Call Us Today! 1.310.639.6000

Monthly Archives: December 2015

28 12, 2015

Need Curtain Track? Have drapes? Will Travel!

By |December 28th, 2015|Products|2 Comments

Just as important as having beautiful curtains is having reliable tracks that support and transport them across the stage. And when the drape fits the track and the track fits the drape, you’re in for a show! We’re proud to feature a full complement of superior-quality American-made curtain tracks by ADC, one of the premier manufacturers of theatrical curtain transport systems and the only brand that has won UL approval. From the most basic manual rope-pull track to fully motorized and automated systems, ADC tracks assure a moving performance at the highest standards.


Did you know that Sew What? Inc is a member of the ADC (Automatic Devices Company) Dealer Network? ADC carries the reputation of being the leading, largest and foremost manufacturer of stage tracks and curtain machines in the world. Since 1919 the name “ADC” has been synonymous with quality track products, smooth and dependable operation, and prompt courteous service.


ADC tracks are manufactured specifically for theatrical use. Each product is custom-made and is therefore given individualized attention. Curtain tracks are custom length and are for manual or motorized operation. They can be installed for straight, curved or serpentine operation.

Need Help? Try our helpful Track Selector Guide.pdf or read our basic Guide to Track Installation. You can also download the complete Current ADC Catalog.

Whether it’s curtain tracks, canvas hampers or a new stage drape that you need, Sew What? Inc. offers all clients the same professional theatrical supplies and curtain products, excellent customer service and at reasonable prices. Don’t overlook our fine line of Canvas Travel and Storage Hampers.

We welcome any questions about your own theatrical curtain track and supply needs – just email us or call us at 310-639-6000.

24 12, 2015

Happy Holidays!

By |December 24th, 2015|Company, Rent What Team, Sew What Team|2 Comments

Recently, the wonderfully talented Tom Underhill (who has taken many of our in-house photos) did a photo shoot involving all of the staff here at Sew What? / Rent What? Utilizing a bin of random costume pieces / props that we keep here (yes, once in awhile we do have random “Wear a funny hat” days and the like), he invited each of us to pick a hat or boa or other prop and “ham it up” for the camera. None of us knew at the time what it was for, but we all had a blast doing it (and watching others do it).

Sew What Rent What Holiday Greeting

What did Tom do with all of those photos? He combined them into a single video, which was posted last week on our You Tube channel.  It really is a fun video, and one that shows how all of us here at Sew What? / Rent What? try to have fun every day at work.  It’s not just work here – it’s a family, and I think this video shows that.

So, on this festive day, I would like to take this opportunity to wish all of our readers Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. May you all find the joy in your life that this video portrays!

22 12, 2015

Stage Backdrops, Theatrical Backdrops and Scenery

By |December 22nd, 2015|Education, Products|1 Comment

A standard stage backdrop or theatrical backdrop is typically made from flame retardant muslin, sewn without fullness. It has a strip of very heavy fabric, called webbing, across the top, which is studded with grommets. (Brass eyelets that are embedded into the fabric). Small pieces of tie-line are then fed through the grommets so that the drop can be tied to whatever will support it. Typically a drop will have a pipe pocket sewn onto the bottom to accept a pipe. The weight of the pipe will help to pull the drop flat.


For theatrical backdrops and scenery, images and textures can be added to a hand painted scenic stage backdrop by a scenic artist. Scenically painted photographic backdrops appeared very shortly after the invention of photography in the 1830s. Various scenes were hand painted onto canvas cloth, a process which revolutionized the photography process, creating the illusion of another reality.

While the history of the photographers hand painted backdrops begins shortly after the invention of photography in the 1830s, there are references to other such hand painted murals thousands of years earlier. The Egyptians painted scenes on walls within their pyramids, the Aborigines sketched dreams and experiences throughout caves within the Australian landscape to name just two.

European entertainers in opera and ballet embraced the concept of painted scenes early on and the theatrical backdrop was birthed. These scenes painted onto a canvas backdrop created the illusion of another reality, setting the stage for artists and attendees alike.

Here’s a small portfolio of hand painted stage backdrops:

For those wanting the most modern of techniques and the ultimate in image durability, you might consider having your image digitally printed on a backdrop. Grand format digital printing gives us the opportunity to present “picture perfect” images to our audience. Seamless images of up to 16′ wide can be produced, and a variety of fabrics, both indoor and outdoor, are available. Small and large theatre presentations alike can benefit from the professional images that can be delivered in a printed backdrop.

Jason Ald_7

  • With a wide variety of substrates to choose from, digital printing enables you to magnify photo quality images for crisp and clear backdrops and banners.
  • Try printing on 100% vinyl shade mesh for an outdoor mural that will resist both rain and sunshine.
  • Print to IFR Polyester for custom logo panels on your next pipe and drape exhibit booth.

The options are endless. Backdrops and murals are just the start. Learn more about Sew What? Inc’s in-house custom digital printing services.

You can also create a starry nightscape scene using LED stage backdrops. ShowLED Classic stardrops with bluish/white LEDs turn an otherwise dull black backdrop into an amazingly realistic starlit night sky. This flexible technology is today’s top stardrop choice, offering a lightweight and flexible alternative to older systems which previously utilized breakable pea bulbs or bulky fiber optics.

Stage curtain with stars background

The LEDs are placed in black 15oz or 22oz IFR Encore Velour forming constellations and star fields, divided over 8 DMX channels, allowing the lighting operator to control the effects of the grouped LEDs, including minimum and maximum intensity, chase speed, pattern type and pattern behavior. The controller can also be programmed manually, with the settings saved inside the controller, making the ShowLED Classic Stardrop a plug and play application that can operate with or without DMX control. Controllers can easily be linked together to control different curtains joined together, allowing the creation of a starry backdrop in virtually every size.

Sew What? Inc. creates custom theatrical scenery and fabric stage backdrops for theaters, corporate events and parties, exhibitions, and concert tours. For a look at some of our custom theater and stage backdrop designs, check out our drapery portfolio. As every backdrop is unique, please contact us for pricing.

17 12, 2015

Oregon Symphony Orchestra Wows Holiday Audiences With Metal Mesh Drapes

By |December 17th, 2015|Products, Projects|1 Comment

We just LOVE that our clients are quickly realizing how versatile, dramatic, and memorable our Metal Mesh drapes can be for all kinds of programs and productions, and that they are NOT just for rock shows anymore! Everyone from churches, schools, trade shows, and even orchestral concerts are using them to add some real pizazz to their stage design, and with some colorful stage lighting these unique drapes can help create a truly one-of-a-kind look for their shows time and time again.

Oregon Symphony Orchestra 1

Recently we got to work with one of our regular clients, the Oregon Symphony Orchestra, for the stage design on their yearly Gospel Christmas 2105 weekend of concerts which also included the Pacific Northwest Gospel Choir. Led by the incredibly talented Lighting and Scenic Designer Justin Dunlap, his team wanted some great rental drapes that would be a dramatic addition to the gorgeous and ornate proscenium already there at the concert hall, and stand out from what may be considered “standard holiday décor.”

Oregon Symphony Orchestra 2
Justin chose to work with some of our 28’h x 10’w Metal Mesh drapes, and a couple 4’h x 50’w Metal Mesh borders, all from our Industrial Textures Drapery Collection. He hung two mesh “legs” on each side of the stage about 18 inches apart, and lit them both from up and down stage, as well as in between, to really help make them “POP” to the audience. Layering the borders along the top of the proscenium also helped create some great texture and depth to the overall design. Adding in some whimsical and festive snowflake and holiday-themed gobo lighting, and adding some special holiday touches to the stage design, they were able to produce a wonderfully festive ambiance. And as you can see by Justin’s stunning photos, by simply changing some of the colorful theatrical stage lighting from song to song, they were able to help give their stage an exciting and joyous atmosphere, while still maintaining an enchanting holiday look and feel for their shows.

Oregon Symphony Orchestra 3
Our Metal Mesh Drapes are available for rental OR purchase–if you would like to have a custom shape or size built for your special event or show, we can do that for you, too! Contact our team of creative sales staff to help you figure out which would be best suited for your own specific needs.

15 12, 2015

LED Stardrops Brighten Up the Stage

By |December 15th, 2015|News|1 Comment

Whether you are planning a national music tour or a holiday performance, LED Stardrops are a great way to add sparkle to your stage. Want to evoke the feeling of a “winter wonderland?” A Classic LED Stardrop with its bluish white lights is the perfect choice.

LED stardrop stage backdrop

Classic LED Stardrops provide a stunning backdrop to this dance performance.

What you may not know is that LED Stardrops are also available with lights that change color, meaning that you can get the brightness of an LED Stardrop without being limited to white lights.  A Chameleon LED Stardrop gives you the option to feature a variety of colors, from red to green to blue, with the ability to program color changes in the blink of an eye.

Machine Gun Kelly @ Road Trippin Tour, The Fillmore, Detroit, MI - 07-26-15

The set design for the Machine Gun Kelly tour is highlighted to dramatic effect with a Chameleon LED Stardrop programmed for red lights.

Another great thing about LED Stardrops is that they are available for both rental and purchase.  Need one for a single show or short tour?  Renting is an affordable option.  Want to utilize the drape over a long timeframe, or want a custom size or light placement design?  Purchasing an LED Stardrop is the way to go.

Want to learn more about LED Stardrops and how one might fit into your stage design?  Feel free to give us a call – we’d be happy to discuss!