Amazing concert effect achieved when Wide Format Digital Prints are passed through the audience at recent U2 concerts.

Sew What? is thrilled to have been a part of this current U2 Tour production, preparing a selection of sublimated silk graphic prints to be used for an interactive audience element in the world-famous band’s current tour.

Formed in Dublin in 1976, Irish rock band U2 is an anthemic band known for lead singer Bono’s expressive vocals and guitarist Edge’s effects based sounds. They are one of the world’s best-selling artists, having sold more than 170 million records worldwide with 13 studio released albums all of which are iconic.

Why did the U2 production staff select “Sew What?” for their custom printed fabric project? Because of our customer service and attention to detail. Not only do we specialize in digitally printed stage backdrops and props, we offer digital printing services with other quality products and fair pricing. Above all, we want to help make your concert stage backdrops as spectacular as they can be. During the quoting process, sales associate Shane Nelsen discussed the use and expectations for these printed textile elements with the client to make sure that the best materials were recommended.  Once the art was received, Shane and our printing department specialist and operator Danny worked tirelessly to make sure that the client’s supplied images were prepared appropriately for the wide format printing needed for this special effect project.

No matter what concert you attend, you will see digitally printed fabric, digital printed stage backdrops and wide-format digital billboards. That’s because any graphics created for printing on paper can be printed on fabric. With a variety of substrates to choose from, digital printing enables you to magnify photo quality images into stunning custom theatrical and scenic digital backdrops and concert drapes. The wide-format digital printing process involves firstly image file preparation.  The images are inspected for quality and any graphic variances which would show up when “enlarged” to magnified dimensions. The files are then imported into the printer software where the image is “ripped” into segments for wide format printing onto our 120” wide substrates.


Once printed, each segment of fabric then needs to be inspected and measured for accuracy. Once all the pieces are printed for one graphic element then they can be sewn together.  This process requires that we use our long 40+ foot long sewing tables, and painstakingly line up eachgraphic panel and pin it with sewing pins to the next panel.  Once fully pinned it is ready to move to the sewing machines for careful seaming.

Sewing together textile banners and backdrops of these proportions requires not only the right equipment but a great deal of patience.  At this point in the process nothing can be rushed.  Every stitch and seam is important in crafting a finished image where the seam lines will be nearly invisible! We use a variety of sewing machines in the process including overlockers, single needle, double needle and reinforcement stitch machines as part of the sewing process. Oftentimes we will back stack 2 or more machines to a table and run multiple sewing processes simultaneously so as to reduce the amount of handling that is needed per drapery element.

The finished product is always a thrill to see develop through the various stages of planning and construction. Once completed, our Quality Control staff do a very thorough inspection of the finished softgoods, and we then package and ship the items to the client.  For the moment of truth…….. the excitement when we see the item in use on stage! Enjoy this video showing our sublimated silk audience banner panels while U2 perform the song Miss Sarajevo in Seattle on 5-14-17.

About Sew What? Inc

Just like your audience, you want top performance. Sew What? understands and delivers. Our Stage Drapes and Theatrical Backdrops, Curtain Tracks and Theatrical Supplies exceed expectations and enhance your shows. For an experienced drapery manufacturer with work that ranges from digitally printed drapery for the hottest rock concerts, to the biggest theater performances, to just about any other kind of production under the sun, Sew What? is the answer.