Birmingham military regalia manufacturer Toye Kenning & Spencer has made its debut at a top European trade exhibition.
The firm is hoping to boost sales by taking part in Eurosatory, the major international defence and security exhibition, which is held in Paris.
Toye’s, which is based in the Jewellery Quarter, combines craftsmanship with modern technology to produce a wide range of uniforms, accoutrements, accessories and equipment in its own factories.
The exhibition, which began on Monday and ends tomorrow , has attracted 1,200 exhibitors from 50 countries and has 30 national pavilions.
Toye’s stand is displaying examples of embossed and woven badges, buttons, hats, caps, medals and medal ribbons supplied to governments and military clients worldwide.
Toye’s group managing director Fiona Toye is manning the stand alongside military and overseas sales director, Clive Lunn.
Toye Kenning & Spencer is an approved British Ministry of Defence supplier. In 2006 the firm gained a five-year £2 million contract to make badges for the UK’s Army, Navy and RAF – metal badges, buttons and textile rank badges.
Toye holds a Royal Warrant to The Queen and manufactures honours, decorations and medals presented at Investitures. It is sole supplier of the Order of The British Empire buttonhole emblem, which recipients of the honour can wear in their everyday life.
The company’s in-house design team is skilled in originating bespoke work to tailor to the exact requirements of a customer.
Ms Toye said: “Die sinking and die casting medals and badges are ancient skills but today’s dies are cut with the aid of computers to an exceptional standard of accuracy.
“Looms have sophisticated computers enabling designs to be changed instantaneously. To meet the challenge of modern combat situations and bullet-proof garments Toye’s are working with rubberised embossed techniques to produce durable insignia.”
Toye’s which employs 225 people, traces its history back to a French Huguenot weaver, Guillaume Henri Toye, who fled to London in 1685 disguised as a cattle dealer to avoid Louis XIV’s persecution of the protestants.
He set up in business weaving silk, velvet and gold and silver laces for military uniforms. The Toye family is still closely involved with the firm. Bryan Toye, the present chairman, is a direct descendant of the founder.
The firm now has factories in Birmingham and Bedworth and a London showroom.