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28 03, 2017

Flame Retardant vs Flame Proof

By |March 28th, 2017|Education, Fabrics, Products|1 Comment

With the focus of our business being on stage curtains for the music touring business, ensuring that the drapery we provide meets flame retardancy standards is a key issue for us and for our clients. However, we do find that some of our clients don’t fully understand the standards and ask for their drapes to be “flame proof.”

The reality is that no fabric is “flame proof.” Any fabric will burn in a fire. However, the goal of flame retardancy standards is to minimize that fire danger.

A fabric designated as flame retardant would be better described as “flame resistant” rather than “flame proof.” If a flame is introduced, the fabric may burn, but the flame spread will be “retarded” (or lessened) and, once the flame origin is removed, it will almost immediately self-extinguish. Flame retardant fabrics are typically designated as “FR” or “DFR/IFR.”

“FR” means that the fabric has been topically treated with a chemical to render the fabric flame retardant. As the flame retardancy chemical is on the surface of the fabric, it will be removed by laundering or other exposure to liquids. Multiple dry-cleaning may also diminish or remove the flame retardancy chemicals, and in time, even without cleaning, environmental conditions (such as high humidity) may do the same.

“DFR” (durably flame retardant) and “IFR” (inherently flame retardant) means that either the fibers have subjected to a durable flame retardant process during the manufacturing process this is typical of most, though not all, polyesters) or that the fibers are flame retardant on a molecular basis (such as Avora and Trevira). Since there is no chemical on the surface of the fabric, it can be laundered or dry-cleaned without any affect of the flame retardancy of the fabric.

Regardless of whether a fabric is designated as “FR” or “DFR/IFR,” we recommend (and some fire marshals require) that the fabric be retested and recertified annually by a certified flame retardancy specialist. This is because certain environmental conditions, such as surface dust accumulation or exposure to pyrotechnic chemicals, can cause an otherwise flame retardant fabric to become flammable.

For more information, please download our White Paper “What’s the Difference Between Flame Retardant and Flame Proof Fabrics?” (opens as a printable pdf) or visit the Flame Retardancy section of our website.


27 03, 2017

Metal Mesh Rental Drapery from our Industrial Textures Collection

By |March 27th, 2017|Products|1 Comment

For those of you who aren’t familiar with our RENTAL Drapery Collections, Sew What?/ Rent What? Inc is excited to show off our dynamic and edgy Industrial Textures Metal Mesh rental drapery.  If you are looking for a dramatic, stunning, and incredibly versatile drape for your next event, show, concert, stage production, or trade show, look no further! Curvaceous and cutting edge. This series focuses on mixed media pieces and textiles that will please artists and lighting designers alike. Let us show you just a few of the looks you can create with lighting on our Metal Mesh Drapery.

Seen in this installation photo at Austin City Limits are 5 of our 23’h x 10’w metal mesh legs, hung from the truss at top and with a pipe installed into the pipe pocket in the bottom for a slick and tight surface installation. These metal mesh legs present the edgier side of rental soft goods, and have been rented for everything from major concert tours and community church productions to television series to conferences.

The beauty of Metal Mesh is that it takes light SO well!  Both front and back lighting offers effects that will WOW the audience. In particular we have found that metal mesh gives the illusion of an “oil painting” when touched with theatrical lighting fixtures. If you are looking to complete the stage scene with a full drapery package, you can complement these stand-alone mesh pieces with masking drapes from our traditional BLACKout Masking Series.

Credit: Lighting Designer Anne Militello

See in the image above just how dramatic the stage background looks with the right combination of lighting and metal mesh, showing yet again the versatility of this metal mesh surface for lighting.  Anne Militello with Vortex Lighting brought this dramatic design to stage for the Decemberists. By lining the upstage area with a light toned flat backdrop she was able to create a light box effect with colors within and amid the layers of metal mesh.  Ethereal and mesmerizing, this hypnotic scene was the perfect backdrop for this indie rock band out of Portland.

We are excited to offer you “Performance that Rocks!” At Rent What?, we’ve got the curtains and masking drapes for just about any kind of show, massive or minor. But just as important, we’ve got the creds. Our team has performed for many of the biggest names in entertainment, so we know the realities of dressing up a major venue and dancing around all the surprises that can pop up at the last second. It’s not just about having the right products, but having the experience and putting in the blood and sweat our customers remember when it comes to booking each new tour. If you have questions don’t hesitate to reach out for more info at 310-639-6000.

22 03, 2017

Choose Red Rental Stage Drapes for a Classic Design

By |March 22nd, 2017|Products, Projects|1 Comment

For many production designers, stage drapes in shades of red are the perfect choice to evoke a classic, timeless feel to the set. Consider how often you have walked into to a venue, whether it be a small school auditorium or a large performing arts center, and discovered that the venue’s beautiful grand drapes are – you guessed it – a shade of red. From bright tomato to deep burgundy, and various shades in between, red never goes out of style for stage drapery.

Because red is popular with stage, touring production, and event designers, Rent What? created the “Rockin’ Red” Drapery Collection of rental stage drapes. All in rich shades of red and burgundy, the majority of drapery in this collection is sized for use in small theatres (23’h x 40’w) and large theatres and arenas (30’h x 60’w).

The Rockin’ Red Collection includes:

  • Crimson Cabaret Grand Bi-Parting Drapery: Encore Velour, highlighted by gold digitally printed elements along with gold trim and bullion fringe.
  • Venetian Contour Curtains: Super-Vel and Encore Velour
  • Austrian Curtain: Satin
  • Swags: Super-Vel and Illusion
  • Pleated Borders: Super-Vel
  • Pleated Legs: SuperVel, Encore Velour, and Illusion

Here are just a few examples of the gorgeous rental stage curtains in this collection:

Monsters of Folk at the Greek

Monsters of Folk selected this Burgundy Super-Vel Venetian Contour Curtain for this show at the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles. Visit our Monsters of Folk Flickr album to see more photos.

Red Super-Vel Swags and Legs set the stage for the 2011 Pinnacle Awards.

Crimson Cabaret Grand Bi-Parting Drapes fit the mood.

Our Red Satin Austrian Curtain dressed the stage at the Pollstar Awards.

This YouTube video highlights the Rockin’ Red Drapery Collection.

You see – red isn’t just for Christmas or Valentine’s Day! Red drapes are beautiful year round and in a variety of settings. Are you thinking about using red stage drapes as part of your next tour or event design? Give us a call or contact us online – we’d love to help!

21 03, 2017

Kabuki Solenoid System Exhilarates Parishioners At Special Holiday Program

By |March 21st, 2017|Products, Projects|1 Comment

We love getting to see our products being successfully used out in the world with our fabulously creative clients—especially our diverse selections of rental goods, because we love seeing that they are rarely used in the same way twice. Recently we received a fantastic video of one of our clients, The Crossing Church at Chesterfield, using our dependable, lightweight, and easy-to-install Kabuki Solenoid Kits for their special holiday production.

Director of TechArts at The Crossing, Mike Frost, and his team wanted a way to build some excitement during a program which had numerous song sets, yet also create a special reveal that their audience would talk about LONG after the production ended. By adding in our versatile Solenoid System to their own hanging soft goods, and utilizing some dramatic lighting and staging, they were able to amaze and engage their parishioners with a sensational Kabuki Drop during their program that truly exhilarated the crowd.

The three drapes hanging, while being projected upon.

The solenoids have been released, and the drapes start to fall.

The drapes are nearly to the ground, to be whisked away off stage.

A solenoid kabuki system is a dramatic effect you can add to any special production or concert–you can see in the photos and video clip that their drapery fell cleanly and neatly to the stage, producing a breathtaking reveal for everyone watching. Our easy-to-assemble and even easier-to-use Kabuki Solenoid Systems allow you to “reveal, drop and roll” just about any drapery element or backdrop. Have some fun with your audience by using a Kabuki Drop at your next concert, church production, or trade show special event!

14 03, 2017

Pop-Up Portable Dressing Rooms Offer Privacy While On Tour. Rent yours now!

By |March 14th, 2017|Products|1 Comment

If you aren’t familiar with our rentable Portable Pop-Up Dressing Rooms, you should be! These fantastic dressing rooms offer 64 sq feet of space with the comfort of opaque walls and a full roof covering. Nice and bright on the inside with a white lining, these easy to install units allow production managers to assemble dressing spaces for artists at any location in just a flash. We’ve dressed the best – Usher, Trey Songz, Jonas Brothers, AR Rahman, Foreigner and many, many more artists and bands!

Simple to set up – check out this video:

There are so many wonderful uses for these pop-up units.  You can take several of them to create larger spaces, and you can use them to cover tech equipment or create catering zones. They are adjustable in height …. for those wanting to go “taller” we offer an 8’h version – a full foot taller than our standard dressing room.

Here are some specifics: Our standard Pop-Up Dressing Room dimensions are 8′ x 8′ x 7h’. Strong Steel Frame, Wheeled Molded Carry Case, Black Outside, White Inside, Flame Retardant, Mirror Panel, 110v Light, Flat Roof, Overlapping Door for Privacy, Weighs less than 100 lbs. in case. Rental rates are $99.00 per unit per week. SO much more cost effective than trying to assemble pipe and drape dressing rooms, the simplicity and convenience of this product will win you over the first time you use one.

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. Got questions? See these great portable spaces in use on our website or call us at (310) 639-6000.