What’s the Buzz?

buzz individual

buzz individual

We believe we’ve got a lot to talk about and Buzz the Bee, our Brand Ambassador, has been recruited to make this happen. He is caring and industrious. His Sylko Honeycomb™ is one of nature’s strongest and most efficient designs. Buzz and his honeycomb are symbols of Sylko’s commitment to quality.

What we do?

We make it possible to prepare and present eats and treats with the utmost of ease. Household foils and containers, wraps, plates, cups, cutlery and baking cases – we have it all. Click here for a full brochure  Click here for a full brochure.


How we do it?

No half measures, we are the best in category – we have the following accreditation to attest to our world class standards.


ISO 9001:2008 

Kosher *


What we believe in:

Responsible, ethical business in all that we do.

One such example includes use of recyclable materials and recycling where possible. We consistently focus on reduction of waste and take environmental sustainability in to consideration when evaluating suppliers.



Our Product Footprint


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                  shoprite checkers                                 WOOLWORTHS


Where we come from (for those history buffs):


Sylko Pty Ltd. was first founded on the 29th of July 1947 in Avoca Durban. The start-up capital for the new company was 26 431 pounds, 9 shillings and 11 pence. There were 20 000 shares of 1 pound each that were fully paid and issued. With the start-up capital the new company purchased the land and building in Avoca Durban for a price of 6 860 pounds, 3 shillings and 7 pence. Additions and alterations to this building amounted to 38 pounds 9 shillings and 11 pence. It was a small factory about 15m long and 10m wide which produced crepe paper, toilet paper, ribbons, cottons and silk threads.


At this early stage Sylko was made up of two Directors, namely Mr. Gordon Grant and Mr. Mackenzie, a secretary, a paymaster, two machine operators, one general assistant, one truck driver, one boiler maker, five factory workers and a printing assistant – the legendary ‘Uncle Charlie’, who worked at Sylko for the next 50 years.


By 1948 Sylko possessed a wood and coal boiler, a single colour semi-auto printer, a serviette machine, the Hudson four colour printing machine, a small ink making machine and the manually operated guillotine machine. At approximately this stage Sylko became part of Central Press. In these early years Sylko produced wrapping paper, rewound grease-proof paper, crepe, 1ply serviettes – plain and embossed and wax paper.


Soon another building was rented for use as a warehouse. Following Mr. Grant’s visit to Germany a plate machine, doyley machine, slitter machine, face tissue machine and toilet roll machine were purchased. Mr. Wishashoo (who didn’t understand much English) came back with Mr. Grant and built a Harbel Tissue Honeycomb Christmas decoration machine which produced Honeycomb paper pull-out Christmas trees, bells, balls and various chain designs. An engineer and design artist built a waxing machine, a streamer cutting machine and a winder for making streamer rolls.


As a result of poor demand, the face-tissue and toilet roll machines were sold for scrap while a flexo printing machine was purchased. As Sylko grew, another side building was erected. Sylko then purchased another serviette machine, a litho machine, another guillotine machine and a platter press machine. More printers were employed and a further building was erected at the original site. Matching plates and serviettes were in great demand.


In 1966 Sylko became independent, co-owned by Ed and Connie Barry, Alec Cussons, Hugh Johnson and George Mennie.


In 1969 the company moved to Isipingo and was taken over by Kohler, a subsidiary of the Protea Holdings group. Sylko supplied serviettes to Wimpy, offered novelty serviettes for special occasions and produced serviettes for most of the country’s leading hotels and restaurants. 1970s At the end of 1971 Sylko moved to Jacobs. Pick n Pay opened their doors with Sylko as one of their first suppliers. Shoprite and Ok followed shortly thereafter.


During the 1970’s Clicks became one of Sylko’s major clients. Up until approximately 1974 Sylko imported cards. Due to rapid expansion Sylkard (a division of Sylko) started manufacturing cards locally. Designs for cards were bought from Spain, the United States and Scotland. Sylkard pioneered cello-wrapping greeting cards to protect them from damage.


In 1977 Sylko was South Africa’s largest manufacturer of printed wrapping paper, decorative shelving papers, Christmas crackers, streamers, confetti and a wide variety of other paper products. Wonder Stick (a self-adhesive decorative paper) was the company’s biggest single production item. In 1977 alone, more than 250 designs from all over the world had been selected for use in wrapping papers. Other Sylko products at this time were paper plates, cups, greaseproof paper, serviettes, printed writing pads, ribbons, bows, Christmas decorations, artificial Christmas trees, garlands, hanging ornaments, candles, tinsel, baubles and lights. All the Christmas crackers were hand-made.


By 1978 the demand for Sylko’s Christmas cards had grown to such an extent that it produced in excess of 9 million cards. In 1979 Sylko acquired Merrimaker and became the largest supplier of Christmas decorations in the country. The Merrimaker factory was located in Maitland in the Western Cape and later moved to Stikland. Capps and Dolls was the original Cracker Factory purchased from George Wilk. Imports were mainly from the Far East.


The company also exported crepe paper to Sri Lanka, Hong Kong and Fiji, crackers to Canada, wrapping paper to Hong Kong, and general products to the Arabian Gulf, Malawi, the Seychelles, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Botswana and Mauritius. One of the main reasons for entering the export market was to utilize the manufacturing capacity to the fullest, thus reducing the cost impact on the products that were produced for the South African market. At this stage Sylko’s product offering consisted of Christmas crackers, paper plates, greaseproof paper, serviettes, doyleys, baking cups and aluminum foils – marketed under the brand names Oven foil and Fresh foil. In the back-to–school market Sylko had pre-cut plastic-coated brown covers, brown Kraft and plastic–coated brown Kraft paper.


In 1980 Sylko was one of South Africa’s biggest manufacturers of paper converted products. Sylko also introduced new modular greeting card cabinets that could be arranged in a variety of combinations on the shop floor.


In December of 2000 Chris Attwood, the current Chairman, bought the struggling Sylko from Kohler and in February 2001 Richard Pelczarski acquired a stake and became Executive Director. In 2005, the staff at Sylko was given an opportunity to invest in the company and a company representing the staff, EMPCO Investments, was born. With Sylko’s varied basket of products our production facility has a wide range of machinery. Our current product range can be seen in the brochure above. At the end of 2008 the factory and head office re-located to a brand new building in Prospecton, the size of the factory is now ±8000m²


There are regional offices in Cape Town and Johannesburg, agents representing the company in East London, Port Elizabeth, Namibia and Botswana as well as employees located in the Orange Freestate, Eastern Cape and Northern Province.




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