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.