In 1960, the husband/wife team of Mike and Fannie Vasilantone named their new textile screen printing business Vastex (for Vasilantone and textile), and quickly recognized the need for better ways to mass produce screen printed T-shirts for that fast growing market. An engineer and inventor, Mike soon dedicated Vastex to the development of new machinery designs and manufacturing standards that are still adopted by the industry today. Some of the company's patented inventions include the dual rotary printing press (where the pallets and print heads both rotate), the four-way stretch hold down for printing jackets and dual layer fabrics, and the air recirculation system for dryers. Other inventions include the first small product electric infrared dryer, a patented belt alignment/tracking device, and a small mechanical squeegee.
To this day, the company's heavy-duty presses are guaranteed for an unprecedented 25 years.
The reputation of Vastex engineering and equipment performance spread quickly among screen printing professionals internationally, propelling the company to an international leadership position with equipment operating in over 50 countries.
Mike and Fannie retired in 1999, transitioning ownership of the company to their son Mark Vasilantone. Himself an accomplished engineer, Mark has continued revolutionizing the design and performance of Vastex equipment, more than tripling sales in his first 10 years.
While the company remains at the forefront of the heavy machinery market for high volume printers, it has incorporated many attributes of this equipment into a new, separate line of entry level machinery, enabling smaller, lower-volume shops to achieve precision results while remaining competitive.
The company has also expanded its Vastex University educational department, offering what has become the nation's widest selection of screen printing classes geared toward the differing needs of beginning, intermediate, and professional level screen printers.
In 2018 Vastex moved from its Allentown, PA location into its new manufacturing facility and world headquarters in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. The new building is designed from the ground up for manufacturing efficiency, and expands the space available for new product development, administrative offices, conferences, an equipment showroom and a large hands-on classroom area with a full complement of screen printing equipment for Vastex University.
Built with a break-out wall, the building is situated on a double-size lot of 8.25 acres, facilitating another expansion when the company again reaches capacity.
Despite many changes over many years, what has not changed is the company's commitment to thoroughly satisfying each valued customer, not only with high performance machinery, but also with personal, dedicated service.