Framing jerseys


CGF, Certified Grumble Framer
Sep 22, 2003
Atlanta, Georgia
I have a Michael Vick football jersey that I need to frame. I have seen jerseys that have sewn along all the sides of the jersey to the mat/foamboard backing. I've also seen jerseys that have been tacked in several places using Attach-EZ. It seems to me that the Attach-EZ is by far faster and easier to use. But, is it the recommended way to mount jerseys?
I have also seen display cases where the jersey hangs loosely from a plastic hanger with a door from which you have access to the jersey.
Which one /ones of these methods are most commonly used today?
I recommend hanging jersey systems unless the treatment required is different than their offerings.

Dave Makielski
Attach ez is fast but fast is not always better.

I have the ez kit and after using it a few times still sew down most of my jobs.

Those little plastic things are visible and that bothers me.

Coloring them only looks like colored bits of plastic.

I'm sure a lot of people here like them and that's fine but I am really into the details of every job I do and just don't like the ez look.
I echo the response about SpartaCraft .... or others with similar products ... I've never been comfy with the static, board-like look of stuffing jerseys ... looks too much like a robot. The presentation of a hanger looks a lot more realistic (and not as flat)..... looks like it would in a closet.
Here is my 2 cents...

I sell the SpartaCraft ones. Most, and I mean the vast majority of my customers don't like them. They think it looks like it is "just hanging on a hanger". So I end up making a box of their choosing and mounting the jersey is some shape depending on what the customer wants. Also, they really look better if you can add something, a picture, ball, ticket, something. Otherwise, it is just a shirt in a box.

AttachEZ! I love it! I have done quite a few of these and you can't find the nylon fasteners in mine. You have to 'hide' them.

Try this, cut a piece of foam board to the desired shape of the shirt. Pull all the wrinkles to the back and use the AttachEZ to mount to the board. Now mount the pre-stretched shirt to the back board of your choosing.

Good support, reversible, what else do you need?

Would I sew one down? Sure, however it adds an hour or so labor to the bill.
I'm gonna try your way. Sounds good and I can get some use out of my kit.
I have done quite a few jersies using Attach EZ, and, I also, hide the tabs. Towards the top, I just open up the sleeve and run the tabs inside the sleeves, through the jersey liner(decent acid free mat), and through a backing mat and foamcore.
I generally frame jerseys with certificates of authenticity,so, at the bottom in one corner I will have that in a mat window, and in the other corner a photo, or emblem, etc.And those items hide the tabs. Works great for me, and get a ton of compliments.
I sew everything down. Sewing takes for ever but if done properly you won't see any indentions where the thread is and it will just look nice and neat. I don't care for attach EZ, cause I can hardly ever get the darn thing to work properly. Also I noticed on the Spartacraft that the jersey is touching the wood.... Wood's not good!! I asume you all cover the back with a rag mat or something.
By the way Jerry-I love your idea!!
DS- good luck with the jersey
Can someone clue me in on the wholesale/retail value of a spartacraft box?

...nevermind, I see a place online selling them for $280 and saying list is $349.00.

I got a call from work that I had a client walk out today because we wouldn't lower our $580.00 price on framing a LeBron James autographed basketball jersey, full size which is longer than the spartacraft box, double rag mat, rag backing, conservation clear glass, larson 510bl frame with a silver wood fillet. I thought I could show them Sparacraft on the web so they could appreciate what more they are getting, when they wanted to pay the Sparacraft price for what I'm offering. They also saw another LeBron jersey framed in the gallery (you can imagine how many of these we get to do in Cleveland) and complained that they saw a wrinkle in it, theirs better not have a wrinkle if it's framed here! They are supposed to come back in tomorrow to argue with "the owner." Should be fun.

So, thank you for posting this thread! The information was very timely.

Our method of mounting, by the way, is to cut a form out of acid free foam core to support the shape of the jersey and then slide it inside, then we stitch through the foam and back of the jersey to the mounting board.
Sorry it took me so long to come back to you about your method of mounting jersey's.

If you are using Attach-EZ correctly the fasteners should never show. The directions tell you how to hide them when mounting a shirt. Once in awhile it may be necessary to place a fastener where it can't be hidden, but that doesn't happen very often.

If you ever get a chance to come to Atlanta or Las Vegas, please stop and see my demondstration. There are so many easy ways to mount jerseys and T's which take much of the stress off the needles.

My recommended way of mounting a jersey is to make an insert out of artcare 1/8" foam board and side it into the shirt. Then after the insert is in place, by placeing your hand inside the front of the shirt, you will be able to insert a couple of fasteners into the back of the shirt without risk of coming through the front with the fastener. These fasteners will hold the insert in place. In some cases you may even want to make a pleat to insure that the shirt is as tight around the insert as possible.

All in all, if you are using Attach-EZ correctly, the fasteners will never show and you will only use 10 - 12 on the largest shirts.

Angie, If you are having trouble with one of your tools, please call Fletcher and they will help you. I'm sure you will find that the Attach-EZ technical service will be very helpful to you. If the tool is working correctly the fasteners should despense easily. It may be something that is a very simple to fix, or the tool could be defective. Please don't struggle with it, let us help you. We want you to be happy with your purchase.
Hate those Boxes-Way too expensive and the jerseys look like they are hanging on a line. We offered the boxes and several methods of framed options(shown on the wall)and never sold a box. Even tried to give one away for $99 and still no takers.

Pat-We have two guns and do probably 20-30 jerseys a month. I have a couple of framers that kept breaking the needles and several that never had a problem. the framers that kept breaking them always blamed the gun. Once the non-breakers "coached" the breakers, the guns mysteriously got "much better".

The tabs showing? Just put them where they don't show. On the rare occasion, and I do mean rare, we have some colored markers and just match the color closely.

I did have one framers that came up with every reason why the guns were "unacceptable". My framing manager got tired of the carping and told her that she could no longer use the gun and had to sew everything. Amazingly, the carping stopped forthwith
The needles on our guns aren't broken the gun just misfires.... does that make since?? It will put one in and not the next one.... I don't know what we're doing wrong... bob any ideas? you can just mail me a message if you have one so we don't change the topic of the thread
Angie_I don't have any suggestions except what Pat suggested and call Fletcher. I'm sure once you smooth out the rough spots, you'll be as happy as we are.

There are just a number of tools that, if we took them away, I would have a bunch of unhappy framers. We really do use it often and just don't seem to have the problems.
Although I still sew in some places along with the Attach EZ, it has been a lifesaver not to mention time saver. If you put a slight twist to the gun as you insert the needle, there should not be any breaking of needles (I learned that after breaking two). Also, the end of the needle must be inserted through the foamboard far enough to push the plastic attachments through. I found it much easier to work with the foamboard on a carpet surface for easier inserting of the needle. Using the Attach EZ holds the item in place while you add sewn stitches for reinforcing support. Once you get the hang of it, it's great. ;)
Angie, 9 times out of 10 when the fasteners are not holding or breaking or misfiring it has to do with the way you are pulling the trigger. You always need to pull the trigger very slowly. The more material you are going through the slower you must go, and as Bob suggested, use a twisting motion with light pressure when inserting the needles. Never pull the trigger until the needle is all the way through.

You also may want to try changing the needles. If they are bent even slightly it will cause the tools to misfire. Sometimes that will happen when more than one person in a shop is using the tools. It is important to make sure that everyone who is using the tools read the directions first and then practice alittle before starting a major job. It will save you a lot on needles.
i hate to sew!

we have a near identical gizmo to attach-ez by fletcher, it's the tach-it by ? (ronco?
) sorry, no offense, ron :rolleyes: .
it came with 2 different size needles, and 3 sizes of barbs (1/8, 1/4, and 1/2, i think). we had the same problems with misfiring, ie, barbs breaking on the way through the substrate. it does help to twist in all the way up to the flaring of the needle hilt. if they still break, try using a longer barb.
...some things still need stiches, though---arrgh!!
Shopmonkey, I take exception to your statement that Tach-it is identical to the Attach-EZ product. There are some big differences and people should be informed before they buy. You were told that your one tool could do everything, but anyone who has used the Microtach part of Attach-EZ knows that this is not true.

In the A-EZ Complete kit there are two tools which WILL do everything and each has a very different use. There is a Fine Fabric tool like the one you have for mounting shirts and jersy's. There is also a Microtach tool for mounting flags, doilies, and articals where the fastener heads will be hidden in plain sight from the front side. These micro fasteners are so small that they look like a stitch and will vertually disapear in any doily or flag. The Fine Fabric fasteners you referred to are too large across the top of the T to prevent them from showing, and should not be used in places where they can't be hidden.

You also didn't get any instructions on how to apply the use of your fine fabric tool to framing. The Attach-EZ Fine fabric kit with it's one tool is only $50-60. With it you
recieve a full set of instructions as well as an out of warranty program that covers your tool even after the 90 day full warranty is up. You paid $70-80 for your Fine Fabric kit.

Attach-EZ also has a technical service line where you can get help with any problems you may encounter. Please don't say that these products are the same. They are not even close. Buyer beware.