Traditional Stitched and Appliqued Flags – Flag Studio



Comparing stitched and printed format flags

Sometimes a printed flag can be more fit for purpose than a stitched flag.

We're here to help and we try and make the process of making a flag for you as interesting and un-nerdy as possible.  We give no nonsense advice and no obligation quotes and we will do whatever we can to answer all your questions and help you realise your flag.

Prefer to skip to sending us your flag design and description? Please scroll to the bottom of this page, upload and submit or HEREWe'll get back to you as soon as we can.

The stitched flag format (please note other flagmakers describe this as 'hand sewn' implying a needle and thread process but in truth this means stitching pieces of fabric together using an industrial sewing machine) is the historically traditional way of producing a flag. We make our traditional stitched and appliqued flags using UK Ministry of Defence approved 155gsm woven flag material - a fabric that offers the best possible durability and the preferred option used by the British armed forces on land and at sea.

We dye sublimate our printed flags using strong knit polyester flag fabric on state-of-the-art textile print systems here in the UK. This fabric has strength and durability is a knit format polyester (rather than woven as per the MOD woven polyester) and although more transparent in density is a great choice for clients looking for a good quality and great value for money flag.  Please note this is not the same fabric as used in 'economy flags', disposable flags, lightweight flimsy flags - which we don't make.

Each flag is finished with a strong off white canvas, sewn in halyard (rope) with a top loop and ash toggle and a tail of additional rope to tie to your flagpole halyard as standard (other options available). The three remaining sides of the flag are double hemmed for extra durability and triple hemmed on the fly end (antifray options also available).

Visual differences between printed and traditional stitched flags

Here we show a printed flag and stitched flag side by side. Both are made by us and both are really great quality - the decision to buy either version is really down to where you're planning on flying your flag, what you want the message to be, your budget and how long you're planning to fly the flag.  

Welsh Dragon printed flag sewn flag

Designing your stitched flag

The first step is to send us an image of the flag you'd like to have made.  This can be a screengrab, a picture of a picture, a sketch - whatever you have which we will then import in digital format and draft it to the scale and format you require and return it back to you as a non vectorised draft format for review.

Whether you decide to go for a printed or stitched end product, we will need to have vectorised crystal clear artwork and if you dont already have this, we can create it for you - prices start at £36 vat per design (up to 3x drafts) - and you keep the digital file for future use across all media - so a great investment.

Cosmic colliery artwork by Red Dragon Flagmakers
Cosmic Colliery Hefin Jones Red Dragon Flagmakers


During the design process we will send you a no obligation 14 days quote with all the suggested print and stitched and fabric type options for your consideration and then its up to you how we proceed.

Traditional stitched flags

When creating a stitched coat of arms flag for instance we ask you to consider a variety of textiles and textures to bring your investment piece to life.  This may include taffeta, linen, two tone fabrics, matt polycotton, MOD spec woven polyester and satin amongst others. There are many visual examples of the variety of combinations we use throughout our website.

To create a fully stitched and appliqued flag, we follow a traditional process of projecting the image to scale onto a purpose built and finished studio wall which we then tracing to paper.  We take the given choice of fabrics, trace each detail to each piece of fabric and layer and pin them each on the front and back of the flag ground in reverse order.  We then applique the design in close zigzag stitch and trim each element as we go to reveal the finished image.  

Please note that the more complicated of designs cannot sometimes successfully be translated to stitch on very small flags such as burgees and pennants.  We will always advise on which format - print or stitch - will give the best end result for your flag.

Stitched flag by Red Dragon Flagmakers


Part of the process of digitising a flag design is to remove very small detail which is not transferable to stitched format. There always has to be space around each layer of stitching to be able to trim back and reveal the detail.

Once the design has been fully stitched and trimmed, we cut the ground to size, fully hem it and then finish with canvas rope and toggle as standard or other pre-agreed format.

Trimming a stitched flag by Red Dragon Flagmakers
Stitched ceremonial flag with gold bullion fringe by Red Dragon Flagmakers

Embroidered flags

Its important to remember that traditional stitched and appliqued flags are not the same as digitally embroidered.

Embroidered flags can only be made in a front facing / one side format (See example below) and is a service we offer but absolutely not the same as a fully stitched and applique flags. Embroidered designs are generally more suitable for clothing and framed items. Click HERE to go to our EMBROIDERED flag link.

Embroidered flag example by Red Dragon Flagmakers
More to come!
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