By Lou Dzierzak
The event. An anniversary celebration at the DisneySea resort in Tokyo, Japan, needed carefully coordinated promotion materials.
The company. In addition to creating high performance fabric kites, Kiteman Productions in Kissimmee, Fla. is a show performance company. Kiteman manages shows in theme parks like DisneySea in Tokyo and Universal Studios in Osaka, Japan.
The task. The management of Tokyo DisneySea theme park asked Kiteman to create kites with graphics and pantone colors that matched the pendants, banners, and other materials installed to promote the theme park’s first anniversary celebration.
Challenge. Kiteman used coated ripstop nylon from Texlon Corporation in Torrance, Calif. to create the show kites. The water resistant coating was important because the kites landed in the water at the end of every performance. Without the stabilizing coating, the material would stretch and affect the aerodynamics and performance of the kites.
Solution. Texlon provided Kiteman with ready-to-print fabrics containing no resins. Before shipping the materials to a Canadian printer, Kiteman performed a series of tests to determine the amount of fabric shrinkage after printing, washing, steaming, and application of a stabilized resin. The final patterns have to be accurate within a half-inch. Once the amount of shrinkage was determined, the graphic files were adjusted before printing the final sails.
After printing, the fabric was shipped back to Texlon, where the material was coated and baked in a 50 foot-long oven. The coated fabric was returned to Kiteman, and the staff quickly cut the patterns, sewed the components, and assembled the frames to meet tight production deadlines.
Result. For the first time, Kiteman was able to have custom show kites produced with the exact pantone colors and graphics required to meet the design criteria established by Tokyo DisneySea theme park officials.