by Roy Carr who started out producing PVC banners in his loft. Forty years on, it’s still a family affair with daughter Angela Saunders now MD and her son Robert also working for the firm.

Today it has a turnover exceeding £3 million and 32 staff, many of whom have been with the business for over 20 years. 

“We’re not just a print company and have a finishing department for our flags which consists of a bank of twelve-to-fifteen sewing machine operatives who are literally in there sewing flags and many other textile products all day, every day,” said Sessions. “They have been with us a very long time and are highly skilled producing amongst other things, complicated Royal flags that take two-to-three days to hand sew.”

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