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Monthly Archives: February 2017

28 02, 2017

Sew What? Inc. Provides Custom Stage Drapery for Green Day 2016-17 Revolution Radio Tour

By |February 28th, 2017|Clients, Digital Printing, News, Products, Projects|1 Comment

Sew What? Inc, a California stage drapery manufacturer, is working again with the punk rock band, Green Day in producing custom stage drapes for their 2016-17 Revolution Radio Tour. Formed in 1986, the American band has won 5 Grammy Awards, and sold over 85 million records worldwide. It was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2015.

Sew What? president, Megan Duckett reports, “Needless to say, we are very excited to have been invited to work with a fantastic band like Green Day again. It’s also a treat to work on a project that will have mid-show drapery changes, which lends an ongoing visual impact to their audiences.”

The current tour features several different drapery elements supplied by Sew What?, including a kabuki drape, a dual set of banners that together comprise a backdrop, and a massive black masking drape. Each of the textiles supplies a different look and stimulating visual effects for the show.

The kabuki drape backdrop features a giant digitally printed “BOOM BOX design,” and was crafted for the main stage.  The 60 feet wide piece was digitally printed onto FR Crystal Poplin, given the fabric’s light weight, durability and color saturation.  The material, chosen among many stage curtain fabrics available, packs into a small storage vessel – an important factor for a touring show.

Photo Credit Instagram @greenday

The kabuki drape’s deployment during the show is accomplished using a set of solenoids supplied by Sew What?’s sister company, Rent What? Inc. The solenoid heads allow the drape to be released from the air with the press of a button.

Two custom backdrop sets comprise another stage element, with a selection of red and blue banners (7 banners per backdrop set). They are hung and dropped by solenoids to run down aircraft cables and land on the floor securely behind the band.

Lastly, a massive black Rip Stop masking drapery package has been produced for the Green Day tour as well.  The lightweight, water resistant, durable textile is popular as a rock n roll “go to” fabric for masking drapes in the big arena shows.

To view photos of Green Day’s stage drapes, as well as examples of other band’s drapery designs, visit the Sew What? / Rent What? flickr galleries .

27 02, 2017

Storms? Power Outages? Our Dedicated Staff Makes Sure the Show Goes On

By |February 27th, 2017|Company, News, Rent What Team, Sew What Team|1 Comment

It is very rare for us to talk about how the current weather conditions in our area might be affecting our company, our warehouse, our distribution, or even our employees on a more personal level. This is because we live in what is usually a rather temperate, sunny, Southern California environment—which we absolutely LOVE! Lately, however, you may have heard of some pretty powerful storms that have swept through our region and most of the southwest part of the country, causing some minor (and not so minor) headaches for our entire company (the sewing team, drivers, and logistics departments especially!). However, what might have caused some companies to shut down altogether for a few days only seemed to strengthen our incredible employees’ high level of dedication to each and every one of our clients. No matter what it took to get the job done, my colleagues’ strong work ethic shone through like we’d never seen before, and we could not have been any prouder!

First case in point was on one of the WORST storm days this city has seen in over a decade, in which we had scheduled to not only go out on an all-afternoon installation in Long Beach, but we were also scheduled to meet with our amazing clients Long Beach Symphony and their Director of Operations Peggy Magee to go over some possible changes to their drapery needs for some upcoming shows. Not only was our team of techs ready and willing to drive in this storm, but they did the delivery and installation with the wonderful folks at the arena with smiles on their faces and energy in their steps, and still managed to safely and beautifully get everything installed for their show on time.

Second case in point was when we came back to the office on Monday morning, only to find out that, like many Angelenos over the weekend, the power to our entire facility had been taken out in the storm over the weekend. Mud, debris, and historical flooding in our area all seemed to do a number on the wiring into our building, and the city told us it would take a minimum of 8-10 more hours to get things up and running again. But with a warehouse full of eager staff at the ready, and an entire docket of orders to finish by end of day, what could we possibly do…? Why, we checked in with the fine folks at one of our regular clients, Gallagher Staging, who were extremely generous to lend us the use of one of their dependable generators for the day. With the electricity it provided, we were not only able to stay on schedule for our current orders, but also make sure that everything already prepped for the day was then ready to be picked up or delivered on time. Whew!

They say that trials and tribulations are only brought about to make you stronger, and I truly believe that especially after seeing the incredible team effort every member of the Whatter family did during these recent storms to help make sure our clients got the quality goods that they come to expect from us. And that everything would all stay on schedule, too. We really care about our wonderful clients, and it always warms my heart to see our company’s earnest efforts on their behalf time and time again—no matter WHAT the conditions may be!

21 02, 2017

The Versatility of Metal Mesh for Backdrops and Stage Backgrounds

By |February 21st, 2017|Products|1 Comment

Looking for TEXTURE? Then look no further than our Metal Mesh Rental Drapery from the Rent What? Inc Industrial Textures Drapery Collection.  Curvaceous and cutting edge, this drapery series focuses on mixed media pieces and textiles that will please artists and lighting designers alike. Often with modern artists or modern themed stage shows we find that designers are looking for more texture, and for clean lines and architectural surfaces.  The beauty with texture is that it gives a rich palette for lighting. With some mix and match color tones and sharp multi angle lighting the effects can be quite mind blowing.


Metal Mesh also offers a hidden benefit – it is very light weight – which reduces load on the rig and helps with weight specs for tours that are trying to travel light.  We are offering these versatile and dramatic panels in both 23’h and 28’h trim heights.  So there is something to fit any stage size.  You can even backlight the drapes for a blowthru screen effect.

In this photo below the metal mesh was hung in layers in front of a poly muslin cyc, creating a shadowbox effect and offering front and rear lighting opportunities to The Decemberists designer Anne Militello.

For outdoor events with wind load concerns these mesh panels offer the benefit of pass thru wind flow, in turn reducing the resistance for stormy occasions.  Perfect for festival stages. (Remember to share any design and drapery with your engineer where wind / rain / snow load might be a factor.) Select the perfect pieces to compliment your stage and satisfy your budget. Backdrops, Banners, Legs and Borders.

If you want to learn more? – View inspirational images of our unique Industrial Textures Rental Drapery in our online gallery!

About Rent What? Inc. Rent What? Inc. is committed to providing an ultimate experience in drapery rental products and customer service. Did you know that we have set the stage for artists including Janet Jackson, Foo Fighters, Nickelback and John Legend. In addition to our large inventory of Inherently Flame Retardant stage drapes, traveler tracks and portable dressing rooms, the company is widely regarded for its basic pricing schedules, innovative damage waiver policy and fast and friendly service. For information on the Metal Mesh drapery collection or any other rental backdrop drapery concerns, contact Rent What? Inc. at (310) 639-6000.

20 02, 2017

Inspirational Videos for Tour Stage Design

By |February 20th, 2017|Products, Projects|1 Comment

I was going through our website today, and I came upon one of our videos. It’s been awhile since I watched it, and in watching it again, I was struck by how inspirational it is, so I thought I’d share it here.

By showcasing a wide variety of custom sewing projects we have done over the years – from custom digital backdrops to Austrian Curtains and swags to dramatic LED drapes – I think you’ll agree that this video is chock full of ideas that you can use in your next tour stage design.

Looking for more ideas and inspiration? Visit our YouTube page – we have almost 150 different videos featuring custom stage curtains, band backdrops, mixed media drapes, rental stage curtains, and much more!

15 02, 2017

Think About Dye Lots When Planning for New Stage Curtains

By |February 15th, 2017|Education, Fabrics|1 Comment

Did you know………..A dye lot is a record taken during the dyeing of yarn to identify yarn that received its coloration in the same vat at the same time. Yarn manufacturers assign each lot a unique identification number and stamp it on the label before shipping.

There is always lots of talk and conversation when crafting large stage draperies about the fabric of choice and the number of “dye lots” that the project will utilize.  The concern seems greatest with cotton products, where we see far broader visual variances in the color tone and density between one dye lot and another.

As a client – this means that some thought should be put towards possible future re-orders or expansion of a project by phase.  For example – if you are just going to do the main stage drapes right now (utilizing say a Red 21oz Cotton Velour) but plan to add legs and border in 6 months time, you should be aware that there is significant risk of the legs and border not in fact matching the drapes when the time comes as they will be cut from a different dye lot of cloth.

We have a couple of cruise ship clients that will purchase a full dye lot of cloth and then store the remnant for replacement and drapery maintenance while out at sea. But indeed, we don’t always have budgets to allow such purchasing behaviors. So we would suggest that some mindfulness be applied when deciding what to order and when.  Try to order the drapes that will “play together” such as mains and main border, or leg sets and borders. That way variations in color will be far less evident if they are given some on-stage depth separation and perspective.

Polyester Velours seem to be less impacted by dye lot variations.  There are some very stable polyester velour available – such as Encore Velour (in 15 or 22oz)  – which are generally speaking near exact across dye lots.   Beware of large lot variations in materials such as wide muslin (in blues and greys) or in cotton napped velours.

If you are really concerned – then order a sample yard to be taken from the same “dye lot” that the order will be sewn from.

Hope that this little snippit of information is helpful to those of you who have wondered about dye lots. If there are ever any questions don’t hesitate to call us here at Sew What? Inc.