Karl Longbottom, Kitemaker and Kite Designer

Karl Longbottom, Kitemaker

Karl Longbottom, an engineer by trade, has been designing and making kites for over twenty years; full time since 2003. Working from home in the wilds of the English border with Wales, he regularly produces new designs.

Karl now supplies iFlite kites from Patrick Tan of Layangman, Wala, Laima and Emong kites from Albert Chen of Flying Wing Kites and Plutz kites from Leong Chee Wan of Ceewan Kites. Contact Karl for details.

Karl manufactures his own designs, they include his fighting Pants and all manner of bird and pterodactyl kites, plus Delta Sleds for both altitude sprinting and for kite aerial photography (KAP). Recently he has been designing kites for indoor flying; he also produces a range of the more traditional kites, including the Papillion designed by Didier Fermont. The kites are all made by Karl himself; he maintains a worldwide reputation for the excellent quality, precision, balance and flying characteristics of his kites.

Karl undertakes commissions on a regular basis many of which can be found on the Gallery page, he is well known for reproducing historic kites in modern materials. Karl has produced kites to be flown in stage shows and other similar projects for The Wizard of Oz and Take That; his more recent pieces were the Empire Windrush, seen as part of the London Olympic Games Opening Ceremony and a large pair of Butterfly Wings for the London Paralympic Games Closing Ceremony.

Karl has been running kite workshops for children and adults alike for over 15 years, ranging from simple sleds to complex ripstop kites. He works with schools, colleges and kite groups in the UK, teaching his skills to others. Twice he has been invited to Kitemakers Conferences in the USA to teach fellow kitemakers; most recently was Maryland in February 2013.

The hawk was designed specifically as a bird scarer for European weather conditions. More of these are sold than any other design; they are available through suppliers only.

Karl and his wife Sara are invited to a number of events every year, they were the main organisers of the Herefordshire Kite Festival held at the National Trust, Berrington Hall, Leominster every July but have now handed it over to the Midland Kite Fliers. In January 2012 they held their first Indoor Kite Event in Swindon, they have held two a year since then.

In addition to kites, Karl has been asked to manufacture banners. More recently he has put together a large collection of white pennant banners which add a new dimension to occasions, be they a kite festival or his own daughter's wedding.

All kites and banners are tailored to the customer's requirements in terms of colour, size and most importantly graphics; they can be printed or appliqued. Contact Karl and discuss your requirements for that special kite you have always wanted or the surprise present for someone you know.