Framing Sports Shirts

Planning the framing projectSpecialist Training Day - The First of Many

Planning the framing project takes time and care.Part of the problem was the scale of the final piece. Not all sports personalities are the size of rugby players, but, by the time you have allowed for most of the jersey to be shown with a decorative backing, the frame will still be around 600 mm x 750 mm - bit bigger than A4. So setting the tables in the training room for 9 of us to work at, each with 3m lengths of moulding, took some planning and ingenuity. And a quick reorganisation part way through the day. In the end it was a bit like Strictly Come Framing with the synchronised moves needed, but we all managed to produce good quality frames.

The major difference between what we were doing and 2D framing is the internal depth. Keeping the shirt well supported and away from the glass is quite a challenge. The solution we came up with was to create a spacer frame sitting between the mount and the back board. It does mean taking time to wrestle with a second load of moulding, but is well worth the effort, as it provides added internal strength. It also makes the final assemble relatively easy.

Sports jerseys are sewn into place.Whenever you frame a piece of clothing it will need an interior support panel. They are quite easy to create and prevent sagging between the various attachment points. The shape needs careful planning so that it doesn't over stretch the garment or push corners through the material. There are several methods for attaching shirts and support panel onto a backing: specialised tab guns; hanger systems; sewing in - some have even been known to use staples (definitely not advised by DIYframing).

The jerseys are supported and sewn on to a backing board.Sewing was the option used, mainly because this requires more skill and looks the best. Oh how we enjoyed ourselves for the next 45 minutes! You could have heard a pin drop (in fact several did) the concentration was so great! The real skill is hiding the stitches, as far as possible, by going through seams or under folds. You also have to provide enough stretch to get rid of the wrinkles but not so much that it looks like a bad face-lift. Of course some shirt fabrics are so flimsy that you could actually double the size of the shirt with stretching.

How did they turn out?

Actually, very well indeed. You really do feel you have completed a bit of top quality framing and the shirts looked really impressive in their frames. How much would you charge for this type of work? Expect to pay anywhere upwards of £110.00 for the style of framing used on the day.

The finished frames looked fantastic.In all fairness, we should have called the day a frame a sports shirt day, because the project is quite demanding and really left no time over for more general chat. Having said that, memorabilia work is usually going to be framing garments, objects or a combination of both. Our regular 3D framing course covers most the principles behind framing objects that are displayed in a box. So this gave a chance to look at a different range of challenges.
The final framed sports shirts looked great.

Bob P (now a trading framer trained by DIYframing) had a go at this (Norwich City shirt, no less) and is always good barometer for how a session has gone, was delighted with the day. Afterwards he said,

"Done them all (courses), I expect you'll think of something else for me to come along to."

If you have any ideas for a specialist day you would like to try, please let us know. We can't let Bob down.


Posted on: 16 Jun 2008@09:33:36, updated on: 16 Jun 2008@09:33:36.