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Monthly Archives: February 2014

26 02, 2014

Concert Stage Designers – What Inspires You? How Do You Translate Your Vision to the Stage?

By |February 26th, 2014|Clients, Question of the Week|0 Comments

When you begin working on a new design for a production, where do you start? Does your initial design theme or idea originate from the artist, or from you, or as collaboration between you, the artist, and others involved in the production? Do you draw inspiration from other sources such as literature, pop culture, fine art, architecture, or movies?

RR_DWTS Vegas Red Sup

And once you have chosen the design theme or direction, in what ways do you translate that design vision to a physical set, in terms of soft goods, hard sets, lighting, video, and other set elements?

Many designers find that looking at videos or photographs of other productions can help them identify ways in which they can translate their own vision to the physical set. Let’s say that the designer wants a romantic feeling in shades of red, with an emphasis on soft curves rather than hard edges.

Looking at photographs or watching videos showing productions in which the set design incorporated red swags, Austrian drapes, and soft flowing legs, for example, might give the designer the opportunity to imagine how similar drapes might work for his or her own design.

What is your design process? Do you find inspiration by viewing the work of your fellow designers? We’d love to hear from you in the Comments section below.

25 02, 2014

Videos Now Available On the Rent What? Website

By |February 25th, 2014|Company, News|1 Comment

We are continuously looking for ways to improve our company websites, to make them more user-friendly, informational, and inspirational. Over the years, we have made many changes and improvements, but I have to say, the latest improvement to the Rent What? website is one of the most exciting – video!


Videos are now available on each of our Drapery Collections pages.  In addition to scrolling through a selection of still images on the page, the viewer also has the option to click on the video player to view a short video highlighting the drapery collection.  We hope that this addition provides our website visitors with an even more informative and inspirational experience when visiting our site.


To view the videos, visit our website here and click on any of the Drapery Collections pages.

24 02, 2014

Consider an Icicle Drape as a Backdrop to Touring Dance Performances

By |February 24th, 2014|Products, Projects|1 Comment

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.
18 02, 2014

Wondering About Stage Drapery Maintenance and Cleaning?

By |February 18th, 2014|Education|0 Comments

Want to keep your stage drapery looking great, but unsure about the best way to maintain your theatrical drapery? Are your drapes dirty or dingy, but you are confused about whether you should launder them or have them dry cleaned?



The first step to keeping your stage drapery in show-worthy condition is to properly maintain them on a regular basis. Drapes that remain hanging for long periods of time (such as Grand Drapes) will often build up a layer of surface dust, causing them to appear dingy (and possibly affecting the flame retardancy of the fabric). Minor holes and tears, if not fixed promptly, can become larger and more problematic. Recognizing and addressing these issues early will ensure that your drapes look great.

Storing drapes properly will also extend the life of the drapes. Never store drapery in plastic bags or containers, as plastic traps moisture and can cause mold or mildew to appear on your drapery. Instead, store your drapery in a dry well-ventilated area, in a canvas storage hamper or non-woven polyester drapery storage bag.


If your drapery needs to be cleaned, the type of fabric and the type of flame retardancy will affect whether your drape can be laundered or dry-cleaned. Topically treated fabrics (such as Cotton Velours and some polyesters) must be dry-cleaned in order to preserve the topical flame retardant finish. Permanently flame retardant fabrics (such as many polyesters) can be laundered. For all fabrics, spot cleaning is sometimes an option, but should be considered as a last resort, as it may result in a noticeable difference between the area that was spot-cleaned and the remainder of the drape.

For more detailed information on drapery cleaning and maintenance, visit our “Cleaning and Maintenance” page on our website. The good thing is, with proper maintenance, you can keep your stage drapery looking beautiful for years to come.

17 02, 2014

Need Help Deciding on Custom Drapery for your Theatre?

By |February 17th, 2014|Education, Fabrics, Products|0 Comments

Attention Theatre and Stage Designers!! Have you always wanted to have custom designed drapes created for your theatre, but have no idea where to even begin the process of deciding what will work best for your space? How can you possibly figure it all out when there are so many aspects to think about when considering what you would like in new custom drapery, including style, dimensions, fabric, color, pleating, flame retardancy, finishes, and whether or not it needs to be lined?


This Austrian Drape, manufactured for Gridworks for the Princess Cruise Lines ship Ruby Princess, is an example of one option for a Grand Drape.

Sew What? has created an easy-to-understand Guide to Stage Drapery to help you learn more about your options for custom stage drapery. Click here to read more about where to start the process, and before you know it you can have your very own grand drape, backdrops, scrims, panels, swags, or anything else you can imagine custom-made to fit your exact needs and your own unique vision.  


A wide range of fabric styles and colors are available for custom stage curtains, with different fabrics recommended for different styles of curtains.  Theatrical velour, available in a wide range of colors as shown in this photo, is a frequently used choice for Bi-Parting Traveling Grand Drapes.