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Monthly Archives: May 2015

28 05, 2015

A Photo Speaks Louder Than Words

By |May 28th, 2015|links, Products, Projects|2 Comments

Many a time I have been on the phone with a client discussing fabrics, colors, styling and design ideas for their touring drape and stage backdrops.  In general, while we all feel that we hear one another and visualize the “same” things – the fact is that we rarely do. Many a bar napkin sketch has been misinterpreted.  Worse yet a color described as “blue on the green side” could mean about anything!

In the moment when we are talking about our projects I usually find that we are each influenced by what we have seen before. By memories of colors we grew up with, by album covers we have seen when loading our CD player – by the hue of the flowers in our front garden that we walked past in the morning.

This in and of itself can create difficulties in correctly translating a client request into a textile reality.

Enter: Photographic Gallery Collection Of 18 Years.

It is just so much easier for both parties to communicate thru images! It gives a leveling moment – where we can both agree on “what is zero” per se – and then move from there in a swaggier, brighter, softer, more textural direction. In this day and age with near instant email communications, and most of us having web connectivity at (virtually) all times……….. it is simpler now to discuss a project while seeing ideas and color palettes TOGETHER by way of photographic examples.

The influences then become aligned between all parties.  And after 18 years of collecting photos of the backdrops that we have created I find that we have an example of just about every scenario.  Better yet, it is of every scenario and often “under the influence of stage lighting conditions.”

Here is a link to our flicker photo galleries –

I love our flickr galleries – and think it is a brilliant idea by the yahoo folk – that you can curate a gallery. So many professional photos – so little time!  And each of them making our drapery and the artist look amazing! Hope you enjoy the galleries we have put together.

More yet – in our portfolio pages on our website:

Or do you like to see it all “in action” with the music too?  Well we can also do that – as we have such a broad inventory of videos of our products in concert on You Tube:

Thanks for taking the time to explore with us.  And don’t hesitate to reach out to talk thru the many drapery designs that we have created over the years.  It’s our pleasure to showcase our work and share with you best practices and tips and tricks!



26 05, 2015

Sharkstooth Scrim Helps Set The Stage For 2015 Coachella

By |May 26th, 2015|Clients, Company, Products, Projects|0 Comments

We love having our drapes utilized at productions, conventions, and concerts of all kinds—but rock tours definitely hold a special place in our hearts since that’s where it all began. This year was no different, with the start to summer tours beginning with a LOUD BANG with this year’s Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival this past April. Having several outdoor stages playing bands and artists simultaneously in the huge concert grounds in Indio, California, can be challenging for the most experienced tour designer, and adding the fact that the stages are all different sizes and in several locations on site made it even more tricky.

Chet Faker 1 (2)

However, this wasn’t an issue for our amazing clients Felix Lighting, who had the exciting ability to work with extremely talented rising artist Chet Faker on one of the main stages. But the issue that they faced was that his song set was scheduled during the brightness of full daylight in the middle of the afternoon, and it wasn’t in a traditional stage setting with a stage enclave or walls or anything sort of structured setting. They wanted to keep the excitement and drama of an outdoor summer concert stage, but still create a space for the artist to help set him apart from the bright background of the Low Desert and all of the sunshine and palm trees that it brings. They decided to hang one of our out-of-the-hamper rental 25’h x 45’w Black Sharkstooth Scrim Backdrops behind the artist and the band, so that it would give a little bit of “stage dimension” to his background, but still allow for visibility when wanted, and also be stable in case it became breezy at all. Adding a few rows of dynamic lighting also offered some more texture to the stage too, giving the perfect look for an outdoor summer concert.

Scrims are a great option for helping create a new look for each show, because depending on how they are lit (or not lit), they can obscure object and staging in the background, or accentuate parts of the stage design that help make the set really POP. They are lightweight, easy to hang, travel easily, and are a lighting designer’s dream come true. Helping our clients find the perfect drapes for their special events is our specialty—let us help you find the perfect drapes for your show, too!

20 05, 2015


By |May 20th, 2015|Company, links, News|3 Comments

As we celebrate our 660th blog post on the Sew What? / Rent What? blog, we also have another milestone to celebrate……… we just launched our new easier to read MOBILE FRIENDLY blog – with news, articles and archives all in a mobile friendly PDA compatible format.

It has been rather an undertaking and an exploratory marketing adventure that we began late last year. With Google and other search engines now putting so much ranking weight on mobile-friendly sites, we knew our online presence needed to be as well.  As our websites and the blog were built “pre” mobile, the decision to shift just one chapter of our online presence was a difficult one to make.  In a big corporation with somewhat unlimited resources (both staff and money), it might make more sense to redesign everything – the websites, the blog, all the social media to get it all together into a single platform.  But after looking at the re-design fees and the timeframe to actually achieve something like this we had to make a more “partial” move.

SO – it was decided that it would be THE Blog.

First – to find a WordPress template that we liked – one that offered the functionality and the looks that we needed. Eager to stay away from any “beta” programming, we selected a tried and true template from WordPress.

Our programming guru Beth Nikodem of Orange County Web Design along with our Search Engine expert Cindy McMahan of Search Marketing Pros got together, and brought to us some suggestions for the new blog site, including some ways to improve moving forward with our content, and then they embarked upon the task of pulling across all the content from the old site into the new and improved site.

We could not be more pleased!  It is easy to read, is already showing ranking improvements with Google and all in all brings us one step closer to the social space where so many of our clients reside.

It is a BIG WORLD – and quite the “wide web” indeed!    Please take a moment to visit our updated and upgraded blog, and share your feedback.  We would love to hear from you!




18 05, 2015

Little Big Town Rocks Big Backdrops

By |May 18th, 2015|Clients, Digital Printing, Projects|2 Comments

Little Big Town is a crowd favorite – and also a client favorite over here at Sew What? Inc.  We are so thankful and honored to have been selected to create unique, branded and seriously rocking backdrops for this popular touring band.

Known for their creative 4 part vocal harmonies, LBT are an American country music group, who have had the same 4 band members since the late 1990’s (actually this is quite a feat!). Reminds us in some ways of ourselves – we have been at it a long time with a tight team – and like LBT we feel that we have found a way to really “do what we do” well.  If you haven’t listened to them, please check into their recordings – or better yet grab tix for their current “Pain Killer Tour“.

Enjoy this showcase with just a few of the various backdrops we have created for Little Big Town under their production team’s guidance over the last few years. ……. I have included a little about each piece and the materials selected.

In this boldly Americana backdrop for Little Big Town, the vintage flag design was designed and made paint-ready by John Rios of John Rios Designs. What makes this piece unique beyond what’s seen under traditional lighting is that the band’s name was embedded within the drop with invisible Ultra Violet paint.  So – when the lights were killed and the UV lights engaged, the bands name glowed in all its glory for the audience to see.  We love to see these dynamic “lights out” effects that utilize our textiles!  The hand painted UV text effect was applied after the drop was sewn and painted with the traditional paints. Scenic artists typically prefer cotton substrates for painting onto – and they are almost always best for UV effects, we find, as the UV paints tent to take to them more effectively than they do onto a polyester – so keep that in mind if you are thinking that a topical UV treatment might be something you have in mind for a drop of your own.

Lit Big Twn_Flag
The glowing doves in this backdrop are a topical UV effect – that was applied to a digitally printed 2 color design – created by Raj Kapoor and his team. This was a heavy cotton canvas that we selected for our in house digital printing – and the drop was then hand treated with both a white UV paint over the doves as well as a UV blocker in other areas to add to the variance between the glowing areas and those that dropped out of the scene when lit appropriately.  Matching printed and custom fit stage skirting brought the entire design into reality for a total look.

Lit Big Twn_Doves

In fact, this very unique backdrop was even featured in the Business Unusual Culture section of Entrepreneur Magazine.  Quite a treat – for both us and LBT!

Lit Big Twn_Entrepreneur

Check out the blend (and amazing visual depth created) when traditional stage drapery is combined with digitally printed “forced perspective” in this “tornado” inspired design by Raj Kapoor and his design team.  The drapery elements hung mid stage were translucent poly silks, which gave both front and back lighting opportunity to the designers, and the digitally printed backdrop which hung just feet from the drapery had a forced perspective built into the art. The effect is that the stage is much deeper that it actually was, and the audience was really drawn into the performance space with the dramatic lighting and the central visual focal point.

Lit Big Twn_Perspective

Well – there are more awesome LBT backdrops that I wanted to share – but I will stop right here – and perhaps share a Part Two some time soon.

13 05, 2015

Check Out Our New Flickr Galleries!

By |May 13th, 2015|Company, links, News, Products|3 Comments

As regular readers know, we frequently manufacture beautiful custom stage curtains and rent specialty stage drapery to the music touring industry.  Many times, we are lucky enough to receive photos from our customers of the end result – the drapery on stage during a concert.  Whenever possible (and with our client’s permission, of course), we share those photos online on our website, our Flickr Albums, or this blog.

flickr galleries

Other times, though, we don’t have photos of our work, other than those we have taken here in our sewing shop during the manufacturing and quality control process – and while such “in process” photos can be interesting, they aren’t quite the same as seeing the drapery in all its glory behind a world-renowned singer or band.

That is why we love to search through Flickr to find photos from various photographers (both professional and amateurs) which showcase our custom band backdrops and stage drapes in concert.  When we do, we of course want to share them – and so over time we have created Flickr Galleries featuring these photos. If you aren’t familiar with Flickr Galleries – the galleries allow you to highlight photos discovered in the photo streams of other Flickr accounts.

Recently, we added several new Flickr Galleries featuring our drapery, showcasing photos taken during the concerts of Sixx: AM, Passion Pit, and Tedeschi Trucks Band. Some of the drapery shown in the photos on this gallery include our Black Kaos specialty rental drape (part of our Industrial Textures drapery collection) and two custom digitally printed band backdrops.  So if you have a few minutes to browse, head on over to Flickr and check out the new galleries (and if this is your first time to our Flickr page and you have a little more time, we also have 54 more galleries and 9 albums for you to enjoy).