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?
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.