There are lots of uses for laser cut fabrics – and for many years the process has been used to create textiles for the garment and home furnishings industries.
One might wonder why it is that it often takes many moons longer for such tried and true processes to enter the entertainment industry – but in part that seems due to the fact that much of what we do is in a larger format, a grander scale, a smaller budget and worse yet – a shorter timeframe.
It is not uncommon to purchase home furnishings or custom window draperies and be told it will be 12 weeks till delivery – very common indeed. We recently sat on a carpeted floor after moving house while waiting for the sofa to turn up. The delay? Well, they don’t see it as a delay – there is no show – and life will go on with or without the sofa! So wait is what we did.
In contrast, our industry demands that the show will go on – but indeed it won’t be without the sofa. Failure to produce and deliver timely usually equates to the client’s failure to pay. SO – do it, do it cheap and do it fast. Then move onto the next.
A recent meeting with a dear friend and creative mind re-inspired me to look under the rocks and behind some supposedly closed doors to try and turn up some new technologies and processes that we can implement into our products and services. One field that has proven to be huge “on the other side of the fence” is the laser cutting industry.
So you take cloth – and then using precision laser cutters you then cut into it shapes, squiggles and designs. Creating negative spaces and peek-a-boo port holes. Great texture results and lighting designers can have a field day with both positive surface areas and negative spaces….. adding depth to the stage and dimension to the lighting.
As the laser cuts the fabric, it will also sear the edge of the fabric which will help to stop it from fraying. Table style cutting machines can cut thru cotton, suede, polyesters, twills and more – not to mentions many of the heave stage velour and velvets us touring folk love – most effectively the 22oz Encore Velour which is a poly knit low piled textile used for rock and roll tours day in and day out.
Being that the process is automated, it is very accurate and allows for multiple tables of the same pattern or design to be cut with mirror image accuracy. Anyone who has spend a lot of time working with textiles will know how difficult it is to manipulate materials to achieve consistent results. The lasers offer precise cuts each and every time no matter what the shape or its complexity.
We are up and running with a local laser cutting provider and look forward to working more projects with this unique process involved.