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A LOOK AT HOW A FASTRAX VEST IS MADE  - by our MD, TERRY LONERGAN

This tour focuses on the production of a Fastrax vest using our sublimation printing process.

Our traditional vests, made by sewing panels of different coloured fabric together to form the design, are made in the same factory. The processes of cutting and sewing the panels together are very similar and the attention to detail and quality exactly the same.

The vest of our chosen running club is something that the majority of us don't have much say about unless we are involved with setting up a new club from scratch. The design and colours are hardly the reason why we join, after all.

Supplying club vests makes up a considerable part of our FASTRAX business and the production requires us holding fabric in a wholespectrum of colours as you can imagine. Increasingly however we are supplying sublimation printed vests which are multicoloured often with graphics or the more traditional hoops. In contrast to my first harrier vest in the 1960s which was knitted using green ,white and red cotton thread.

With new machinery installed at the factory I was keen to see latest developments for myself, particularly as the factory offered to make up a SALE HARRIER vest especially for me on a "while you wait" basis. How's that for service! The process started on Tuesday afternoon with our FASTRAX graphics dept. in Ilkley preparing the layout of the vest front and back on the computer. We based the design on my original '60s vest and added the club name as Yorkshire folk keep asking me what club I'm running for now!



By the marvels of email the design was emailed to the factory (based in the UK) ready to start the process there.This shot taken at 1.30 on Wednesday afternoon, shows the sublimation paper for my vest coming out of the printer and drying. I was a bit concerned about the shade of green but reassured that it would be lighter than shown!




The paper was then transferred to the large roller heat press machine and front and back panels of white Fastwik fabric were laid onto the paper prior to entering the machine.




 
Minutes later from the rear the panels emerge from the machine with the design now permanantly dyed into what where plain white panels, and after separation they  are taken to the machinist for sewing up. The green is indeed lighter and spot on.


 

 
So by 2.30 I actually came away with not just one but two new club vests; one to wear and one in the wash ! Just 24 hours from start to finish;and no panic about being ready for Sunday's race.
 
 
 
 
And here it is, the finished article, ready for me to race The Great Manchester Run along the route I took running to school in the mid '60s.
 
In the race itself you can see me below (inset) proudly wearing our lastest creation and chasing the eventual winner ( the great man himself Haile Gebresellassie .... just out of shot!!!) ...... albeit at a respectable distance behind!
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