What is a wordpress theme framework?

WordPress is a blogging application. It provides a solid platform for a blog or a website to operate. It works through many of its components such as theme and plugin. WordPress cannot work without a theme. Since WordPress is an open source application, its code is available for further development and customization. There are two methods of developing WordPress themes. One is without using any theme framework and the other is through using a theme framework. Its here that a definition of theme framework is required. In simple terms a theme framework is a master or a mother theme, giving certain tools as well as functionality to develop new child themes. These child themes are dependent on the theme framework, its is made under.
Some Theme frameworks also make theme development more accessible, removing the need for programming or design knowledge with options pages.
There are many theme frameworks available today, some are paid and others a free to use. Listed below are some of them:

Atahualpa: This framework lets you configure your custom theme: Fixed or flexible width layout, with min/max width, 0 – 4 sidebars, very browser safe (incl. IE6), create custom widget areas, import/export styles (several styles included), color pickers, over 200 options.

The Buffet Framework: It is a theme framework designed not only for the theme developers who will be using the theme actions and filters to create the child themes, but also for the end users who would be able to add and remove what they want.

Carrington Blog: A rich blogger friendly theme with customizable header, colors and AJAX options; and developer friendly theme with atomic templates and an elegant override hierarchy.

Thematic: The ultimate in SEO-ready themes, Thematic is a highly extensible, WordPress Theme Framework featuring 13 widget-ready areas, drop-down menus, grid-based layout samples, plugin integration, shortcodes for your footer, & a whole lot more. Perfect for any blog and the starting point for theme development.

WP Framework: A Rapid Theme Development Framework.

Hybrid Core: It is a WordPress theme development framework for creating solid parent themes. It allows theme developers to forget about all the complex functionality and dive straight into coding their theme’s HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.

Sandbox: It is a very rich with powerful and dynamic semantic class selectors, Sandbox is a canvas for CSS artists.

PressWork: The PressWork Toolbox lets you style any theme in a live preview environment without any code, drag & drop to set your layout in seconds, add Google fonts, and much more.

K9 Canvas: Howling Dog Themes is NOT like other Themes & Frameworks. Our Controls are packed with intuitive features that allow you to control EVERY aspect of your custom theme. No non-sense, just quick and easy themes!