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Monthly Archives: April 2017

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26 04, 2017

Accidental Return Has A Happy Ending

By |April 26th, 2017|Company, News, Rent What Team, Sew What Team|3 Comments

The fast-paced world of rental stage drapes and theatrical supplies is absolutely never a dull moment! Sometimes rental orders go out within an hour, and they can often come back to us within an hour after the event is over. That’s why offering rental options to our clients is so popular with our customers—not having to worry about storing lots of stage drapes, track pieces, pipe and base hardware, pop-up dressing room kits, and everything in between is a huge benefit for many of our clients who either do not have the storage space to keep it safely stored from event to event, or simply do not have the need for the same goods time and time again. This is why we love offering both purchase AND rental options whenever possible!


However, when drapes are returned back to us, our clients haven’t always had full control over their care and transportation, which can sometimes lead to some “unusual” items that can get returned with their rental goods. Sometimes it’s something as innocuous as our clients accidentally returning purchased drapes with their rental drapes, but sometimes it’s unintentionally returning personal items of our customers, their clients, or the venue itself with some of their rental gear. When that happens, we are quick to let them know exactly what has been returned, which order it came back with, and what event it was possibly associated with. And then we help arrange for them to either come by and pick it back up, or help ship it back to wherever they would prefer to keep it. Our customers know that when an item is accidentally returned back to RW? that belongs to them, we will do everything in our power to get it back to where it belongs as quickly as possible. It’s not just our “Extreme Service” that does this, but just common courtesy…. In a touring and special event environment, it’s good to know that someone is always looking out for you, and we know our clients truly appreciate that about us!

Recently though, “something” was found folded within some returned rental drapes that did not belong to our client or their venue, and didn’t actually belong to ANYONE…..It was a baby hummingbird, and just as cute as can be! The poor thing had somehow gotten swept up inside a bunch of large rental stage draperies and put inside a hamper. We had no idea how long the little sweetie was stuck in there, but when the drapes were laid out for inspection back at our warehouse the little beauty was discovered by our staff, and immediately they sprang into action to help this cutie-pie out!


Our Operations Manager Rick Garcia wears many hats in this company, but he also has experience reviving hummingbirds in the past, and so he added one more “hat” to his duties here and took the reins on helping this little one out, too. Knowing that the little sweetie was not only in shock, but probably very dehydrated and hungry also (since they have such a fast metabolism), he worked with some of the sales staff here to mix up a batch of sugar water and use a large straw to slowly get as much into her beak as she could handle. The poor thing was so worn out she could hardly keep her eyes open or her little head up, so we were very concerned for the sweetie’s fate. But after slowly working with her for about ten minutes, we could see her visibly start waking up and getting her bearings. He walked her outside, and opened his hand, and within a minute or so she took off outside like a rocket! This little hummingbird just needed some R&R and a little hydration, and that seemed to do the trick. This was one case where we were ALL very relieved that an “extra item” inadvertently sent back with a rental order was “returned” to where it ultimately belonged…. Outside, flying from flowering tree to tree right here on our sunny Southern California hillside. Company bird Burt was very proud with how our staff helped this little one out—making it a very happy ending for this rental return, indeed!

24 04, 2017

Guide to Stage Drapery

By |April 24th, 2017|Education|1 Comment

With the exception of those who have been in the theatre or a related area for years, most people are unfamiliar with the many types of curtains that can grace the stage of a theatre or concert stage. For the average person, knowing the difference between an Austrian and a Contour isn’t important, as long as the curtain looks nice on stage.

But what about those people who may be new to the theatre but need to learn the basics fast? Consider the mom who has offered to help her daughter’s school source a new grand drape, or the brand new production assistant tasked with getting quotes for stage drapery options for an upcoming tour? Or even those who know what they want but don’t know what to call it or how to describe it when speaking to a stage drapery manufacturer such as Sew What? Inc.

The good news is, to help people navigate the various types of stage drapery, we have created “Guide to Stage Drapery: Styles and Finishes.” This fifteen-page guide explains stage curtains from Austrians to Contours, from Teasers to Tormentors, and Cycloramas to Scrims. Common stage curtain terms such as fullness and pleating, top and bottom finishes, and more are also explained, and the guide includes a variety of photos and drawings of drapery styles and finishes.

The best thing? This pdf guide is free to download (opens in a new window). Just click here: “Guide to Stage Drapery: Styles and Finishes.”

19 04, 2017

A Metallic Look on a Digital Backdrop

By |April 19th, 2017|Digital Printing, Education, Products, Projects|1 Comment

Sometimes a digitally printed backdrop just strikes me as exceptional. Like this one we manufactured for Rodney Elwood Design for the “Time Out For Women” tour. Printed on Heavy Knit, the perspective of Rodney’s design – the crisp gold trees with the slightly out of focus background trees – creates a very serene look.

What is even more impressive is that the gold trees almost appear metallic, even though this was printed with standard CMYK (non-metallic) ink. When it was hanging in our warehouse, at first glance I thought – when did we add the glitter? The answer – we didn’t. The metallic appearance of the trees was created solely through the skill of the artist who created the image file (assisted in this photo by stage lighting, of course).

We do get occasional requests for digitally printing in metallic, which is not an option in traditional Grand Format digital printing environment utilizing CMYK color profiles and inks. However, this project demonstrates that a talented artist has the ability to create a metallic appearance in a CMYK environment. Very impressive!

18 04, 2017

Have Track, Will Travel!

By |April 18th, 2017|Products|1 Comment

Adding gorgeous bi-parting grand stage drapes, traveler curtains, or other specialty traveler drapes to your program will add heaps of visual interest and excitement to your theatre stage design. But your event space may not have permanent traveler track installed….so what can you do?

American-Made Automatic Devices Company Traveler Track to the rescue!

For those looking to permanently install traveler track, the ordering process is simple when you work with Sew What? Inc. We feel that, just as important as having beautiful curtains, is having reliable tracks that support and transport them across the stage. And when the drape fits the track and the track fits the drape, you’re in for a show! We’re proud to feature a full complement of superior-quality American-made curtain tracks by ADC, one of the premier manufactures of theatrical curtain transport systems and the only brand that has won UL approval. From the most basic manual rope-pull track to fully motorized and automated systems, ADC tracks assure a moving performance at the highest standards. With a variety of traveler track styles available, we can guarantee you the right traveler track for your specific need.

Never installed traveler track before? Have no fear! Installation of walk along and rope operated traveler track is a simple, straight-forward process. We offer easy instructions on how to install it so that you can take the guess work out of the install, and instead can focus your energy and attention on creating a breathtaking and memorable stage and backdrop design. For those installing automated and motorized drapery tracks, we recommend that the installation be handled by a licensed contractor. We will supply all the installation elements for the track, and your contractor will install per the supplied instructions based on your local and state building codes.

Want to rent it?

It may not be economical to purchase all the stage curtain track hardware you need, especially when you aren’t sure how often it will be used, nor what the space dimensions will possibly be on future events. Renting theatrical curtain track is a fantastic option for many of our clients who want the excitement of having stage curtain track and traveler track drapery, but perhaps don’t have the permanent venue to showcase it.

11 04, 2017

Crushed Silver Satin Helps Create Mesmerizing Stage Design

By |April 11th, 2017|Products, Projects|1 Comment

We love providing sensational rental specialty drapes for our clients’ concerts, productions, and school events, and we also love providing them with the most ideal purchased soft goods. And even better yet, it’s especially fantastic when we get to provide a mix of rental and purchase together–so that they get exactly what they need to help them create a one-of-a-kind stage design that will completely wow their audiences!

Recently we got to work with BJ Garmon, the very creative Theater Manager and Technical Director at St. John’s School in Houston, Texas, on some of the design elements needed for their school production of Curtains, The Musical. He needed to recreate one of the pivotal scenes in the original play’s stage design, and he ended up choosing some of our gorgeous Silver Crushed Satin Legs from our “Silver Satin Collection” of specialty rental drapes. However, he also wanted to dress up parts of the set with some smaller pieces of the same fabric, but didn’t necessarily need such large drapery pieces. So he ended up purchasing some yardage of the same exact IFR Silver Crushed Satin fabric to help add extra embellishments to the parts of the stage he needed to. The final look was truly spectacular!

As the set designer for this production, BJ also worked with skilled Lighting Designer Arron Garrett to help create this dazzling stage design. Because our versatile Silver Satin Collection drapes reflect lighting so brilliantly, Arron did a really exceptional job giving the stage various distinctively beautiful looks by changing the lighting schemes and intensities throughout the scene. Photographed superbly by photographer David Elder, you can see how a simple change of lighting really helped give the stage design an exciting, dramatic feel. With such an incredibly talented team working on this production, their show turned out to be a smashing success! Let one of our specialists assist you to choose the most captivating specialty rental draperies and custom stage curtains for your special event or production, because sometimes combining rental goods with purchased goods is the perfect way to really astonish your audience with a one-of-a-kind look!