These are frequently asked questions regarding kits, products, and the general “look and feel” of Arsenal Football Club.
“Why is the cannon facing left sometimes, and right others?”
The Arsenal cannon and its direction is a point of contention amongst many fans. The very first use of the cannon was in the crest of Royal Woolwich Arsenal, 1888, and went through several looks until one design originating in 1949 became permanent. This crest remained the club’s look until 2002, when various issues led to a redesign of the team’s logo resulting in the modern club crest which controversially changed the cannon’s direction to point right. Merchandise and fan artwork will often use the “old style” cannon, which points left, though many also use the newer and simpler looking cannon design. It’s all Arsenal – but it’s an issue that some feel very strongly about!
“How do I know if a product is fake?”
Usually the quality of materials in a fake product is significantly lower. The marked-up nature of authentic, licensed products is partly because of the higher quality materials used. A close eye for detail can also help you spot out fakes, particularly in cases where the unauthentic product is decently convincing. The club crest is often one area where counterfeiters get wrong, with the text ‘Arsenal’ having unevenly sized letters, or with slight asymmetries behind the cannon. Also remember, the club crest is almost always embroidered (stitched) on kits and most products – silkscreen (flat) logos are almost always a dead-giveaway. Same goes for player printing on the back – the Premier League uses a felt-like set of numbers, digits and letters (brand name SensCilia) that have to be heatpressed on at high temperatures. This gives them a “3D” feel on the back of the kit; silkscreen numbers may look the same, but are not authentic.
The easiest way to avoid counterfeits? Do your shopping via reputable sites, such as the above, or with major brick-and-mortar retailers like SportChek or Puma stores.
“I have a blank kit, but I want to add a player name, number or League patch to it. How do I do this?”
You have two options. The first is to buy the pieces as as ‘loose’ digits and numbers, then have them heatpressed to the kit. Names on Premier League jerseys use specific spacing, for which a guide is usually used to ensure the appropriate arc. If your local heatpress shop doesn’t have a guide, they should be able to be found online. Any patch or letter/number must be pressed in a specific manner using a proper heatpress machine; an iron is NOT sufficient. If you want to do this option, look in your local area for shops familiar with heatpressing (often custom shirt shops or team-sales departments).
The other option is to look for a website or local store that you can send your jersey to, who can then have it pressed appropriately and sent back. The nature of heatpressing and fabrics is that it’s a one-shot deal – if you mess it up, it’s going to be very ugly. Do it right the first time and your kit will last you a long time with proper care.
*NEW* Premier League names and numbers explained
From 2007 to 2013, Premier League jerseys used a felt-like name and numbering made by a company called SensCilia. These have a slight raised look on the jersey and feel like felt to the touch. Similarly, from 1992 to 2006 the EPL used felt name and numbers, in a different font, made by Lextra. For collectors and kit enthusiasts looking for printed jerseys from this era, the felt-like letters are the authentic look and what the players wore.
As of the 2013-2014 season, the PL now uses flat, polyurethane (PU) printing. This printing is thin and smooth to the touch, and is what most other leagues have always used (including Serie A, La Liga, and Bundesliga).
Premier League kit printing, from either the pre-06 or post-07 era, is a specific typeface. Licensed printing will have the Premier League logo on the bottom of the numbers. Shirt printing without the Premier League logo on it is likely replica/fake (despite being the same style, size and look).
This is a very confusing area for some fans. Need more explanation or help with a kit? Get in touch via Twitter, @CanadianGunners.
“How do I ensure my kit will last as long as possible?”
Take care of it. The materials (even in a replica) are designed to wick sweat and moisture while still being durable for a football match. While there are limits to the abuse they can take, generally speaking they are more durable than your average tee. As they tend to collect sweat and moisture from the skin (part of the wicking process) they require regular washing. Follow the tags, which will advise you to use COLD wash cycles only and always HANG DRY THEM (preferably flat on an an even surface). If you have a heatpressed kit, it is even more important to do cold-wash, hang-dry only. If your heatpress starts cracking or peeling, it looks bad.
Why is some Arsenal stuff from Nike, some from Adidas and some from Puma?
Teams have exclusive licensing agreements with technical suppliers. The merchandise can help you date what era it’s from:
Puma: 2014 onwards
Authentic Arsenal apparel from the Adidas and Umbro years are valuable collector’s items!
Where can I buy Arsenal stuff if I live in Canada or the USA?