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30 03, 2015

Why Do We Tie Our Mylar Rain Curtains?

By |March 30th, 2015|Products|4 Comments

If you have rented our Mylar Rain Curtains, you will know that when you pull them out of the hamper they were tied together every two feet or so. “Why do you do this?” you might ask.  The reason is to make it easier for our customer to install and use the curtains.  Tying the rain curtains in sections ensures that they do not end up a tangled up mess.

Golden Globe photo booth pic--good.png

Mylar Rain Curtains, part of our “Oh So Swanky” rental drapery collection, light beautifully, taking on whatever color you are lighting them with.  They flow in a breeze, creating very unique and dramatic effects.  They work for a wide range of shows and events, from university performances to music tours to major awards shows.

Romp Show

If you need to add a little dazzle to your next production, consider our Mylar Rain Curtains.

Mylar 1--Rocky Mountain Arts


26 03, 2015

When to Print and When to Paint?

By |March 26th, 2015|Digital Printing, Education, Products|3 Comments

I am often asked about custom backdrops for theatres and concerts.  Especially from those who are at the very onset of the design process.  Frequently the question will arise……. Should we print it or paint it?

I DON’T believe that there is a stock or kit answer to this rather complex question.  As there IS a time and a place for both methods.

Here are some tips and tricks to help you decide which way to go………. I have decided to cover all things from an artistic perspective – not from a cost perspective.  As you would imagine, it’s hard to put a ballpark cost to a hand painted piece.  So I am looking at this purely from the design side.

When to print:

  • If you are absolutely set on a photo-realistic finish.
  • If you have high resolution files already available to you
  • If your art is already created as a vector file (fully scaleable)
  • If you need a drop that is extremely bright in colors but also extremely lightweight in physical weight
  • If you want your backdrop to remain supple by printing on a knit or other similar substrates
  • You don’t have much time! – Super fast printing to marketplace is a benefit of the print processes
  • You have other printed drops and you need your pieces to match
  • You are looking for a totally digital experience – you can email the file and receive the drop – no onsite or visual visits needed as “what you provide is what is printed”

Digitally printed backdrop for Jason Aldean tour

When to paint:

  • If you have an inspiration photo – but it is low resolution and you can’t access a high resolution version of it.
  • If you don’t have a budget to have digital art created for printing – then painting is an excellent option
  • You have other hand painted drops and you need your pieces to match
  • When the design lends itself to paint and brushstrokes
  • For soft textural backgrounds and organic designs
  • When you want to have some artistic license during the creation and painting process
  • If you want the ability of touching up or altering the image, or finish, over time
  • If you are looking for a traditional crafted painted drop simply to support the value and skills of the scenic painters in the local marketplace!

Rod Ste_3

Hand-painted backdrop for Rod Stewart

DID YOU KNOW……… you can create a COMBO MIXED MEDIA BACKDROP – with both printing AND painting?

When to make a mixed media backdrop:

  • When you are looking for visual variance in textures of the textiles within the drop………. A dull rich black, a glossy silver, a textural burnt umber.  All three can be created by combining, print, paint and raw textiles by way of layering!
  • When you want a photo realistic image AND a UV or Gold Leaf treatment……… print first then add a decorative paint top coat as applicable.
  • When you are looking for areas to be cut out for a “cut drop” and the detailing is very specific.  Printing is great for a cityscape – then hot knife out some windows for a WOW moment on stage when backlighting is added.

Digitally-printed backdrop with top coat of UV paint

So, as you can see, there really ARE times to choose a printing and times to choose painting – and times to choose both in a single backdrop.  Whichever works best for your situation, a scenic backdrop can make a huge impact on your set or show design.

24 03, 2015

Why You Should Choose A Digitally Printed Soft Good

By |March 24th, 2015|Digital Printing, Products|3 Comments

Digital fabric printing is seen everywhere you look today. Everything from a theater backdrop to a wide-format digital billboard can be seen at concert tours, awards shows, special events, and even church, school and dance productions. But you may be asking yourself, what exactly are digitally-printed backdrops,” and how can you have one specially made for your next big production, concert or special event? Well, it’s a lot easier than you may think— and the end result will be something you can use to add some unforgettable excitement to your show, over and over again!

Aveng_Seven Fold_6

Basically, with the help of a large-scale digital printer—not unlike a huge version of the printer you have at your home or office, but instead of using paper, ours uses all kinds of fabrics and substrates—we are able to print your photos, designs and logos onto a drape, backdrop, banner or even “red carpet”. You just send us your artwork, and our team of sales representatives and our on-site graphics coordinator will work with you to create your own personalized soft goods printed right here in our warehouse. With a variety of substrates to choose from (indoor, outdoor, opaque, translucent, etc.), digital printing enables you to magnify a photo quality image into a stunning theatrical and scenic digital backdrop. This is especially exciting nowadays because any graphics that are designed for printing on paper can now be printed on fabric, too, so the sky’s the limit with what we can create!

There are also many benefits to having a custom-built digital drape made especially for you. You will have remote control of the design and printing process, and we can print directly from easily stored, transmitted, and transported computer files, so it won’t matter if you’re here in Southern California or across the country. This also reduces proofing time from weeks to hours, thus accelerating design and product development for more time-sensitive necessities. And best of all, it permits customization and personalization, so that you can create the vision you desire, no matter what that might be.


We sincerely enjoy getting to help our clients create the results they need to help their event or show be as successful, memorable, and dynamic as possible. Contact a Sew What? Representative today to see how we can help design and construct a custom-built digital drape for your next big special event.

18 03, 2015

Utilizing Drapery for Sound Absorption

By |March 18th, 2015|Education, Fabrics, Products|3 Comments

While many of our customers revel in loud sound (rock music, anyone?), we also have customers interested in sound absorption.  Now, for heavy duty sound absorption, you really need a professional installation of acoustic products.  There are a variety of products, from acoustic panels to foam products to acoustic insulation.  Commercial recording studios, for example, use a variety of these products (and more), along with specialized building techniques to make sure that sound from outside does not enter the studio (and vice versa).  But there are other instances in which a customer simply wants to minimize the sound transfer a little, perhaps deaden sound a little in confined spaces, and one of the ways to do this is through custom stage curtains.

Vic Theatre_4

In some occasions, stage curtains make a lot of sense, both visually and for sound absorption.  For example, a customer may want that “theatrical curtain” appearance but also want to absorb sound.

What are the factors to consider when purchasing custom stage curtains when sound absorption is also needed?  The three main factors are: fabric weight, nap thickness, and curtain fullness (pleating).  The heavier the fabric, the thicker the nap, and the greater amount of fullness (i.e. the greater amount of fabric) that you put in an area, the greater amount of sound that will be absorbed.

For example, I wouldn’t recommend a flat (unpleated) drape in Poly Muslin if the customer is looking for sound absorption.  Poly Muslin has no nap and is relatively lightweight.  It is great for a cyclorama or theatre backdrop, but not for sound absorption.  However, I would recommend a heavy weight velour (such as 25oz Memorable Velour) with 100% fullness.  The combination of the heavy weight and nap of this velour, along with the 100% fullness (with twice as much fabric along the width of the drape than on a flat unpleated drape) allows for greater sound absorbency.  A drape such as this can give you the luxurious look of a theatrical drape along with a pretty good level of sound deadening.

As you can see, stage curtains can be effective not only for achieving that “theatrical look,” but also, to a certain extent, for achieving that “theatrical sound.”  Just make sure you choose the right combination of fabric and fullness to get the curtain that works best for your situation.

16 03, 2015

Our Best Endorsements Come From You!

By |March 16th, 2015|Clients, News, Products|4 Comments

We love receiving all kinds of endorsements — but especially those from our clients who imaginatively used our theatrical rental stage drapes at their special event, concert, or production. Even better is when we get photos and emails describing how the drapes were used, and how beautiful they looked!

One of our favorite clients, Rock The House Entertainment Group, was recently able to use our versatile Metal Mesh Drapes from our Industrial Textures rental drapery collection. At the renowned Renaissance Cleveland Hotel in the heart of Downtown Cleveland, Ohio, they were designing the stage and venue for an international cleaning supply and chemical company’s biannual sales meeting. There were over 500 sales representatives and company leadership in attendance at this huge event, so they knew they needed a stage to really dazzle their audience in order to keep the excitement going from event to event all weekend long.

INDTEX_Rock The House, Mesh #10093

RTH’s Creative Director and Lead Designer Ryan Konikoff did an amazing job of describing exactly what they were looking for, and why they chose Rent What’s Metal Mesh rental backdrops and legs to help create a spectacular and dramatic stage for this special event:

Rock The House needed a backdrop that was versatile for a weekend of events which included an awards ceremony, keynote speakers, break-out learning sessions, and a closing meeting. We wanted something that would not only look great as a unique stand-alone piece, but also be very conducive with lighting effects to create different moods in the room during the different activities. The Metal Mesh provided a polished and finished look which made a great fit with the predominantly male demographic while aesthetically pleasing for the females. The Metal Mesh was also easy to work with, as it is able to be assembled quickly while being budget friendly.”

We couldn’t have said it better ourselves, Ryan!

We are always thrilled to hear back from our clients as to how they were able to use our rental stage drapes for their own unique designs. We’d love to hear in what way that you have been able to use our theatrical stage drapes for your special event or concert, too.

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