The brief for this project came from George, a Liverpool supporter who wants a banner to accompany him on European away trips and to hang in his home. The banner is a tribute to Jürgen Klopp’s style of play, and also a nod to the city’s musical heritage with a Beatles lyric incorporated.

Design

Using the George’s text as a starting point, we discussed various font possibilities, which really change the overall look of the design. My ideas were largely German inspired to pay tribute to the gaffer, and ranged from German number plates to genuine Berlin Wall graffiti. In the end, though, the customer decided on the Beatles “Magical Mystery Tour” font to make the provenance of the lyric more clear.

The chosen design.

Stencils

I set about creating the stencils for the design, a laborious process which involves “tiling” dozens of pieces of A4 paper – my next purchase will definitely be a printer capable of at least A2, as this is my least favourite part of the process. The stencil for each element is then cut by hand.

The next stage is to use these stencils to mark out the wool-rich felt I use for my designs. Again, this is all done by hand.

Marked-up felt.

Bondaweb and cutting

The next stage will be to iron Bondaweb and backing paper onto these fabrics before cutting each element, again by hand. I am awaiting a delivery of Bondaweb, so may not be able to do this for a few days. Bondaweb is a great, reliable fixer to use, but is very expensive, a significant contribution to the overall cost of a banner. I have tried other ways of fixing (such as spray adhesive) in the past, though, and have been disappointed in the results….

Against all the odds, the delivery came this afternoon, so I’ve been able to affix the Bondaweb to the marked fabrics and begin the cutting process. This is the main part of the job, and the bit that takes the most time. I will work away at it, bit by bit, as time allows. Started this evening with the eternal flames.

Cutting completed.

Measuring and fixing

At that nerve-wracking stage again where one mistake can be crucial. I love this part though, seeing it all come together.

Laid out ready for measuring and marking.
Fixing in place.
Attention to detail.
Every little mark is crucial.
All fixed in place and ready for stitching.

Stitch that

As I don’t yet have the necessary skills to sew the banners myself, at this stage I hand over to my trusted friend Debbie, who always does a meticulous job. Never a stitch out of place. She has worked on 6 of these flags for me now, so the requirements are very familiar to her and she is very used to stitching complex shapes like the Liverbird.

Quality control

My assistant 👶🏻 then casts a critical eye over everything before packaging and mailing.

Quality control. 😊

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