A number of our posts over the years have explained the nitty-gritty about custom stage curtains.  We have told you about different drapery styles, from Austrians to Teasers to Scrims, and about the various options for drapery finishes, such as top finishes.

But it occurred to me recently that, although we have mentioned masking drapery in many posts over the years, we have never really explained what masking drapery is.  So, for those who are unfamiliar with the term, I thought a post on the subject was long overdue.

What is masking drapery?

Masking Drapery is typically black drapery which, rather than being part of the stage design, is intended to “fade” into the background while also hiding something from the audience.  Masking drapery can also be used to block out some or all light from leaking from offstage areas onto the stage area.

As masking drapery is generally considered utility (rather than decorative) drapery, it is typically sewn flat (unpleated).

What are some different types of masking drapery?

There are many different types of masking drapery, depending on what needs to be masked, or hidden from view.  Masking borders are used to hide overhead truss (such as lighting truss), making the truss disappear into the darkness.  Masking skirts are used on stages and risers (to block the view underneath). Masking drapes and legs are used to block the audience’s view of crew and equipment offstage.  Seat masking drapes can mask off sections of unused seats in a theater or arena. Masking drapery may also be used as a room divider, to section off a larger convention center or event space into smaller areas (such as in the photo below). These are just a few of the ways that masking drapery is used.


What fabrics are commonly used for masking drapery?

For many years, Commando Cloth (sometimes referred to as Duvetyn) was the fabric of choice for masking drapery.  It is still often used as it is an economical choice with reasonable opacity.  However, 15oz Encore Velour is becoming quite popular for masking drapery due to its durability and longevity.  We use Encore Velour exclusively for our masking drapery rental inventory.

So hopefully I’ve helped you understand the basics of masking drapery.  Interested in purchasing or renting masking drapery for your theater or tour?  Give us a call – I’m sure we can help.