Call Us Today! 1.310.639.6000

Monthly Archives: March 2016

30 03, 2016

Using Pinterest to Entertain and Inspire

By |March 30th, 2016|Company, links|2 Comments

Many know the saying “a picture paints a thousand words.” Imagine this, you attend a rock concert. Along with hundreds of other concert-goers, you capture photos on your phone and upload them to the Internet. Where do these photos appear? Well, no doubt they will appear on more than one social media account.  One of the most fun sites is Pinterest, a company that allows users to share photos from the Internet, both their own and those of others. So at the click of a button, you have the world at your mouse.

Pinterest allows people to share these moments that are captured or discovered. On the Sew What/Rent What Pinterest account, we enjoy “pinning” a range of photos that interest and excite us, some taken by us, some provided to us by our customers, and some discovered on the Internet. We love the opportunity to share our enthusiasm for beautiful custom stage curtains while also inspiring those who discover our boards on Pinterest.

To highlight one of our pins, this collage photo shows several custom stage drapes (produced by Sew What? Inc.) that operate as kabuki drapes. This means that the drapes start out hanging from truss via solenoids (also shown in this collage), and then when the solenoids are released, the backdrops drop to the floor.


Stage curtains don’t just hide the show from the audience until the show begins, but they can also enhance and highlight the action on stage during the show. We discovered this photo on the Wynn Las Vegas webpage promoting “ShowStoppers,” their spectacular presentation of music and dance. The cool tones of the drapery are gorgeous, and we love how the drapery swags and other scenic elements provide an amazing backdrop to the dancers in their beautiful costumes.


These are just a couple of pins on our account. We have created eight different boards, focusing on topics ranging from Stage Drape Descriptions and Stage Design to Special Event Design Ideas, and much more, so there is sure to be something that will inspire you. Why not visit us on Pinterest next time you are surfing the Internet?

28 03, 2016

A New Fabric Option for Sniffer Drapes

By |March 28th, 2016|Education, Fabrics, News, Products|3 Comments

Unique new video just uploaded to You Tube – if you are interested in Sniffer Drapes or Kabuki Drops then this will be a great video for you to view..

What makes this video amazing? ………… is that this sniffer drape for Rascal Flatts is sewn from RIP STOP and not silk.

Sniffer is 35′ h x 35′ w

Kabuki legs are 35′ h x 10′ w


We originally made the set in the more traditional “go to textile,” which is the industry standard light weight wide Polyester Silk.  The client tore it after three shows and came back to us looking for a more durable road friendly solution.  It is a fact – I was extremely hesitant to make it in Rip Stop – even going so far as to tell them that I did not think it would work.  Historically, in the old days the Rip Stop was heavy and sticky with FR treatment and would not drag well into the old school sniffer tube.

This is a modern, efficient and extremely fast motorized sniffer system by LA / Las Vegas automation supplier Show Group Production Services.

The Rip Stop works AMAZINGLY WELL.  We are excited to now offer Rip Stop as a viable sniffer textile solution for our arena clients who need durability.

The take away is this……….  you CAN do an amazing sniffer drape in Rip Stop.  So long as it is going to be used on one of the new school motorized sniffer systems – it will work and work well and offer far better durability than a silk cloth will.  There will of course be a time and a place and a design where the silk will be a better fit ………. But either way, we would love to be your go to resource for your sniffer and kabuki drapery for the touring industry.

Our sincere thanks go out to Jay Schwartz of Rascal Flatts for providing us with this terrific footage to share with others who might be interested in this effective and unique stage reveal effect.

Coincidentally, this is the same system as the Foo Fighters used recently for their world tour.  See the Foo Fighters “silk” sniffer video in action……..

24 03, 2016

This Blog is 7 Years Old!

By |March 24th, 2016|Education, Fabrics, links, News, Products, Projects|3 Comments

It is hard to believe, but seven years ago today, on March 24, 2009, this blog went live with its first post! In those seven years, we have published nearly 750 posts on a wide range of topics related to custom stage curtains and rental stage drapes.  With several regular contributors plus more occasional contributors throughout those seven years, our readers have had the opportunity to experience different perspectives.

We have tried to educate on topics such as theatrical fabrics, stage effects, flame retardancy, and much more. We have also tried to inspire you by showcasing various projects that we have been involved with and offering ideas on how our readers can utilize stage drapery (whether a purchased custom stage drape or one of our many rental stage curtains) to achieve their design visions.


On that note, I’d like to highlight some of my favorite blog posts from the last seven years.  If you have been a regular reader throughout the years, then maybe you’ll recognize one or more of these posts and enjoy a second read.  If you are new to the blog, then we hope you will enjoy discovering these posts from the past.

2009: Interested in Theatre Lighting?

This blog post offers links to several books and websites focused on stage lighting, with an emphasis on connecting lighting novices to helpful resources. Rediscovering this post reminded me that I still want to order one of those books myself, to increase my knowledge of stage lighting!

2010: Upstage…Downstage…Where am I?

Most people (other than experienced theatre folks) have no idea what “upstage” or “downstage” means on a stage.  This post (with handy diagram) makes it easy to understand the different areas of a stage.

2011: Austrian Drapery Series (Part 1)

…and Part 2, and Part 3

Austrian drapes are so gorgeous that we can’t help but post on them any chance we can, which made it difficult to choose a favorite Austrian curtain blog post. However, this post won as, not only is this drape beautiful (see above!), but the post provides some good information on how these curtains are made.

2012: Great Gag with Kabuki Drop

I’m not going to spoil the surprise, but trust me, you want to check out this post featuring one of the most novel and fun uses of kabuki solenoids that I’ve ever seen!

2013: Standard Drape Sizes

We get a fair number of inquiries from people who want a quote for custom stage curtains but have no idea of the size needed.  This is a terrific post that gives the reader a rough idea of the curtain size needed based on the on the type of venue.  It is also helpful for those in the planning stages for a complete drapery package, as it describes the number and types of drapes typically needed for different types of venues.

2014: Fabric Options for Traditional Bi-Parting Grand Drapes

This is another great post for novices who are starting the process of purchasing new custom stage drapery.  It describes several different fabric options for those looking for a traditional “velvety” look.

2015: When to Print and When to Paint

Back in the day, the only available scenic backdrops were painted.  Today, with grand format digital printing, you have a choice – printed or painted (or even a combination of the two). This extremely useful blog post breaks down when printed is better, when painted is better, and when you should consider a combo.

So there it is, a tiny selection of our posts over the last 7 years.  If you like them, subscribe to our feed to get new posts by email!

22 03, 2016

Favorite Video Resources

By |March 22nd, 2016|links, News, Products|1 Comment

Of course YouTube is like a time warp.  Once you enter, seemingly hours can pass while clicking around and exploring the myriad of videos – both useful and not – that seem to pop up in the watch next feed.  So……. It’s pretty easy to get distracted!

Here are a couple of really useful VIDEO RESOURCES that relate to our custom sewn drapery and stage backdrops.



A sniffer (aka snifter) kabuki drape effect is produced when a large drapery element is “magically” pulled up and disappears above the stage. This effect can be produced with ropes and pulleys, or more modern methodologies including fast speed motors. It is a combination effect – the drapes must be “kabukied” first from solenoids before they can be extracted up into the grid.

Your exclusive Sniffer effect team:;

View the video here:

Need some help with Pipe and Drape assembly?

It’s so simple! Pipe and drape packages are extremely versatile and can be used for a variety of events. Exhibits and conventions make use of these systems for portable custom trade show displays. Churches and other small organizations often utilize pipe and drape to create hallways and barriers. Or pipe and drape can add that finishing touch of flare around a live performance.

They can help your trade show exhibits and drapes make a powerful first impression. By selecting appropriate drapery panels, you can create a custom partition system that will either blend tastefully with your existing decor or give your event a colorful and competitive edge.

Watch our tutorial of Custom Pipe and Drape Setup and Uses by Sew What? Inc and Rent What? Inc.

Curious how our Portable Pop Up Dressing Rooms assemble?

Want to see if one of these on site changing spaces is right for your event?  You are going to love the convenience of our portable pop up rooms. Use them to create tech spaces, or as dressing rooms. Gang them together to make a green room. They are quick and easy to set up and travel conveniently in a roadworthy wheeled case.

Famous Friends who have rented our portable dressing rooms: We’ve dressed the best – Usher, Trey Songz, Jonas Brothers, AR Rahman, Foreigner and many many more artists and bands!  Here is a fun and fast look at the assembly process:  Easy as 1-2-3

17 03, 2016

Add Drama to Your Event with Tension Fabric Shapes

By |March 17th, 2016|Products|1 Comment

What are tension fabric shapes?  Also known as Tension Fabric Structures, they are geometric shapes (triangles, squares, rectangles, stars, etc.) made from a stretch fabric such as Cambio!

The most simple tension fabric shapes are two-dimensional and frameless.  With these stretch shapes (we offer a number of stock shapes), the shapes are hemmed on all sides, with reinforced grommets placed at the corners or points.  The shape is then displayed by hanging from a batten or truss and then tensioning the sides (by attaching to the side of the proscenium or a moveable upright) and/or bottom (by attaching to sandbags or directly to the stage floor or the back of the stage deck), often with clear monofilament (fishing line).  Below is a great example of frameless tension fabric shapes being used as decor at a wedding reception designed by Details Ottawa – quite dramatic, don’t you think?

Bridal Table

In addition to hanging tension fabric shapes, tension fabric shapes are also made by combining stretch fabric with metal frames in either two-dimensional or three-dimensional configurations.  This creates a stretch shape that can be easily moved to a variety of locations onstage without having to worry about attaching the piece to the stage itself.  Two- and three-dimensional metal shapes are manufactured by a company specializing in metalwork.  Sew What? can then make custom stretch pieces to fit the frames.   The fabric shapes are attached to the frames using Velcro™ (loop sewn to the perimeter of the shapes, and then adhesive hook attached to the frame).  With targeted lighting, the customer is able to create a variety of interesting looks to provide a backdrop to the show.