How we do it: sewing

I do all the sewing for the banners. Not very well, if you happen to see the backsides of them, but I’m the one with the sewing machine. It’s easier to do all the sewing, including hardware installation, before painting, so you know what the completed size will be. Everything gets hemmed, with half-assed mitered corners. For the Cartman banner, the hanging hardware was grommets, twine, s-hooks, and jump rings; not only was this a tremendous hassle to assemble, but it also makes for difficulty folding and unfolding the banner when the s-hooks get tangled in themselves. There had to be a better way, and so, in the off-season, I gave each banner a different system of hanging straps. All had straps made of the same fabric as the banner itself, but with different fasteners:

The Ramones banner had silver metal shank buttons, which was largely a stylistic decision. JMM got white buttons, but I quickly decided I wasn’t really interested in sewing buttonholes on any banner wider than about six feet. The Camel City one got velcro tabs, which were tricky to sew and have turned out not to be as strong as I would like. Reis Has a Posse is held together by sew-in snaps, which, like the buttons, involved too much fiddling with hand sewing to be practical. Both Spongebob and the Gorillaz one used heavy-duty snaps, set with pliers. This option turned out to be the winner, once I got the hang of setting in the snaps, as it’s both relatively quick to do and results in a pretty strong hold that’s easily set up and torn down at a match. Subsequent banners have all had snap fasteners.

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