Voile is usually thought of as simply a wedding and special event fabric.  It is sheer, soft and floaty.  But it actually can be used quite effectively in tours as well.

For Rod Stewart’s 2008 tour, we made a series of gorgeous 200% fullness pleated voile drapes.  With the entire set design focused on the drapes, they were particularly dramatic, especially with lighting effects that made the drapes appear different colors throughout the show. 

Logically, it is hard to imagine being able to use white voile, a sheer fabric, to project lights and images on.  You would think that the projection would go right through the fabric.

Surprisingly enough, voile can actually be a very effective material for projection, if properly lit.  Recently, we worked on soft goods for the Beyonce Tour and, although she mostly used Black Encore masking drapes for this tour, we did make a 24′ h x 56′ w White Voile Projection Drape.  This was a fun gag.  The drape was made with 7′ high slits every ten feet or so, which allowed the dancers to “pop” out from backstage through the drape.  Throughout the routine, different images are projected onto the voile to serve as a backdrop to the dancers.  It makes for a great effect, as you can see on this video.

So, while the tendency is to think of voile as simply a wedding and special event fabric, it is actually quite versatile.  Production designers, keep voile in mind the next time you are looking for a different look for a tour you’re designing.