You may not realize it, but there is a wide range of flame retardant fabrics available to meet a variety of needs. Whether you are looking for a Grand Drape for a theatre, specialty drape for a special event, or a backdrop for a music tour, there is a fabric out there for you.  Today, I thought I’d tell you a little bit about the different categories of theatrical and special event fabrics.

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Satin is a popular option for Austrian Curtains.  In this photo, a Silver Satin Austrian is transformed through stage lighting.

Velvets / Velours are used primarily for theatrical drapery, especially Grand Drapes.  Certain velours (especially Encore Velour) are also used for masking drapery.

Duvetyne / Commando Cloth. These brushed finish fabrics are generally used for black economy masking drapery and stage skirting.   Colored Commando Cloth is also used for economy theatrical and exhibit drapery.

Scenic FabricsThese woven fabrics are typically used for backdrops and cycloramas.  Scenic fabrics also work well for projection surfaces.

Scrim, Leno and BobbinetteThese net-like fabrics are used in conjunction with specialty stage lighting for projection and special effects.

Sheers, Satins and Silks.  These lightweight, shimmery fabrics are frequently used for special event drapery as well as for Austrian Drapes, Swags and other specialty drapery for music tours.

Stretch Fabrics are often made into shapes such as triangles and stars, which are then stretched to a taut surface, suitable for projection or lighting.  Tension Fabric Shapes are a favorite stage design choice for Houses of Worship.

Masking, Blackout and Lining. These opaque fabrics can mask off areas of the stage from sight, as well as block out some or all light.  Depending on the level of opacity needed, as well as the style of drapery chosen, these may be used on their own or as a lining to a different fabric.

Event and Display Fabrics are lightweight fabrics most often used as exhibit booth drapery. Most are permanently flame retardant and easy care.

Printable Fabrics are used to create digitally printed scenic backdrops via a grand format digital printer.  Fabric, mesh and vinyl printable fabrics are available, with fabric used most frequently indoors and mesh and vinyl used most frequently for outdoor shows.

Outdoor Fabrics are durable coated polyesters and PVC products (vinyl and mesh) which stand up well to the elements, allowing for use at outdoor shows.

For a downloadable whitepaper answering questions on fabric choice, see our whitepaper, “Making the Best Fabric Choice for Stage Draperies