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Old Pennants


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I was wondering if someone might be able to answer a question for me - how would the printing on old-vintage style sports pennants have been added to the backing material? Was it painted on, or was some other process used (I have noticed on older pennants that the printing seems to crack or flake off, so it appears like it might be painted on).

Also, what type of material were the pennnats commonly made from, felt or wool?

I have attached an example of the type of pennant I am talking about -



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I just spoke with my screenprinter in Rochester, NY. This man has been in the screen printing business since the early 1950s. I've been working with him since 1967. He says that the pennants you speak of were mostly made of felt. They were screened with an opaque ink that when cured appeared like hard, dried paint. Some pennants of the '40s-'50s era were also "flocked." Flocking was a screenprinting process that covered the wet ink with tiny little fibres. When the ink dried the fibres gave the imprint a "velvety" feel. The process involved using a lot of fibres to make sure you got good coverage. It was extremely messy. As health concerns flourished in the late '60s-early '70s flocking fell out of favor. The tiny fibres would often be inhaled by workers causing lung and breathing problems. People didn't think about masks and other protections in those days. I can still smell the flocking ink. It had its own distinct odor. At about the same time new types of inks and vinyls came out that were much safer, thereby eliminating the need for flocking. Hope this helps you.

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