Find your perfect fabric partner with Banksford

It’s not just an astonishing range of colours and styles on offer here at Banksford. We’re also proud
to offer aprons in a large selection of tried-and-tested fabrics. Whether your first concern is budget,
origin or durability, there really is a fabric to match your requirements. Let’s take a quick look at
some of the most popular choices we have for our customers.

100% Polyester
Polyester has had a bit of a hard time in the past, and became associated with sweaty and
uncomfortable clothing. Anyone for a 1970s polyester suit? These days, polyester has evolved. It’s
still a man made fabric, which is essentially made from woven plastic thread rather than cotton, but
it’s developed some enviable qualities. Not only does it top the charts for durability, it resists
stretching and shrinking, and resists wrinkles with ease. Being an entirely man made material, it’s
been engineered to be strong and lightweight, easy to wash, and dries quickly. If you’re looking for
a practical and hard wearing choice, polyester might pleasantly surprise you.

100% cotton
The traditional choice for hundreds of years, a 100% cotton apron is still spotted on butchers,
bakers, and maybe even candlestick makers. Cotton is a natural product, from a plant lovingly
grown and harvested before being spun into thread. You pay a little extra for the TLC it gets, but we
love its natural appearance and feel, and it’s a great choice for keeping staff cool in a hot
environment. Reassuringly heavyweight cotton is a breathable, absorbent fabric which can handle
spills and abrasions with ease. If it does get messy, it can be washed in either a domestic or
industrial laundry, at temperatures around 60oC, and will come up nicely after tumble drying and
ironing. As with all natural woven fabrics, there may be some shrinking after the first wash, but this is
a quality garment which should last you a long time if properly cared for.

Fairtrade cotton
The fair trade movement has been around for some time. It ensures that the people who bring the
raw material to the market receive a fair wage for their hard work. Sadly, cotton is an easily exploited
trade, with some workers receiving as little as 5p per hour, and exposed to harsh, unregulated
chemicals. Buying fairtrade cotton protects workers from low wages, and the dangerous pesticides
used by some industrial growers. There is a slight price difference, but a few extra pennies from you
makes a world of difference to the people who need it most. By buying fairtrade cotton, you’re
ensuring that farmers receive a fair wage, and can afford healthcare and eduction for their families.

Poly-Cotton mix
Offering the best of both worlds, polycotton is fabric woven from both polyester and cotton threads.
The ratio of the blend varies from item to item, so can be anything from 50:50 to 20:80. You retain
most of the breathability of cotton, but gain a slice of the longer life and lower price of polyester. It
can be dyed into a rainbow of colours, so there’s sure to be a match for your organisation available.
Durability is very good – it’s more tear resistant than cotton, and can be engineered to look like
other fabrics, such as canvas, so you’d never know you were looking at a partially man-made
material.

Klopman fabric
Nobody knows the industrial fabric world like Klopman, and they’ve made it their business to
provide fabric solutions which stand up to the most demanding work day. Focusing on the principles
of comfort, image and durability, these engineered fabrics are behind the best selling workwear in
Europe. Lightweight, extremely strong and incredibly hardwearing, our Klopman polycotton blend,
Superbandmaster, is crease resistant and suitable for industrial laundry. A premium product like this does naturally come with a premium price tag, but Klopman’s reputation is well deserved.

You may already have made your mind up, or you may want to speak to us for further advice about
the best option for you. The great thing about buying from Banksford is not just our extensive stock
selections, but the fact that we know each item inside out. Whichever option you choose,
you’ve come to the right place.

Have you got what it takes to be a champion chippy?

There are few things more British than a portion of fish and chips. Of course, they’re a hot topic for debate, as well as a great hot supper. Why did they stop serving them wrapped in newspaper? What makes the best chips? Are any of the modern alternatives as good as traditional cod? Perhaps most importantly – where’s the best chippy? It might be your local, or one you visited on holiday.

To help us make our minds up, the annual National Fish & Chip Awards were created 30 years ago.

Of course, it’s not all fun and games. For those behind the counter, a nationally recognised award can make a real difference to their business. Previous winners report that staff are more motivated, and PR opportunities arrive in abundance. An uplift in sales as curious new customers come to sample their prize-winning fare could mean the expansion of their business to levels they’d never dreamed of. With 35 sponsors from the catering and hospitality trade, this is a serious competition. Pukka Pies, The Marine Conservation Society and Friar’s Pride make up an eclectic panel of respected organisations well known to those who fry fish for a living. Getting your establishment name known to these organisations is an amazing opportunity for business evolution.

There are 14 different categories where business owners can win. Separate awards for takeaways and dine-in restaurants mix with more modern awards, which recognise excellence in healthy eating, school meals, use of sustainable seafood, and responsible sourcing. The top prize, which generates the most interest, however, is the Independent Takeaway Fish and Chip Shop. The full list of categories is available – Enter Here

2017’s winners were announced in January this year. With the country divided into 10 regions, the regional finalists for the Independent Takeaway Fish and Chip Shop and the nominees for the 13 other categories came together at the Park Plaza Westminster Bridge Hotel in London, where Kingfisher Fish & Chips from Plympton in Plymouth (www.kingfisherfishandchips.co.uk) won the title of the Best Independent Takeaway Fish and Chip Shop. It was their third year of entry, and owners Nikki Mutton and Craig Maw were thrilled to take home the trophy. Also coming home with national recognition were Harbour Lights from Falmouth, who won Independent Fish and Chip Restaurant, and The Hip Hop Chip Shop from Salford, who won the Best Mobile Fish and Chip Operator Award.

If you’re looking to enter for a 2018 award, you need to submit your entry now as entry closes on June 30th for many of the categories, although the full list of closing dates for each category is available here: (Categories). You can enter free of charge online, and two lucky entrants will be selected to take part in a two-day course at KFE’s School of Frying Excellence, which will also include travel and accommodation costs.

Think you’ve got what it takes to be the country’s best fish and chip fryer? If you’re a fish and chip shop owner, why not enter for 2018’s awards? Banksford will back you all the way, with our superb selection of fish and chip uniforms which are sure to impress the judges just as much as your fish and chips. Celebrate the great British fish and chip supper with the National Fish and Chip awards, and Banksford.

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Picture of the winners with their trophy, from the Daily Express –

Picture of the winners outside their shop, from the Daily Express –

Official photos from the Kingfisher’s website