End of November 2016, BBC News journalist, Elise Wicker, came to Festive Productions and cheerfully discovered our tinsel factory. There, she had the opportunity to meet our tinsel expert, Jason Poulsom, who explained her how the shiny must-have is made.
Elise found out that our high-quality tinsel is made from metallised PVC. Imported from China, the special and twinkling material, coming in 128 different colours, is cut into thin bands before getting attached to a sturdy wire thanks to our state-of-the-art machines, working similarly as candy-floss makers. Each tinsel piece measures 24 metres and their thickness varies between 25mm and 250mm.
Festive Productions is the largest tinsel manufacturer in the UK with an average of 12.5 million of metres produced per year.
Elise also learnt that tinsel does not travel well from abroad. Therefore, making tinsel in Britain guarantees higher quality. Indeed, besides being environmentally-friendly, tinsel made in the UK is less likely to flatten or get damaged as it is not shipped in hot containers.
In BBC short-video, slow motion images wonderfully reveal the mesmerising aspect of our sparkly and colourful tinsel.
At Festive, we are always happy to reveal the fabrication process of our twinkling and colourful tinsel. This year, we have welcomed photographers so they could show the work of our staff in the tinsel factory.
These pictures can be seen on the Daily Mail website. As the popular website highlights, Festive is the largest tinsel manufacturer in the UK. During our busiest time (May to November), 650,000ft of sparkly tinsel are produced per month, and 130 seasonal jobs are created.
Our tinsel is made from metallised polyvinyl chloride (PVC) which is cut into bands. These strips are then attached to a solid wire thanks to a machine resembling a candy-floss maker.
Festive tinsel is sold to retail shops, high street stores, and garden centres, in the UK and abroad.
Festive Productions was founded in 1983. 11 years after, our company attended its first trade show. In 2017, Festive will be at Harrogate Christmas & Gift Fair, from Sunday 8th to Wednesday 11th January (stand: C1), and at NEC Spring Fair, from Sunday 5th February to Thursday 9th February (stands: 2E30 – F31).
Our showrooms in Cwmbran, exhibiting our 2017 collection, are now open.
Festive are exhibiting our new 2016 lines for Christmas wholesale decorations at Spring Fair 2016, Birmingham NEC this week – come see us! As they say themselves, Spring Fair is
“The UK’s definitive destination for the home and gift industry to come together and do business, amongst the most achingly wantable new products out there.” – About Spring Fair
Read on for a taster of the exciting new Christmas wholesale range…
Our designs within the Winter Romance theme are led by historic and prosperous Christmases from long ago. Our designers were inspired by the magical and have taken aspects of fairy tales such as mirrors and stone textures along with paintings and photographs to create ornamental and elegant Christmas decorations.
The golden theme has taken on a new warmth for 2016. Think opulence, luxury and sumptuous metallic. Metallic Luxe includes golden bronze, copper, cherry red, rose gold and pure gold Christmas wreaths, baubles, sprays and of course tinsel.
Let Seasonal Sparkle take you away for a frosty, poetic and wintery memory of a forgotten past. A subtle atmosphere of neutral frosted colours is eminently feminine and sophisticated, with lace and delicate rime finishes and injections of glittering gold highlights. The colours in this palette were chosen to invoke the romance of Christmas.
The sophisticated winter’s tale advancing on the traditional Norwegian style is the range called Nordic Light. Unglazed ceramics and porcelain touches feature heavily in this fresh approach to a warm and comforting design. You will see feathery materials, flock finishes and soft textures coupled with Nordic reds, slate grey, glacier blue and fresh white colours.
All that glistens in nature is behind the inspiration for the designs within Nature’s Glow. Aspects of Fireflies, amber and dew are combined with craftsmanship and the wonderful tactile elements of wood, woven fabric and rustic finishes.
Merry and Bright
Fun, energetic and unforgettable! Merry and Bright features eccentric and affordable Christmas decorations for all the family. The inspiration comes from the true magic of Christmas and embraces everything fun and family orientated.
New licenses for Christmas 2016
Festive have signed a number of exciting new licenses, all showcased at Spring Fair this weekend, come and get first hand viewings of David McCabe Candles, Disney Princesses, Disney’s Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Disney’s Frozen and Minions wholesale Christmas ranges. This is the first time they will be showcased for public viewing all together in one place – Don’t miss it!
Following the success of our Disney Christmas decoration ranges we have expanded Frozen, adding some characters for an extra special range – Also, stop the press! There is a new short film expected in March 2016 called ‘Frozen Fever’. Rest assured we will keep you posted…
We have added Disney’s Mickey and Friends to the already popular Disney ranges, alongside Disney Princesses. Look out for a new animated movie this year and the wonderful Beauty and the Beast starring Emma Watson in 2017…
And following the big hit ‘Minions’ and in anticipation of the release of Universal’s ‘Despicable Me 3’ next year, we have produced a lovely line of cheeky Minions…
Christmas lighting – new for 2016
Come and see our new, app programmable Zaplites. This innovative new product combines the popular Christmas lights with which we’re all familiar, with Bluetooth controlled technology! You can benefit from controlling the lights from the palm of your hand, zapping them on and off, setting the timer, adjusting the brightness and speed, changing light effects and colours – even set a karaoke function to make them dance in time with music.
Our demonstration of Zaplites should not be missed – Christmas lighting for 2016 to change the way we think. For pallet deals on Christmas wholesale, speak to us at our stand in HALL 2 2E30 F31.
Trees and tinsel
Of course a Spring Fair Christmas showcase wouldn’t be right without our famous line of Christmas trees and British made tinsel. A huge range of sizes and prices of Christmas tree will be available to view and we will be happy to tell you about container deals when you stop by.
Our British made tinsel will also be there in all guises including, shred, garlands, lametta looped tinsel, 6 ply tinsel, die-cut tinsel and pre-lit tinsel.
Come see us
You’ll find Festive Productions ltd and all our wonderful Christmas wholesale decorations at Spring Fair, Birmingham NEC from 7th – 11th February. Look for our stand at HALL 2 2E30 F31 and make sure to ask about pallet and container deals. See you soon!
In December 2015, Festive had the pleasure to welcome Melonie Clarke, journalist for the prestigious Lady Magazine. Melonie had the privilege to learn the well-kept secrets surrounding our colourful and shiny tinsel, essential to merrily embellish any Christmas tree.
Arrived in our enchanting tinsel realm, Melonie learnt that Festive has been producing tinsel since 1983. Festive is now the largest tinsel manufacturer in the UK, with 12 million metres successfully produced every year! Our lively and sparkly tinsel is sold to renowned supermarkets, garden centres, and shops, in the UK and abroad.
Melonie was extremely interested in discovering the fabrication process of our tinsel. So, we took her to our factory where our 35 powerful and state-of-the-art machines are frenetically running to make high quality tinsel. She even had the chance to try one of our machines!
Melonie learnt that at Festive, we use metallised PVC imported from China to make our gleeful tinsel. Once cut by our machines, the special PVC is attached to a solid metal wire. In total, this operation lasts between 4min30 and 17. Generally, each piece of tinsel produced by Festive measures 24 metres, and the thickness of each varies between 25mm to 250mm.
Festive tinsel can be composed of 8 colours and comes in different shapes thanks to dye machines cutting the tinsel in funky and original patterns, such as hearts, snowflakes, or even kangaroos!
Melonie was impressed by the immense popularity of tinsel, requiring Festive to remain open 24/7 from May to November in order to keep up with the tremendous demand during this period and provide the UK and the world with the best Christmas must-have!
The Christmas countdown is well and truly underway and there’s definitely festive cheer in the air, especially at Bristol’s largest garden centre – Cadbury. On the 21st November, Wyevale’s Cadbury Garden Centre launched a unique experience for their Christmas shoppers, a tinsel machine called ‘Tinsel Tina’ which can produce an impressive 24 meters of the long, thin, shiny material every five minutes.
The unveiling of Festive’s tinsel machine proved most popular with crowds flocking to meet ‘Tina’ and her handler, Jason and to watch the retro Christmas decoration being produced, right before their eyes.
Jason was heard to say that he was ‘mobbed’ by the enthralled crowds who had gathered around Tinsel Tina whilst doing their shopping. The centre manager at Wyevale Cadbury said,
“The tinsel machine was very successful on Saturday – people were really receptive to it and seemed to love it”
Why do people love tinsel so much?
The popularity of tinsel has never really waned, Festive Productions still produces almost a third of all the tinsel sold in the UK, spinning out 22 metres of tinsel every second. This year though it is thought by some designers to be part of the ‘retro revolution’ and is being picked by those who want to reminisce Christmases past. For many, just the smell of that shiny decoration is enough to whisk them back to happy childhood memories.
With many designs and low cost options, tinsel is also the popular choice for work desks and dressing up outfits. Add a little tinsel to a head band, hemline or desk front and the office is instantly transformed.
Dates to remember
Come along and see how tinsel is made with Tinsel Tina and receive a FREE sample.
Tinsel Tina is open at Wyevale’s Cadbury Garden Centre on the following dates:
Saturday 5th – Sunday 6th December
Saturday 12th – Sunday 13th December
Cadbury Garden Centre offers tinsel in a variety of colours from £2.49. Last year’s most popular colours of tinsel were red and gold (closely followed by silver), which again signals a return to the traditional.
Alternatively, Festive Productions not only offer a wide array of styles and colours but they also produce unique tinsel such as Hello Kitty and Disney’s Frozen.
For further information on stocking tinsel produced by the UK’s number one manufacturer, get in touch one of our regional sales managers, or visit our website for further reading.
So you may be asking yourself, how do they make tinsel? Here at Festive Productions Ltd. South Wales, we have the UK’s largest tinsel factory. In 1990 we opened our factory with just two machines imported from Germany – the birthplace of tinsel.
Now, we produce 600,000 metres of tinsel garland every day. That’s 22 metres of tinsel every second. In the 25 years that Festive has been producing tinsel we have made enough to wrap the world over 70 times.
A quick history of tinsel.
Tinsel as we know and love it today was invented in around 1610 in Germany. The original tinsel was made with strands of silver, which quickly became tarnished and consequently substituted with other shiny metals.
Modern tinsel, including the tinsel produced here at Festive is made from PVC or Polyvinyl Chloride film, coated with a metallic finish.
Step by step tinsel manufacture
Step one: Widths of coated ‘ribbon’ are fed into a cutting machine where the edges are sliced into thin strips, leaving the centre intact.
Step two: The sliced ribbon is then fed into a spinning machine which rapidly spins it alongside a galvanised wire thread which becomes twisted along the centre due to centrifugal force.
Step three: Once the length of the ribbon has gone through the machine the completed tinsel is wound inside the centrifugal ‘drum’ ready to be lifted out by hand, measured and cut to the required length of garland.
The whole process is similar to that of making candy floss, but with added sparkle! You can watch the process on YouTube here: Tinsel making video.
Not all tinsel is created equal
There are several types of tinsel available.
You can have the ‘slices’ fine cut, chunky cut and have a single or a mix of colours for starters.
Looped tinsel: The coated ribbon ‘strips’ are looped back into centre when bound to the wire so you have a looped effect
6 ply tinsel: Thicker and more luxuriant, this tinsel can be made as a single colour or with a mix of colours
Die Cut tinsel: The original ribbon when sliced is also cut with a shape on the end, so you can have leaves, stars, holly and Disney’s Frozen snowflakes in your tinsel.
Pre-lit tinsel: These garlands include lighting
Not all tinsel has to be in garish colours, some looks more natural and can be used for table and room decoration, not just for the tree.
From humble beginnings to tinsel supplier to thousands
Festive Productions Ltd. are proud to be licensed to produce the only range of Disney’s Frozen Christmas decorations and tinsel, Hello Kitty range of Christmas decorations and tinsel and to be working in partnership with designer and self-proclaimed Christmas lover, Kirstie Allsopp to produce a beautiful vintage inspired range of Christmas decorations and tinsel.
Other than the Festive brand and licensed tinsel ranges, we offer a bespoke range of tinsel, from football club supporter colours to tinsel created from pantone colours to exactly match your requirements.
Festive proudly supply Christmas products to thousands of retailers each year including Costco, B&Q, ASDA, Sainsbury’s, Truffaut, The Garden Centre Group, Pound Stretcher and Tesco.
Have a look through Festive’s brochure to find out more about the wide range of tinsel and tinsel products, like trees and garlands available and get in touch today to find out more about becoming a supplier of great British made tinsel.
In December 2014, ‘The Really Welsh Christmas Show’ presenter, Sophie Evans, visited Festive tinsel factory. Festive is known as the largest tinsel manufacturer in the UK, with more than 12 million metres produced each year.
Once in the twinkling and glamorous realm of high-quality tinsel, Sophie had only one obsession: find out the fabrication process.
The BBC TV host was therefore shown one of our state-of-the-art tinsel machines, which, after shredding the sparkly metallised PVC into strips, attaches the tinsel bands to a firm metal wire. Our tinsel machines resemble candy floss makers!
The TV host was particularly astonished to see how rapid producing the shiny and timeless Christmas decoration is!
In December 2013, Festive had the tremendous privilege to welcome Carwyn Jones, Wales First Minister. We were delighted that Mr Jones, who was travelling through South Wales to evaluate the consequences his government’s financial support has on society, decided to stop in our headquarters situated in Cwmbran. The First Minister had the opportunity to find out how Christmas is prepared in Festive!
During his visit, which lasted one hour in total, Mr Jones was first introduced to Festive rich history. He learnt, for example, that Festive, family-owned company founded in 1983, became the largest tinsel manufacturer in the UK after buying Widmanns in 2012.
Mr Jones was taken on a tour during which he explored with wonderment our warehouse and factory shop. The First Minister, enlivened by the Christmas spirit emanating from Festive, was shown our original decorations designed to merrily enchant Christmas 2015. Mr Jones also had a thorough look at our high quality tinsel. Very impressed by our production, Carwyn Jones used one of our ingenious tinsel machines to make his own red gingham ornament.
The First Minister shared interesting ideas concerning the future projects undertaken by our company. Carwyn Jones notably praised Festive initiative to bring manufacturing from China to the UK. Festive ensured financial support from the Welsh Government for this long-term plan creating jobs, and providing a boost to the economic dynamism of South Wales.
The environmental policy led by Festive was also mentioned by Mr Jones, willing to make social responsibility a priority for Welsh businesses. The First Minister congratulated our company for our recycling commitment.
The visit of Carwyn Jones truly pleased Festive staff who appreciated that the First Minister took some time from his busy schedule to come see how they work to make everybody’s Christmas magical and memorable!