How to frame a football shirt
Nothing encapsulates your love for your team and the beautiful game itself more than a football shirt. The colours and badge can help you to feel more connected to your club or national side, which is why football shirts past and present are worn with honour on match days and cherished forever by fans.
If you’re lucky enough to get your hands on a particularly special shirt — one which has been signed or even previously worn by a star player, for instance — you’ll become attached to it in a whole new way. And, as such, it would be a crime to fold it away in your wardrobe where it will go unseen and unappreciated. These items are statement pieces, clearly deserve to be framed with care and displayed proudly on your wall.
It’s possible to frame a football shirt yourself, but it’s a far better idea to hire a professional framing company to get the job done on your behalf. DIY framing can be very difficult without the know-how and tooling to make a beautifully finished frame — this isn’t a chance you should take with such a prized possession. Here at SohoFrames, we have developed our own way of framing football shirts, mostly because we didn’t really like the way most people do it. This usually involves pushing a piece of cardboard inside the shirt, and holding everything in place with double-sided tape, glue or staples. That’s not for us.
Here is a step-by-step guide to how we frame a football shirt:
Step 1: Steam the football shirt
We steam the football shirt before framing, in order to remove the creases, and take great care to avoid any penned signatures. Though we most often simply steam them outstretched, you can frame them in any way you wish — with the arms folded over, for example.
Step 2: Stretch it onto a mountboard
The next step is to stretch the shirt onto a sheet of conservation mountboard. To ensure that it retains its shape, we use T-tags to hold the shirt into place. These are fine plastic stitches, much like the ones which are used to pin a new pair of socks together.
Step 3: Design the window mount
Once we are happy with the mounting and everything is in the correct position, with the folds under the arms neatly arranged and even, we photograph the shirt from above. This photograph is then used to make a window mount design in the exact shape of the shirt, sometimes with a few subtle design flourishes. This covers the edges of the shirt, hiding any visible stitching and maintaining a gap between the jersey and the glass, as this can lead to a build-up of moisture that may cause mould.
Our methods are flexible, depending on the item involved. For example, we may carefully stitch garments like rugby shirts into shape without a window mount. This is because their collars are too thick in comparison to the rest of the shirt, meaning they can’t lay down flat for the mount to seal the edges, unlike football shirts which are usually collarless crew necks. With thicker clothing like this, we instead choose to fold them a little, with the sleeves crossed over, and use a spacer to keep them apart from the glass.
Step 4: Cut and fit the window mount
The custom-designed mount is then cut from another sheet of mountboard on our CNC mount-cutting machine. This process will often require several test cuts, allowing us to adjust the design so that the finished mount fits perfectly over the shirt. Once the cutting is complete, the mount will be fitted over the shirt, sandwiched together, and sealed between the glass and the backing board.
Step 5: Choose the frame
A variety of frames can be attached to the piece, depending on your taste. Our methods suit both shallow and deep box-style frames, though we may suggest the latter if the shirt is particularly thick. Choosing one the same colour as your shirt can look especially striking, as long as this shade doesn’t clash with your home’s interiors. We can custom spray frames in almost any colour.
You may also want to incorporate related items alongside your framed football shirt, such as engraved metal plaques or photographs. Many clients choose to emphasise the jersey’s significance by including a picture of it being worn by the relevant player during a game.
Please don’t hesitate to contact us so we can get started on framing your football shirt as soon as possible.