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Monthly Archives: May 2013

31 05, 2013

Making Pipes Out of Drapes

By |May 31st, 2013|Clients, Projects|0 Comments

Back in March, we were contacted by designer Dan Hadley regarding a design project he was working on for electronic music group The Postal Service.    For the band’s North American tour, the design had used a hard set for the majority of the design.  The main focus of the hard set was a series of rows of 1 1/2″ metal pipes running in a configuration above the heads of the band members and then down behind them.

Dan’s goal was to replicate the same look for the band’s European tour, but to utilize a soft set of fabric drapes rather than the metal pipes.   The challenge was to come up with a drapery design that would give the illusion of rows of 1 ½” individual metal pipes.  While fabric could certainly be cut into narrow strips, such strips on their own would not have the rigidity needed to simulate the pipe structure.

Through a series of phone calls, emails, and other collaborative efforts, a drapery design solution was reached.  A series of 18 drapes of about 1 foot in width were manufactured in FR Black Textilene®, a PVC mesh material that almost disappears under stage lighting. Appliqued onto the drapes were rows of 1 ½” strips of FR Silver Drizzle, chosen for its silver color and linear appearance, to give the illusion of the original metal pipes.

The drapes were then hung from truss – 9 of them from truss to truss (to simulate the horizontal section of pipes), and then from truss to the floor (to simulate the vertical section of pipes). The end result?  Fabric drapes that mimic both the appearance and configuration of the original metal pipes, making it difficult to see the difference between the original hard set and the new soft set!

Photo Courtesy of Chris “Reno” McLendon

The addition of coordinating keyboard skirts, utilizing FR Black Commando appliquéd with the same FR Silver Drizzle fabric, finishes the look.

28 05, 2013

Red Super-Vel Drapes Set the Stage at the L.A. Times Festival of Books

By |May 28th, 2013|Fabrics, Products, Projects|0 Comments

This year Rent What? was thrilled to provide some beautiful staging drapes for Visions Lighting, one of the premier lighting, staging, and production companies in Southern California. They designed the set and main stage for the LA Times Annual Festival of Books, held on the USC Campus here in Los Angeles. This important annual event helps children in the community celebrate books and everything positive that they bring to us. It also had panels and discussions on numerous topics of interest both to children and their parents, as well as a gorgeous outdoor stage to showcase an abundant variety of performers, speakers, and entertainers. Working with Todd Roberts, Kelly Roberts, and the creative team at Visions Lighting, we were so happy to be able to provide a rental drapery mix of some of our reliable Red Super-Vel Pipe and Base drape panels along with several of our lush Red Super-Vel theatrical stage drapes and borders from our Rockin’ Red Collection to help create the festive look they wanted for this beautiful outdoor space.

Lightweight, versatile, colorful, and easy to install, Red Super-Vel drapery can add that special touch to any production—inside or outside—that you may have, without the hassle of having to buy and store big, heavy, expensive drapes for a single event’s use. With a wide variety of sizes and styles to choose from, Rent What? would love to help you figure out the right complementary mix of our rental drapes for your next special event, too!


24 05, 2013

An Unusual Backdrop

By |May 24th, 2013|News, Products|0 Comments

In scrolling through Flickr recently, we came upon several photos of a concert backdrop that we immediately recognized, because it was one we made for indie rock band The Yeah Yeah Yeahs back in 2009.  I remember it as one of the most interesting custom band backdrops that we have made.

Our manufacturing staff began by cutting Black FR Tiger Gauze, a square cotton netting with a 1/4″ opening, to size to serve as the backing of the 20′ h x 40′ w backdrop.  Then the detailed work began.  Working with detailed drawings provided by production designer Dan Hadley, our sewing staff painstakingly cut out and appliqued metallic blue floral petal mylar sheeting to replicate the concentric circle design.

As you can see from this photo , the tiger gauze recedes so that, even up close in standard fluorescent lighting, the mylar circles appear to float.

The backdrop is beautiful as-is, but it became even more dramatic once the client added a giant eyeball prop to the center, seen most dramatically in this Flickr photo.  The backdrop also looks great up close in the daylight, as in this photo.  It was great seeing the photos and being reminded of this fun and innovative project.  It’s hard to believe it has been four years since we made it.

(Note: We recently made a new backdrop for The Yeah Yeah Yeahs current tour.  This new one was a beautiful classic design of  3 giant “Y”s in Silver Allure appliqued onto Black Poly Muslin.  Check  out this photo to see this year’s backdrop).

21 05, 2013

Pewter Textura Drapes Set the Stage at Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Show

By |May 21st, 2013|Clients, News, Projects|1 Comment

About a month ago, we were contacted by one of our favorite clients, designer Bruce Rodgers of Tribe.  He wanted our help in achieving his vision for the set design for the 2013 Inductee Ceremony for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, held this year at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles.

Through a series of conversations between Bruce and Megan, the details were nailed down to a variety of drapes in Pewter Textura.  By combining rented 30′ h x 10′ w pleated drapes from Rent What?s Industrial Textures series with several purchased large swagged drapes, custom-made by Sew What? for the project, Bruce was able to achieve just the look he was after.

When loading in the drapes at the Nokia Theatre, we knew they looked terrific, but the crowning glory was watching the ceremony on television this past weekend and actually seeing the drapery in action.  Most memorable was seeing inductee rock group Heart performing in front of the drapes.

After seeing the ceremony on television, Creative Director Shane Nelsen, who assisted Megan with the project, was blown away and wished he had been able to record the show.  With the “magic” of YouTube, though, he was able to find the video above which really captures the beauty of the drapes.

Combining rental drapery with custom-made purchased drapery really gives the best of both worlds for events such as this.  It allows the customer to lower his costs while also creating a custom look.

17 05, 2013

Sew What? Becomes “Linked in”

By |May 17th, 2013|Company, Education, News|1 Comment

Over the last eight years, Sew What? and Rent What? have focused on expanding our online presence.  From a complete redesign of Sew What?’s website in 2005 (along with various upgrades and additions to the website in the years since) and later adding a Rent What? website, to Flickr photostreams and galleries to a YouTube channel, and even to this blog, it has been a longstanding goal for the company to provide user-friendly online content on custom theatrical drapery and the like, in order to inform, educate, and entertain clients and consumers.

Our latest venture is with Linked In.  While Company President Megan Duckett has maintained a personal Linked In account for years, recently we launched a company Linked In page.  We know that people use many different ways to access information via the web, and so we wanted to offer one more channel to those looking for information on theatrical and special event drapery.

If you too are Linked In, check out our new company page.