How to Mount Swim Caps?

Rick Granick

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
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Resource Provider
Jun 30, 1999
Cincinnati, OH
I have a shadow box project involving a t-shirt and two latex swim caps signed by Olympic swimmers. I'm wondering the best way to mount the swim caps. They are essentially similar to big flattened balloons in the shape of a mushroom slice with a wide stem. Width across the upper rounded part is about 9.5 inches, and the height is about 8.
I don't remember seeing anything about mounting swim caps in the FACTS standards. Anyone have any ideas?

Thanks. :cool: Rick
A word of caution for the caps. Since they are latex, they will decompost in time.

One way to mount them would be to cut out a crescent shape in the matboard and hang the caps over the center portion.
Hi Rick

I'm no expert on polymers, but it's a pretty good guess that the swim caps will start to break down/embrittle in a few years. Sooo, I'd suggest padding the caps into the shape they want to see (polyester quilt batting covered with washed cotton). That way when they harden, they'll harden in the right shape! I would also incorporate Artcare (zeolites) matboard in shadowbox to scavange scavenge volatile break down product from the caps.

Remind them to hang the box in a cool, dry, dim display area (no spotlights!).

As for attaching them - hmmm. I bet Jim Miller will have some Mylar strip solution! Or, if you've padded them out nicely, perhaps they can be "hung" on an "L" bracket attached to the back.


[ 12-18-2003, 12:11 PM: Message edited by: Rebecca ]
AS the others have said, rubber is one of the most
difficult materials to preserve. It will break
down in the dark and putting it in the light
can only hasten the process. When such items are
stored in some museums, they are kept in oxygen
free settings. The technology needed to reach
that condition is challenging for a museum, not
to mention the difficulty of doing it in a shop.
The owner should be warned that the caps are likely to degrade, if framed and you might discuss
getting good photos of them made, which photos
can be framed. If the owner insists on framing,
padding them out to a more natrual shape, as
Rebecca mentioned, will mean that when they go
stiff, they will still be in a recognizable as
swim caps.

I guess I'll add swim caps to that most exclusive of all lists: Things I Won't Frame.

So far I have dead cats and latch hook rugs.
Hmmm, could you possibly cut a rigid plastic ball in half and insert them into the swim caps? You could then hang them in the shadow box (a very deep shadow box!) on hooks such as they would be hung on in a locker room.

It sounds like whatever method you use will be somewhat temporary as the caps will eventually harden and decompose.

(Why didn't they get a couple of tank suits autographed??) :cool:

The photos sound like a much more reasonable way to display the autographs to me.

(This can't be any more difficult than framing breast implants, ........... can it??!!) ;)

Thanks for the input. These caps are not convex. They are flat. I guess they are designed to expand when pulled onto the head and fit very tightly. I liked the suggestion about hanging them over a crescent-shaped mat cutout. They are supposed to overlap the t-shirt, so I suppose I could hang them on individually-shaped mat pieces and then float those above the shirt. This would necessitate some of the board showing at the botttom where it extends out of the cap, but I guess that can't be avoided. I will pass along your advice about potential deterioration to the customer. Maybe they will go for the photo idea.

:cool: Rick
Just wanted to give an update on the swim caps project. We decided to go ahead and frame them, so I ended up using a variation of Jerry Feig's idea. I made forms out of artcare board to match the mat, and inserted them into the caps. The bottom edges of the caps protruded about 3/4" from the cap openings, and I used this area to suspend the caps, overlapping the stitch-mounted t-shirt, using a double-layer of 8-ply strips as "risers", affixing the strips with atg and cornerweld glue. Here are some in-progress pix (I apologize for their quality- lighting was less than ideal).



Thanks again for your suggestions.
:cool: Rick

[ 01-06-2004, 07:12 PM: Message edited by: Rick Granick ]