A weblog about theatrical drapery and stage curtains for Production Managers, Set Designers, Custom Drapery Resellers, and local/school/church Productions
Perhaps you have determined the mood you want to create, such as one of fantasy and romance for a high end wedding reception or charity ball, but you want something a little different, something that hasn’t been done a lot. Why not use an Austrian Curtain to set the scene?
Once used almost exclusively in theatres, today designers across the spectrum, from music concert set designers to high end event planners, are discovering the versatility of these gorgeous drapes. You can choose an operating Austrian Curtain, along with a lift system, to allow you to lift the curtain to reveal a scene behind, or choose a non-operable Austrian Curtain to serve purely as a beautiful backdrop.
Custom Austrian Curtains can be manufactured in a variety of sizes, fabrics, and colors, to add to your event decor inventory, while rental Austrian Curtains are also available if you need one for a single event only.
Traditionally, tour lighting designers who wanted to project a lighting design have chosen a projection screen or a fabric backdrop. But what if you are looking for something a little different, something that adds texture to the mix and really highlights your talent as a lighting designer?
A Metal Mesh Backdrop is a dynamic option that can take your design to the next level. Made of a silver/grey flexible aluminum mesh, the backdrops have an organic crushed appearance that enhances projected lights. Consider using them on their own, or in conjunction with a projection screen or fabric backdrop for a variety of textures.
Want to see more photos of Metal Mesh Backdrops in action? Check out our set on Flickr.
Head’s up, stage designers near and far! Are you getting ready for your upcoming concert tour season to swing into full gear? Want to create a special design look for your band or artist that will make a huge impact on your audience?
Look no further! Add a clever and versatile Shadowbox to your stage design, and you will add excitement and drama to your show in a flash! With a privacy flap included, these Shadowboxes can be used in between performances as a Portable Pop-Up Dressing Room, a tech enclosure, or ANYTHING else you can think of where you need some private space—indoors or out.
You could buy a dozen different scenic backdrops, but who wants to move a bunch of backdrops around from venue to venue, or to have to swap out backdrops constantly throughout the show? Why not choose a solid fabric backdrop and create the myriad of looks by projecting colored lights onto it?
Recently, The Black Crowes chose a rented White Poly Muslin Backdrop as the primary focus of the set design for their Fall 2013 tour. Sounds pretty simple, doesn’t it? But with the addition of a brilliant projected lighting design, the end result was anything but simple. In a word – spectacular!
Attention Party Planners and Special Event Designers! Want to thrill the crowd at your next special event with a truly spectacular set design?
Take a cue from LG Productions, who recently used some custom-designed Sew What? Sheer White Voile IFR draperies to create one of the most breathtaking designs we’ve seen in a long time. Led by 17-year old prodigy event planner and designer Luke Gulley, they were able to create a fantastically unique and extremely memorable design for their clients using beautiful white voile drapes. Photographed perfectly by ABM Photography, we can clearly see how the use of these drapes helped create the ethereal and mystical feel to the event’s classic design.
Next time you are interested in creating an extraordinary look, consider talking to a Sew What? representative today to have them custom build something completely unforgettable for your next special event. If you’re not quite ready to purchase, check out Rent What’s IFR White Voile Drapes from our Delightably White Collection, available in multiple sizes and flat or pre-pleated for your event’s special design needs.
Stunning, magical, sexy, dramatic- these are all words that have been used to describe our Austrian style drapes- a product that we pride ourselves in manufacturing as the very best in the business. I have never seen a drape make so many lighting designers giddy with the same level of excitement of 3 year old on Christmas Day than that of an Austrian. For anxious patrons of a production, it simply takes their breath away and sets the mood while heightening the expectation for the entire show before the first note is ever played, before any song is sung, and before any words are whispered. The Austrian drape silently speaks a bold message of confidence on behalf of everyone behind the curtain- no matter how chaotic or crazy it is backstage.
I have caught myself escaping into the production room and wrapping myself up in the Austrian’s plush pleats pretending I was the queen of some Loire Valley castle in the heart of France- an imaginary escape from the confines of my cubicle. This past week we’ve been working on yet another beauty in the back room-so I decided I should take you on a field trip into our sewing production room and show you little snippets of the process involved in making Austrian-style magic.
1) Flat panels of fabric are sewn together to achieve the desired width, taking into account both the horizontal and vertical fullness calculations.
2) Once the panels are sewn together, each panel is shirred where each lift line will be sewn. This process creates the vertical fullness. The photo below shows a panel that is only partially shirred.
3) Each shirred line has to be meticulously pinned, then sewn so that the swags hang evenly.
4) Once shirred vertically, lift lines are sewn to the backside to accommodate the motorized cables that lift the drape. Having a working lift line is optional, as some clients simply want a static (non-operable) backdrop for their special events.
5) The Austrian is nearly complete and needs to be pinned and sewn to a header so that it can be tied to a batten or a truss. This is also the step where the horizontal fullness develops into the drape. The horizontal fullness determines how deep the swags in each panel will hang.
6) Once sewing production is complete, the Austrian gets inspected and then folded by the Quality Control department before it is released to be shipped.
Voila! What once was yards and yards of boring bolted fabric has now blossomed into a beautiful working drape that will become one lucky lighting designer’s ‘blank canvas.’ This cream colored drape will be the ultimate lighting tool as it will light to whatever color that is washed onto it.
To all you production designers and tour managers out there – if you have worked in the industry for any time at all, you know that the trends for scenic backdrops have changed over the years. For a long time, it seemed as if the only option was to choose a hand-painted backdrop. Then along came grand format digitally printing, and the options suddenly expanded greatly. Well, you may not be aware of it, but there is yet another scenic backdrop option out there - appliqued backdrops.
An appliqued backdrop may consist of one fabric sewn onto a fabric backdrop (such as above, in which a reflective fabric in two colors – gold and silver – was sewn onto a Black 22oz Encore backdrop) or may include several different elements, including digitally printed elements, fabric in various colors, and trim. The applique may even be padded to add dimension and texture.
So, when you are considering the design of the scenic backdrop for your upcoming tour, consider making appliqued elements just one more tool in your design arsenal!
We understand that, as a production designer for a church, synagogue, or other house of worship, your goal is to design a set for your holiday worship services that is both visually exciting and religiously relevant. Why not take a cue from the world of music touring production designers and make a digitally printed backdrop the centerpiece of your design?
With today’s grand format digital printers and 10 foot wide fabric substrates such as Heavy Knit, Cotton Canvas, and Artist Light, your options for a scenic backdrop are nearly limitless. Any image in digital format can be printed onto fabric and sewn into a beautiful custom backdrop at the dimensions required for your stage.
You may be saying to yourself, “Where do I find the right image for a digital backdrop?” Not to worry. If you (or an artist friend) aren’t able to create your own digital image, there are many photo websites, such as iStock by Getty Images, offering thousands of royalty-free images to choose from, many with religious imagery, at an very affordable price.
As you finalize the set design for the next tour, are you confused as to what digital substrate would work best for your scenic backdrop needs? Not to worry. There are a variety of substrates available for direct printing on a wide format digital printer, so there is sure to be one that is right for you.
Tour playing at indoor venues, from small theatres to large indoor arenas? A fabric substrate is usually the best option, with choices ranging from Heavy Knit and Cotton Canvas (great options for front lighting) to Artist Light (great for back lighting).
Tour playing at outdoor arenas and festivals? Consider a Vinyl Mesh or Matte Vinyl substrate for greater durability and rain resistance. Worried about wind? Vinyl Mesh is the substrate for you as it allows blow-through.
Have a concern about another soft goods element? Want some ideas for just the right style of custom stage curtains to fit your vision? We’d love to hear from you in the Comments section.
Picture this. You are promoting your product at a trade show. You have pipe and base hardware, but basic colored drapes just don’t make a statement. The answer? Custom digitally printed backdrops that attach to the pipe and base and make your booth stand out from the crowd.
By printing your logo, tag line, or even a photo of your product onto a fabric substrate designed for digital printing, such as Heavy Knit, you have unlimited possibilities in customizing your booth. This 10 foot wide fabric allows for a seamless look for the standard 10′ x 10′ booth, and seamed options are available for larger booths.
You can choose a single larger backdrop for the back wall (such as shown above), or add additional side wall pieces (as shown below). Either way, the pieces can be hung on standard pipe and base hardware via a top pipe pocket, with grommets and ties used on the sides for a snug fit.
As the new year approaches, it’s a great time to begin designing a new look for your trade show booths for the 2014 show season! Why not make digitally printed backdrops part of that design?
« Newer Profiles
— Older Profiles »