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Monthly Archives: February 2017

14 02, 2017

Introducing “Dark Angel”

By |February 14th, 2017|News, Products|1 Comment

At Rent What?, it’s not enough for us to rest on our laurels with our wide variety of rental options, including specialty drapery, masking drapes, backdrops, hardware and automation, pipe and drape, and more. We are continually listening to our customers, and introducing new items into our rental inventory based on the needs expressed by our customers.

One of the things our customers have asked for recently is yet another specialty grand drape. Something with the same beauty and “wow factor” as our Crimson Cabaret Grand Drape set, but also something different and unique.

They asked and we did it! I am so excited to tell you about the newest addition to our Timeless and Traditional Drapery Collection, because it really is an amazingly beautiful and versatile grand drape set.

Named “Dark Angel,” this set includes 2 biparting drapes of 30’ h x 31’ w (making up a Grand Traveler of approximately 60’ w). The design of the biparting drapes features a sexy sparkling combination of Black 15oz Encore adorned with Silver Illusion, Black Chrome Illusion, Silver Bullion Fringe, and, most dramatically, a repeated “angel wing” motif in rhinestone applique.

Thank you to the Theatre at Ace Hotel Los Angeles for graciously allowing us to photograph in this amazing venue!

Not only is this set beautiful, it is also versatile. The dramatic design lends itself to use in a wide variety of concert set designs in genres ranging from hard rock to pop to country, depending on the design of the additional set elements.

I’m sure that this amazing rental drapery set will be flying out the doors in the upcoming tour season! Contact us by phone or online to discuss renting it for your next tour or show!

9 02, 2017

Fantastic Throwback Thursday…………….Sew What? crafts a custom applique stage drapery for the Motley Crue final tour

By |February 9th, 2017|Clients, Digital Printing, Fabrics, Projects|1 Comment

Did you know that Sew What? Inc created the custom sewn backdrop with applique pentagram for rock heavyweights Motley Crue, and their Final Tour?  In this concert backdrop we see a traditional theatrical Sharkstooth Scrim is used for the main backdrop cloth. Then a digitally printed applique element is painstakingly pinned, sewn and then trimmed away to reveal the opaque on sheer pentagram for use on the Motley Crue Final Tour.

What makes this type of stage drapery unique is that the various layers supply a variety of special effects when the piece is hung and lit appropriately.  The Sharkstooth Scrim is a very traditional textile that has been used for opera and ballet installations into theatres for many years.  Sharkstooth scrim is available both in 100% cotton and also now in an Inherently Flame Retardant polyester version.  This makes it even stronger and more reliable for the touring marketplace. Scrim is best known for its “magical” property which allows it to be front lit and appear opaque, or when the front lighting is removed and the items behind it are lit it then appears transparent.

See the transformation and creation of this special order backdrop as it is crafted right here in our facility:

Video By Tom Underhill

The 2015 leg of the Motley’s Final Tour included shows all across the globe. By the end of the tour, The Final Tour visited an impressive 5 continents (North America, South America, Europe, Australia and Asia) for a total of more than 164 shows. Durability is needless to say…. extremely important. We selected a 3 thread scrim for this project, and utilized heavy knit for the digitally printed element as it is both durable and wrinkle resistant. This piece was hung in front of a massive pyrotechnic effect. The effect was revealed when the front lighting was removed from the Sharkstooth Scrim.  WOW!

For more information on this project read the full press release: Stage Drapery Manufacturer, Sew What? Inc. Bids Farewell to Motley Crue on its Final Tour:

Wondering who made the rocking soundtrack for the video? Our featured artist, Brainspoon, is a rock ‘n’ roll punk band based in Los Angeles, California. A staple of the Downtown Los Angeles rock scene, the band has earned a solid reputation with its blistering live show and catchy songs.
Brainspoon’s music has been played on “Livation” on KXLU Los Angeles, KUKQ in Phoenix, and KKZZ in Ventura, as well as on Goldie’s Garage on Sirius/XM satellite radio. The band has been featured in Sparkplug Magazine, the Ventura County Star, and the VC Reporter.

The band consist of Lead Vocals: Daphne Vandervalk, Guitar and Vocals: Michelle Balderrama, Bass: Tom Underhill, Drums: Chris Diez.

Brainspoon can be reached at:

7 02, 2017

Congratulations Rick and Andrea!

By |February 7th, 2017|Company, Rent What Team, Sew What Team|1 Comment

We truly feel like we are part of one big “Whatters” family around here, and we thoroughly enjoy celebrating all of the wonderful accomplishments and magical moments of our colleagues, too. Recently we got to not only find out that two of our favorite staff members had gotten engaged, but then we also got to plan a fun surprise celebration for one of them (with the help of the other one)! Our Warehouse Manager, Rick, and our Receptionist/Administrative “Guru,” Andrea, have been dating for several years now, and we cannot imagine two people who are more perfectly suited for one another than these two. As you can read by their “Meet the SW Staff” blog entries, they both have a huge love of adventure, and the tropics in particular. So when they went on a spectacular backpacking/hiking/off-roading adventure down in Costa Rica in mid-January, we knew that they were going to have the experience of a lifetime.

What we all didn’t know at the time, though, was that Rick had been planning this trip, and his proposal to Andrea (with a custom-made engagement ring), for quite some time now. Their trek deep into the heart of numerous jungles, beaches, and volcanic natural parks went incredibly well, with all of the drama, and wild animals, that the rain forest could throw at them. But nothing was quite as dramatic and memorable as when Rick proposed to Andrea in front of a stunning church in a village so far off the beaten path that they had to drive down miles of mountainous dirt roads just to reach it. And we’ve been told it was completely worth it!

When they got back and let us know what they had done, we were too excited to let it pass without some sort of celebration. So with Rick’s help, we got Andrea out of the office for a little while, and when they got back we had the entire staff and a huge, beautiful cake (personalized in just the way we knew the two of them would get a kick out of) and rows of glasses of sparkling cider waiting to surprise her in the warehouse with the proper toast this fabulous occasion deserved. We are so lucky we have the two of these remarkable people to help keep our companies running smoothly on a daily basis, but we know that the two of them are even luckier to have one another. Congratulations, Rick and Andrea—all of us Whatters wish you a lifetime of laughter, humor, adventure, and all the love your hearts can hold!

1 02, 2017

How to Keep Your Stage Curtains in Great Shape

By |February 1st, 2017|Education|1 Comment

So, you have just purchased beautiful new custom stage drapes. Naturally, you want to keep your beautiful new curtains looking gorgeous for as long as possible. What is the secret? Two simple things – periodic maintenance and proper storage.


To help keep your stage curtains and backdrops looking great as long as possible, we recommend performing certain maintenance steps twice each year. For all drapery, carefully inspect the drapery for any holes and tears; have these repaired immediately to prevent further damage. To remove any dust accumulation from the surface of the drapery, we recommend brushing the drape with a soft bristled brush.

First brush down the back of the drape, starting on the left side and moving toward the right. For napped fabrics (such as cotton velours and napped synthetic velours), brush the face of the fabric twice, by first brushing against the nap and then brushing with the nap. For brushed surface fabrics such as Encore Velour and Commando Cloth, or smooth faced fabric such as Poly Muslin or satin, a single brush down the face of the fabric is sufficient. If the drape is pleated, make sure to brush inside the folds of the pleats to remove any dust that has accumulated with those folds. For Austrian Curtains, make sure to brush out any dust that has accumulated within the “smiles.”

We also recommend annual retesting of drapery to ensure that it remains flame retardant. This can typically be done by a certified flame retardancy specialist such as Turning Star or Fabric Flameproofing Co. Many fire marshals require a current Certificate of Flame Retardancy (i.e. one issued within the last 12 months) even for drapery made of inherently flame retardant fabric, because environmental conditions (such as accumulation of dust and other flammable materials on the surface of the fabric) can affect the flammability of fabric. Being proactive with this step can save you from a panic situation later (such as right before a show!).


If your drapes will spend most of their time hanging, such as a Grand Drape in a theatre, you don’t have to worry about storing the drapes. But what about those drapes that are used periodically and then stored between shows or events? How do you keep them dust free and looking good for the next performance? Plan ahead to ensure that you have the best storage solution available to protect your drapes.

Most importantly – never store your drapery in plastic bags. Plastic bags trap moisture, resulting in the potential for mold and mildew on your drapes. Even those drapes that feel dry to the touch may have underlying dampness due to humidity. Instead, choose a “breathable” storage solution.


Durable canvas and steel storage hampers are a great solution for drapery storage. The canvas “breathes,” preventing moisture from accumulating, and the heavy-duty caster wheels and lockable lid allow the hamper to be moved from stage to storage area with ease. Hampers are especially great for music tours and other traveling shows, as they make it easy to take your drapes from venue to venue.

Drapery Bags

Rather than using plastic bags, choose a canvas or non-woven polyester drapery bag to store your drapes. As with canvas hampers, these drapery bags allow air circulation.

At Sew What?, it’s important to us to help our customers keep their custom drapery in great condition, and so we include complimentary drapery storage bags with all drapery orders. With a drawstring closure and plastic exterior sleeve to hold a contents label, these bags help keep drapes in great condition. As a hamper stocking supplier, we also offer 20-bushel storage hampers at a very affordable rate.

If you have existing drapery, consider performing these maintenance and storage steps this month (it is a new year, after all!). You’ll be glad you did!