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Monthly Archives: February 2015

25 02, 2015

Why Don’t We Recommend Dry Cleaners…

By |February 25th, 2015|Education, Fabrics, Flame Retardancy|2 Comments

Occasionally, we get requests for dry cleaner recommendations to clean drapery.  We typically do not recommend dry cleaners because repeated dry cleaning can damage drapery.  In addition, dry cleaning drapery that has been topically treated will cause the flame retardancy chemical to dissipate over time and repeated cleaning.


One thing you may want to try to remove accumulated dust from drapery with a napped or brushed surface (such as theatrical velour) is to brush the drape with a soft bristled brush, which will remove any accumulated dust and make your drapes look fresher and cleaner.  Read more of our drapery maintenance recommendations on our website.



24 02, 2015

Follow Us!

By |February 24th, 2015|Company, links, News|1 Comment

Follow us if you will!  We have lots of great resources in a variety of social web-spaces…………

Here are some ways to engage in the conversation.


Did you know we are active on Google Plus?  Indeed – it’s a great place to follow us or join our circles.  We love to post showcase photos – and offer tips and tricks for drapery owners and buyers alike.  Google Plus is a fairly new forum for us – just over a year online and active now – and it’s fun to watch our social footprint grow!


LinkedIn is a REALLY active forum for business e-meets and e-greets.  Excited that there are several of us here on staff that are a part of the daily and ongoing conversations. We each have our own personal profiles where we discuss drapery and staging issues – as well as having the company page that has multiple posts weekly covering all manner of production, staging and drapery subjects!


In the mood for some photographic inspiration?  Look no further – there are literally hundreds of amazing photos of artists performing in front of our beautiful softgoods!  Backdrop ideas, swags, velours and velvets – we have everything you might need in photographic format so that you can get inspired.  While you are there – make sure to also visit our gallery section (  )  Here you will find professional photographers shots of these stage shows – it’s really a unique approach and we love that flicker allows us to curate these fantastic photos. SO many talented photographers out there – it’s fun to be a part of sharing their work – along with ours!


Ready to settle into your recliner and just hit the popcorn with some great viewing?  Pull up our YouTube account on your TV interface – and have a grand old time watching over 100 videos of all the drapery scenes and effects that we have sewn over the years.  We even include some instructional videos such as this one which is for the Set Up of Pipe and Base

There’s more in store………… we hope to approach Instagram soon – and would love your feedback regarding where you would like to see us!   Stay tuned……….. and thanks for visiting us on this – our BLOG.  (We have over 600 articles and posts right here! How about that!)

Of course you can always stop by the website………..  You will never again be short of inspiration for your next special event or stage / concert production.


23 02, 2015

Metal Mesh Drapes Electrify At Austin City Limits Live

By |February 23rd, 2015|Clients, Products, Projects|3 Comments

It’s always so exciting to see our drapes being used in “real world settings”, and this instance is especially thrilling for us indeed. Recently, we had the honor of working with the Austin City Limits Live, which needed some special stock set pieces for their show that would be versatile enough to work with all kinds of musical performances. By showcasing artists and bands of numerous types of genres and styles, they needed something that would be both eclectic and electric . Working with their lighting designer Billy Heaslip, we came up with some magnificent and adaptable custom 30’h x 10’w Metal Mesh Drape panels for their stage to help cover their truss towers on stage. We also added Velcro on the sides of the drapes which gave them more functionality by being able to either be used as single panels together or with negative space between them, or simply as one big backdrop.


Metal Mesh drapery is so incredibly dynamic too, by just adding a splash of some colorful theatrical lighting, they can completely change the mood and feel of the stage design from song to song or artist to artist. Metal Mesh drapes are ideal stage pieces for venues featuring a wide-ranging group of artists. Being so lightweight makes them super easy to hang and transport, and their durability makes them perfect for tours and stages both inside and outside. Austin City Limits’ Automated Lighting Programmer Bryan Schrumpt with Go Show Pro LLC did an amazing job showcasing the drapes’ versatility by adding some various dazzling colors to them, which were then beautifully photographed by House Photographer at ACL-LIVE, Scott Moore.


These were custom drapes manufactured by Sew What? for Austin City Limits Live, but for those interested in a rental option, Rent What? Inc. also offers similarly dazzling metal mesh drapes as magnificent rental pieces, too. With lots of sizes and styles to choose from we can offer you some great options for your single event or concert tour. Let us help you find the perfect metal mesh drapes for your next big show!

Photo Credits:
Photographer: Scott Moore – One of the House Photographers for ACL-LIVE
Lighting Design: Billy Heaslip, Entertainment Consultant
Automated Lighting Programmer: Bryan Schrumpf – Go Show Pro LLC
18 02, 2015

Want to Learn More About Kabukis?

By |February 18th, 2015|Digital Printing, Education, Fabrics, Products, Projects|4 Comments

You may well know us for our kabuki “drape drops” and effects – for several years now we have been providing premium kabuki drop drapery for bands and venues alike.  The KABUKI DROP is in fact, one of the more favored of drapery stage effects!

So lets start here: – what is a KABUKI DROP exactly?

It is an effect whereby a drape / backdrop / textile prop is suspended in the air by way of a row of “mechanical clips”.  The KABUKI effect occurs when the mechanical clips – or more correctly solenoid heads are “fired” by way of a controller.  When you hit the GO button on the controller box the mechanical drapery clips / solenoid heads release their grip – and in turn the drape / backdrop / textile prop will magically and INSTANTLY DROP TO THE GROUND.

It creates one of those WOW moments for the audience…

Such as at the start of the Alice In Chains tour a large white silk drape was hung with solenoids between the band and the audience.  The lighting design incorporated some front projection of the bands logo and album art, as well as moving and ambient front light on the drape.  For the audience it was a dynamic giant projection surface of color and visual movement. Once the band were positioned and the show was ready to start – the front lights are killed, the stage lights are engaged and the solenoids are fired. READY, DRAPE – DROP!  In an instant the band is revealed – and the music starts – the white silk flutters to the ground ans is quickly struck by stagehands to the side of the stage.


It is exciting to watch – check out this great Kabuki Drop Compilations Video that we created.  You will see everything from drapes to pin pong balls being dropped from the ceiling.

SO – that was a description of a SINGLE KABUKI.  The term “single” refers to the fact that the drapery element made a “single” move.  Meaning it simply dropped to the floor when the go button on the controller was engaged.

So lets then briefly explain the difference with a DOUBLE KABUKI.

In this scenario, the drape / backdrop / textile prop will in fact make TWO MOVES.  Indeed – we will have two rows of mechanical clips in the air.  Usually one run on the downstage cord of the truss and one run on the upstage cord of the truss.

What happens now is we have the full size drape as well as a short little “diaper” as we call it.  The diaper and drape are held by one run of solenoids.  The second run of solenoids will hold the other edge of the short diaper only.  As such we have created a fabric hammock up in the air that the larger drop is resting in (reefed or nooked). This is great for a mid stage reveal or an intermission effect.  When the drape is in the fully loaded position within the diaper, you won’t see it at all! it is happily hidden up in the rafters! Your audience has no idea it is even there….

FIRE ONE – the first run of solenoids will release – and in doing so the diaper’s edge will be dropped and the drape hidden within will be “unfurled” – falling down into its natural backdrop / drapery position – as such revealing the drape! It happens VERY quickly – and is exciting to watch the drape unfurl and fall into place.

FIRE TWO – the second run of solenoids will now release the drape itself (as in the first example of a single kabuki).  Now you see it – now you don’t!

So in two moves we went from a hidden drape within the rafters, to a revealed drape for scene or lighting or projections effects – to “poof!” – nothing at all.  It falls to the ground and is quietly struck stage side by the crew while the audience’s attention is shifted to the stage reveal!


WE LOVE KABUKIS – and we would love to answer any questions you might have regarding them.  Reach out any time and our educated staff will be very happy to advise you on an appropriate equipment list for your event.

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

17 02, 2015

Chris Greenhaw Not Only Receives but also ROCKS!

By |February 17th, 2015|Company, Rent What Team, Sew What Team|6 Comments

I sat down with our Receiving Coordinator Chris Greenhaw this morning to get to know him and learn about his music career as well as his career at Sew What? Inc.   Growing up in the Midwest, Chris has lived in Missouri and in “Tornado Alley” in Oklahoma. He is no stranger to tornadoes!  He held many jobs before coming to Sew What?, including working as a Social Worker (he has a Bachelors of Science in Psychology with a double minor in Religion and Sociology).   He also worked at Wal-Mart on the night shift. When the company policies were changed, he was told to either cut his hair or quit!  Guess what he did?  Sure wasn’t cut his hair!  Chris does receiving of all goods for Sew What? and Rent What?  He also takes care of the general operations of Rent What? including prepping orders and general upkeep of rental goods.


As you may or may not know, Chris is a drummer and performs in a band called Carved Souls (he is shown second to left in the photo above).  He has been a member of the band for 4 years.  He also writes music and plays the keyboard.   Chris started playing music in Missouri before moving to Los Angeles four years ago.  Music must run in his family because his 2 year old daughter bangs around on several instruments including drum and tambourine and also has a harmonica.   He also has a 3 month old son who I imagine is going to be musically inclined.

When I asked Chris how he would describe his music, he replied: “a dark version of Depeche Mode, dark wave synth pop” which he described as “electronic dance melodic note tone.”  You can get a sampling of his music here: and here.

When I asked what type of music he listens to, he said almost anything but not much Country.  Favorite genres are hip hop and industrial music.  When asked who his favorite musician was, he couldn’t really answer because he has so many favorites, but he did say he really likes IAMX.  You can listen to their music here:

If anyone would like to check out Carved Souls, they are performing at Avalon Hollywood on April 5th which is located at 1735 Vine Street, Hollywood, CA 90028.  There is also a Peru tour in the talks, and a show is also scheduled in Mexico in May.  In the past they have performed at various locations in Mexico as well as in Las Vegas, Memphis, Nashville, Denver, Seattle and San Francisco, just to name a few.

You can listen to Carved Souls on Pandora Radio.  You can follow them on Twitter here, and you can also follow them on Facebook.