A weblog about theatrical drapery and stage curtains for Production Managers, Set Designers, Custom Drapery Resellers, and local/school/church Productions
Want a unique look for your touring dance performance? Why not consider combining the construction of a traditional theatrical drape with a non-traditional material – clear vinyl? This sparkling combination evokes the feeling of a beautiful wall of icicles, a gorgeous backdrop to the dancers.
This clear vinyl drape was custom-made for the skating extravaganza “ICE Direct from Russia” in the Versailles Showroom at the Riviera Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.
More typically used in tent construction, flame retardant clear vinyl takes on a breathtaking appearance under theatrical lighting. Constructed in a traditional theatre style, with 50% fullness and webbing, grommets and ties on top, an “icicle” drape can be hung and used just like any other traditional theatre drape – but with a decidedly “non-traditional” look.
The same clear vinyl drape takes on an even more dramatic appearance under blue stage lighting.
Are you looking for something fresh and exciting to add to your next concert stage design? Can’t make up your mind between a few different styles of drapes to get the look and feel you were hoping for? The answer is clear— why not try layering a few different styles together instead!
Having a single layer of draping can be enticing, beautiful, and elicit a certain feel you are going for with your artist or band. However, sometimes simply adding another layer ON TOP of your original draping can make all the difference by creating a completely unique and exceptionally memorable stage design. Recently Rent What? was very fortunate to be able to work with Jim McClellan at AEG Live Events, whose team designed an incredibly breathtaking stage set for an upcoming concert event. With some dramatic and remarkable lighting by Sean Shay and the creative lighting designers at Got Light, they were able to cleverly make some simple Metal Mesh drapes look truly extraordinary by simply adding a layer of sheer voile drapes on top, and then they lit them beautifully. The finished look was easy to create and completely spectacular!
Check out our diverse collection of rental drapes available through Rent What? and create an exclusive look for your next concert or tour. Have some special staging requirements? Custom-designed drapes are available too—talk to a Sew What? Representative to learn more.
Tour and Concert Designers—how extraordinarily memorable and breathtaking do you want YOUR next concert stage to look for both your artist and audience? Have you thought about adding some easy-to-install and incredibly versatile White Voile Drapes and Swags to your next stage design? These lightweight drapes are inexpensive to ship directly to your venue, and can fit within any large or small budget alike.
These drapes are a lighting designer’s dream come true, because they are so easy to light and can create a distinctive atmosphere by simply adding some dramatic lighting. You can see how gorgeous these drapes are with regular lighting—creating an ethereal and charming feel to any stage design.
Now, add some theatrical lighting to these drapes and… POW! You now have the most striking and unique stage design imaginable, and you won’t have to worry about changing entire backdrops in between each song or act. You can create a new and exciting feel to your design easily and effectively by just adding some colorful lighting. Available for rental or purchase, contact one of our representatives today to see what would work best for YOUR next concert or tour!
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!
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.
With the holidays being right around the corner, are your stage elements still undecided? Are you coming up “blank” when trying to figure out an amazing, inexpensive, powerful, and yet truly beautiful drapery element to your church’s stage designs for your upcoming holiday programs? Do you want something versatile, easy-to-install, and dazzling for your congregation to remember for years to come? Why not consider a rental LED drape for all of your upcoming holiday events?
Our rental LED drapes have a rich black backdrop with either bluish-white or colored LED lights inserted directly within. You can control the intensity of the twinkling, blinking lights on our Classic Stardrops, as well as create beautiful and distinguishing color-schemes with our Chameleon Stardrops. Each time you use these drapes you can give your holiday program a special, original look. You can even layer them with White Voile drapes or White Scrims, so that they can be lit up with any dramatic lighting you can think of, as shown in the photo above. These drapes all come with DMX controllers and extremely easy-to-follow instructions that will have you wanting to create a different look each and every time you use them.
Do you have a unique stage shape or dimension that a rental LED drape might not fit perfectly with? Custom LED drapes are also available, for a drape that you can use year-round for all of your holiday, choir, wedding, and other worship events.
Of course, we all know that it’s the recording artist who is the ultimate star of the tour! But it’s your job as production designer to make the artist shine by designing just the right set, whether that includes soft goods, hard set pieces, or both. When thinking about soft goods, consider taking the concept of “shine” literally by using LED Stardrops as a sparkling backdrop to the set.
Custom LED Stardrops, available in Classic (bluish-white lights) and Chameleon (colored lights), can be manufactured in a variety of sizes, making them a great option for both intimate theatre shows and huge arena shows.
Even better, by running LED drapes through the DMX board, your lighting designer can vary the minimum and maximum intensity, chase speed, pattern type and pattern behavior of the LED lights, allowing the lighting designer to change the appearance of the drape throughout the show.
Looking for something truly unique? With a custom LED Stardrop, the LED lights can be inserted in nearly any pattern desired. Think about it – a huge re-creation of the band’s logo in lights!
Not ready to purchase? Rental options are also available.
Are you an event coordinator working on large scale events, such as political fundraisers, celebrity weddings and major charity balls? Do you find that even the most luxurious hotel ballrooms and event spaces look the same? Consider spicing up the décor of these events with LED Stardrops.
An LED Stardrop is a black drape into which bluish-white or colored LED lights have been inserted to create a starry night pattern. They are easy to use, and you can even vary the speed and intensity of the “blinking stars.”
The versatility of these drapes means that one night, you could use LED Stardrops to create a “Night Under the Stars” effect at a charity ball, and then the next night, use the same LED Stardrops to dress up the stage behind the speakers at a political fundraiser.
Not ready to purchase an LED Stardrop? Rental options are also available.
What other things are you doing to make the decor of your events more exciting? We’d love to hear from you via a comment below.
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