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Monthly Archives: June 2016

29 06, 2016

Classic LED Stardrop Drape Adds Magic To School Production

By |June 29th, 2016|Clients, Products, Projects|3 Comments

Sometimes adding something very simple, yet very memorable, to your stage design can make all the difference in the world with the overall success of the play, concert, or special event. Recently we got to work with Musical Director and Producer Krisie Holmes and the creative folks at Jonesboro High School in Arkansas, by providing them with one of our 30’ x 15’ Classic LED Stardrop rental drapes. Even though their school is located halfway across the country, we were able to provide them with this gorgeous drape for their Arts Department Spring Musical of the stage production of Cinderella, and yet still remain under their budget. These drapes are quite versatile, as you can easily control the intensity and speed of flickering of the “twinkly starlights,” all on a velvety rich black velour backdrop. Plus the drape can be used as either 30’h x 15′ w or 15′ h x 30’w, as these drapes have ties along both sides, which helps with designing in smaller venues, too.

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Krisie wanted a drape to help their “transformation scene” in the production (where Cinderella gets transformed by her fairy godmother from being in old rags to being in a glittery ball gown) to really POP, and a Classic LED drape was the ideal backdrop for the fine acting and staging of almost 50 HS choir students, band students, and drama students. This production was the love child of several local and national costume designers, choreographers, and sound, lighting and technical directors, too, so they really wanted the perfect drape for this scene. Photographed beautifully by Dr. Dee Dee Hudson, we loved how brilliantly the LED drape was utilized in the scene in the play that wanted to be mystical, ethereal, and of course, magical!

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Available for both rental and purchase, twinkly Classic LED Stardrop drapes are the PERFECT way to go when you want to create a breathtaking starry sky effect, right in the comfort of your indoor venue. We were thrilled that Jonesboro High School contacted us to help them find the perfect drape for their special production, and we’d love to help YOU find the perfect drape for your special event or production, too!

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21 06, 2016

Are You Linked In? So Are We…

By |June 21st, 2016|Clients, Digital Printing, News, Products|1 Comment

Have you joined us on LinkedIn yet?  We keep an active presence on our company page with news, ideas and links for stage and set designers and lots of valuable production ideas for tour and project managers.  Plus you get to meet some of the interesting people that we work with!

In a recent update, we introduced Julio Pena and the kids at Thrive! Southern New Hampshire’s best Boxing & Martial Arts Gym. Sew What? Inc was thrilled to supply logo brand banners for Coach Julio Peña, who is a professional boxing trainer with 25 years experience training amateur and professional boxers. He has worked with Olympians, and has trained National Champions and Open Class Golden Glove Champions. Learn more about the programs that are offered by visiting Thrive online at

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As seen on LinkedIn – it has been a while since we shared this gorgeous CRIMSON CABARET rental drapery set from our TIMELESS and TRADITIONAL Drapery Collection. A 30′ h x 60′ w Bi-parting Main Stage Grand Drape and matching Valance. Straight “out of the hamper” GORGEOUS from Rent What? Inc. Check out this set and more at

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Don’t forget that you can view full color photos of our gorgeous SILVER SATIN DRAPERY RENTAL COLLECTION by visiting us online…….. All these spectacular and romantic drapery looks are ready to hang “right out of the hamper.” Fast and friendly service at Rent What? Inc.

13 06, 2016

Creating a Mixed Media Backdrop for Garbage

By |June 13th, 2016|Digital Printing, Products|1 Comment

Back in March, 2016 we were contacted by the lighting designer for alternative rock band Garbage.  They were ramping up for their 2016 tour and were looking to get a new custom backdrop made.  They had some artwork already designed and were looking for some ideas on how to translate their ideas and artwork into a unique fabric backdrop.

We arranged a conference call and discussed the idea of a Mixed Media Backdrop where the artwork (images of leopards and the band’s logo) would be digitally printed onto Heavy Knit in black and white, and then a fuchsia sequined fabric would be used to fill in the negative space around the artwork. To assist the client to visualize the end result, a small sample (see below) was made and sent to the client for approval.


The client liked the sample but wanted to come to the shop to discuss some other options such as fabric color.  After seeing different fabric swatches, a decision was made to use the same fuchsia fabric shown on the sample.  The job went into production, the panthers were printed onto the Heavy Knit, and the fuchsia drape was made.

The next step was to lay the digital print onto the floor and lay the fuchsia drape on top of it, and a team of sewers pinned around the panthers and logo in preparation for sewing.  From there, the drape was moved to the sewing area, and the layers of fabric were sewn together where pinned.  The backdrop was then moved back to the floor, where the sewers then cut away the fuchsia fabric, revealing the printed leopards and band logo.  Finally, top, bottom and side finishes were added to complete the finished product.

The new backdrop made its debut on May 24th in Reims, France, as shown in the You Tube video below.  It’s always exciting to see the backdrops in action after all of the hard work that goes into them!

7 06, 2016

Interested in a unique specialty grand drape for your event or venue?…

By |June 7th, 2016|Education, Products|1 Comment

…Consider purchasing, or renting, a BRAILLE / AUSTRIAN style drape with a lift system.

The front curtain in a no-loft stage is sometimes rigged as a Brail curtain to achieve a faster and more-desirable lifting action than the slower motion of a traveller curtain. In this case the amount of lift on each draw line is equal, eliminating the need for the abnormal fullness of a contour curtain. When in its lowered/closed position, a braille curtain will simply hang with the look of a regular drape with fullness. The lift lines will be strategically and evenly placed on the back side of the drape on the seams. It will oftentimes be lined for durability and for added opacity.

To add a decorative quality, the curtain may have horizontal fullness added by gathering material on the vertical seams, thereby producing a series of soft swags. Best known as an Austrian curtain. An Austrian curtain will have both horizontal and vertical fullness. The lift lines will be strategically and evenly placed on the back side of the drape on the seams. It will oftentimes be lined for durability and for added opacity.


Typical Fabric Choices for a brail or Austrian drape include Encore Velour, Sparkle Satin and Iridescent Silky Charmeuse.

Track Recommendations for this type of application will vary depending on the number of lift lines. A motorized system is necessary for this type of drape and will require installation space and electrical elements to be positioned by a licensed contractor. We do offer a single drum motor lift system that is a part of the Rent What? rental inventory.  For other motion control options, you can contact your local motion control suppliers, such as All Access Staging and Productions, or Show Group Production Services.


Construction notes for consideration when getting a quote for an Austrian / Braille drape:

  • Typical vertical fabric fullness is 100% (that means a 10-foot-tall finished height should start with a 20 foot cut of fabric, so bear in mind that cost can be adjusted by changing the amount of vertical fullness.  We recommend not less than 50% vertical fullness and not more than 100% vertical fullness for the best look and most practical finished product.
  • Horizontal fullness will vary. Not less than 25% and not greater than 50%. The less horizontal fullness the shorter the “smiles” or swags in the drapes. The greater the horizontal fullness the longer or deeper the swags.
  • An Austrian style drape has swags at the bottom where it touches the stage……. Requiring that a short flat straight skirt be sewn to the back side bottom of the drape allowing for a clean seal to block light where the drape hits the floor when then drape is trimmed in the down position. The height will usually be to the bottom of the bottom swag. SO – the height of the lift line is the drape height less the swag height.
  • The spacing between the lift lines is very important – the dimensions typically line up with the pulley mechanism.
1 06, 2016

Innovative Design for Special Events

By |June 1st, 2016|Products, Projects|2 Comments

Special events can come and go so fast. Set up for one night only, they offer just a fleeting opportunity to be showcased. So many of these amazing designs don’t get the same social media or web coverage as the longer running theatre shows and rock and roll tours do.

A notable use of our product for a one night only special event was at the CalArts Halloween Event.

For a Halloween event at the prestigious Southern California art college CalArts (California Institute of the Arts), the task at hand was to find a way to transform the school’s main gallery into a dramatic event space. The addition of two gorgeous Classic LED Backdrops did the trick, providing a perfect backdrop to the innovative colored light show on display. Fabrics: 15oz Encore with Classic LED lights

Adding bluish/white LEDs to DFR Black 15oz Encore turns an otherwise dull black backdrop into an amazingly realistic starlit night sky. With the LEDs placed in the drape in the formation of constellations and star fields, the operator has the option of controlling the light intensity, chase speed, and much more via connection to a lighting board. For a more plug and play operation, the stand-alone controller can be programmed manually without the need to connect to a lighting board.

Want a similar LED Backdrop, but with colored lights? A Chameleon LED Backdrop  is the way to go. Using RGB (red/green/blue) LED lights, the operator has the ability to not only control the light intensity, chase speed, and more, but also to change light colors quickly and easily.

Visit our portfolio page to see more special event summaries and get inspired for your next design!