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: http://www.sewwhatinc.com/st_back_scenic_paint.php

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.

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  • 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 thea