A Festive Tinsel Tale

Dec 2, 2019

Festive Productions’ 100% British Made Tinsel

What is Christmas without tinsel? These thin twinkling bands of glistening PVC are indispensable when it comes to adding sparkle to that special time of year.

But for us here at Festive, tinsel holds an even greater magical place in our hearts.

The Birth of Tinsel

The glimmering must-have Christmas decoration was invented in Nuremberg, Germany around 1610 – over 400 years ago! It was initially introduced to reflect the candle lights ornamenting Christmas trees.

Tinsel was mostly created from silver cut into thin strands, making the glittering product very expensive not only to produce but to buy. Only the wealthy fringe of society could afford to fashion tinsel and enchant their Christmas with its exceptional glow.

But it wasn’t long before silver, which also tended to tarnish when in contact with hot lights, started being replaced by cheaper metals, such as copper and tin. Metallic tinsel survived until the 20th century.

Tinsel’s Evolution

In 1914, due to the outbreak of World War I, the demand for copper dramatically increased, creating a shortage for the tinsel industry.

As a result, manufacturers were forced to change their strategy in order to keep production costs low. Consequently, tinsel, which was predominantly made in Lyon (France) at the time, became aluminum-based.

Unfortunately, aluminum caused more fires than merriment and cheer.

Faced with life threatening issues, manufacturers attempted to construct tinsel from tin and lead. But this only lead to further problems. The tinsel produced was too heavy and of poor quality due to the strips disgracefully falling apart.

Ditching tin, lead was now the most commonly used material in the manufacturing of tinsel.

However, things took a drastic turn a decade or so later when it was suspected that this this cheap material was poisoning people, significantly children. In response, lead completely disappeared from tinsel production in 1972.

Festive’s Tinsel

Modern day tinsel is typically made from Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) film coated with a metallic finish and then carefully sliced into thin strips. These strips are then spun in a drum along with galvanised wire. The tinsel we all know and love is then formed by the centrifugal force which holds the tinsel and wire together – think of it as a tinsel candy floss machine!

Festive Productions has mastered this technique, making us the no.1 tinsel manufacturer in the UK.

The History Behind Festive’s Renowned Handmade Tinsel

Festive’s tinsel factory is in production all year round. At peak it’s produced as much as 14 million metres of tinsel, enough to wrap around the moon twice with 2 million metres spare! Or, wrap around the world once every two years!

The variety of tinsel on offer here at Festive is endless. Customers have a choice of 9 varieties of thickness from 25mm to 250mm, with 1-9 colours making up the design. We also offer virtually any colour tinsel using a pantone to match the PVC that forms the base.

Not only do we offer standard tinsel in a wide choice of styles and colours but we have machines that can cut shapes out of  PVC before it’s spun together, this allows to us to create virtually anything from holly, snowflakes and Christmas trees to kangaroos and even the Liverpool FC Liver Bird.

Our tinsel doesn’t just come in standard garland form, we also produce tinsel wreaths in a number of unique styles and colours. We also make tinsel trees from 30cm up to 240cm. Our offering extends to pre-lit options which not only further widen our impressive range but allow us to offer the largest selection of UK made and manufactured tinsel in the Country.

Festive’s Tinsel success  

Festive Productions sell decorations and tinsel to some of the largest retailers in the UK, some carrying our famous Festive brand while others are made and sold under a customer’s own label.

In fact 80% of our tinsel sales come from bespoke design briefs so make sure to look out for the ‘made in the UK’ sign when you next buy tinsel, the chances are it will have been made by Festive!

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