How to Frame a Jersey That You Are Proud to Display

How to Frame a Jersey That You Are Proud to Display

Jersey Frames Gale Sayers 260x213 ImageNo single piece of sport memorabilia better defines collecting passion and team dedication than the jersey. A jersey's colors connect the fan to their team. It also connects the team to its fanbase. Jerseys don't do any good tucked away in a closet. There they go unseen and unappreciated. Jerseys should be preserved and displayed proudly. Also, a coat hanger isn't the best way preserve a jersey's value. Using jersey frames is a complicated process. They require properly folding, safely affixing the jersey to a secure surface, custom-cutting mat-board and framing in a solid wood frame that has protective UV glass or acrylic.

Undertaking this process by yourself is not advised.

So what criteria should a collector look for when selecting a professional jersey framer? First, steer clear of all traditional art framers and art supply stores. Most lack the expertise needed to protect the value of the jersey. They may damage it during the framing process.

Jersey framing should be only be done by professionals experienced in working with collectibles and archiving. Additionally, the framer should be experienced specifically with framing collectible jerseys.

Below is a list of questions you should ask and things to look for in someone's gallery of jersey frames.

Layout and Folding

How are the jerseys folded? Is an iron used? Are the sleeves of the jersey and their patches visible?

Frame

What type of jersey frames are used? Is it flat or a shadow box? While either will work, a shadow box allows for more customization where items like balls, photos and other items can be used to create a three-dimensional display.

Materials

Look for a vendor that only uses high-quality wood, matting and moldings, and acid-free archival backing. Available options for jersey frames should include special UV-protective glass, suede, outline matting, and Plexiglass.

Mounting

It is possible to mount a jersey to a backing so that the jersey material does not come into contact with any pins, staples, tape or adhesives. This can be done by fitting the jersey around a foam core, which will preserve its shape. The foam core is attached to the frame backing and not the jersey material itself. Ask the vendor you are considering what method they use.

DIY Jersey Frames

The above guidelines apply in particular to collectible jerseys that are either autographed or game-used. For information on do-it-yourself jersey framing of less expensive, store-bought jerseys or if you simply insist on doing it yourself, here are some step-by-step instructions and resources.

Jersey Frames Wayne Gretzky 260x296 ImageItems Needed:

  1. Measure your jersey to pick the right sized frame. Most jerseys will fit in either a 30" x 36" or 32" x 40" frame.
  2. Lay the jersey out in the desired position (and orientation to the frame) on the matte backing board inside the shadow box frame or foam board if using a standard frame.
  3. Fold and iron the uniform so that the player name, number and sleeve patch logos are visible.
  4. Iron the jersey on the folds.
  5. Temporarily pin the uniform to backing using stainless steel framing pins. Stainless steel pins are ideal as they will not rust or discolor. They will also not damage the jersey fabric.
  6. Stitch the jersey to the mat board with needle and thread. Stitching areas include; below the neckline, at the start of each sleeve, and at the bottom hem. Be sure the thread goes through the back of the jersey so it doesn't show. Knot the ends of the thread behind the backboard and tape them down to the back of the matte to hold them securely.
  7. Close the shadow box and hang proudly. If you are using a traditional frame follow these additional steps before hanging:
  8. Remove the protective film from one side of the Plexiglass. Lay that side down firmly on top of the jersey. Once it is aligned straight, peel the film from the other side of the Plexiglass.
  9. Attach the sides of the frame. Many frames will simply click together, you may have to use special mounting brackets and clips to properly secure the frame.

Here's a handy video showing the process:

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Rob Bertrand

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Rob Bertrand is an avid collector with over 20 years of active experience in the hobby. He is one of the site's most accomplished writers, as well as the co-host of Cardboard Connection Radio. You can follow him on Twitter @VOTC.

User Comments

  1. I’m 65 y of a. I purchased a 1941-42 Rawlings Jersey, Cardinals #6. Worn both years. It has been in a closet since 1945. Ray Phebus (Bill) took it home when the league folded in 1942 and gave it to his brother who died in 1945 and the nephew inherited and kept it tell his passing in March. In Clovis, Ca the Veterins Memorial Building is named after him Rex Phebus known as Mr Clovis. Plus this old jersey has the 42 HEALTH patch. Should I put this in a clear acrylic see through case? That is what I’m looking at.
    I also just purchased a Rawlings 6/6 Stan the Man jersey made over 10 years ago with his history Stitched on the back and Autograph and I was looking at the same type of case. Would you suggest something else? And no I will not sell them ever!!!!!!!

  2. Hi Stan- do-it-yourself acrylic cases are fine, just be sure that the plastic has a UV coating and is free of any PVC.

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