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Monthly Archives: July 2017

//July
26 07, 2017

Dark Angel Drapery Electrifies Stage For Special Musical Production

By |July 26th, 2017|Clients, Products, Projects|1 Comment

We love being able to offer our creative and imaginative clients rental drapery that fits their stage design needs, and yet still give them a completely one-of-a-kind look for their special events, concerts, and stage productions—right out of the hamper. Recently we were able to do just that for innovative production manager Elijah Schreiner and his expert theatrical design team over at LaGuardia High School for the Arts in New York City. They put on a very special year-end production of the renowned American musical “Gypsy,” and needed a gorgeous Grand Stage Drape for several key scenes in the play.


He was extremely glad that he chose our new 30’h x 60’w Dark Angel Drapery Set from our Timeless and Traditional rental drapery collection, and you can see why! It looked absolutely perfect with the lavish costumes, dramatic lighting, and talented actors and actresses that graced the stage for this memorable production. And as you can see by these fantastic photos provided to us by the production’s skilled photographer Matt Weber, the drape ended up becoming another eye-catching character on the stage itself.


This rich, velvety encore velour backdrop– adorned with “angel wing” rhinestone applique, silver and black chrome illusion fabric embellishments, and silver bullion fringe—superbly complemented the look of the play’s overall design. With added sensational theatrical lighting, the play’s director Harry Shifman masterfully used this bi-parting grand stage drape set to enhance the stage’s décor, and had it almost take on an individual life of its own. Let us help you find the perfect rental design touches for your upcoming concert tours, special events, and school productions, too!

24 07, 2017

Avora, Trevira and Polyester

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

Did you know that not all polyesters are created the same? You may have heard of fabrics made from Avora polyester or Trevira polyester, but you may not know that these aren’t just “name brands.” The terms “Avora” and “Trevira” (technically, AvoraFR® and TreviraCS®) actually indicate significant differences in the chemical structure of the polyester fibers.

Prestige Velour, 100% TreviraCS®, is a beautiful option for custom stage drapery, as pictured above on Princess Cruise Line’s Queen Victoria (photo courtesy of Gridworks)

One way that these fibers are different is in the way the fibers respond to flame (and thus to the flame retardancy of the fabric milled from these fibers). This doesn’t mean that other polyester fabrics are not flame retardant (some are, some aren’t), but rather that Avora and Trevira fabrics tend to respond a little differently than other polyester fabrics when under flame.

To learn more about these differences in flame retardancy behavior, click here to open a pdf copy of our white paper “Avora, Trevira, and Just Plain Old Polyester.”

19 07, 2017

It’s Time To Take Another Look At Our Breathtaking Crimson Cabaret Drapery Set!

By |July 19th, 2017|Products, Projects|1 Comment

In my next blog post about our recent photo shoot at the gorgeous Warner Grand Theatre, I wanted to “re-introduce” our readers to one of our exquisite specialty drape sets available to rent today from our Timeless and Traditional Drapery Collection—our 30’h x 31’w Crimson Cabaret Bi-Parting Grand Stage Drapes. These dynamic stage draperies have an accompanying Encore Velour 8’h x 60’w border with the same beautiful gold bullion fringe and stitching as what is on the drapes themselves, and will dazzle any audience that they are set in front of!


These sumptuous theatrical stage drapes give a dignified and grandiose look to any event design even when being used as a single backdrop. But if you really want to add some exciting drama to your stage, just look at the video below to see how SPECTACULAR they look when opening and closing, too….The movement is just breathtaking and will completely astonish your audience! And one of the best features of this drapery set is how fantastic it goes with so many other items in our specialty drape collections. You can see how beautifully it frames the stage using our lovely Pewter Textura Pleated Legs (from our Silver Satin Collection), adorned on top with our velvety Burgundy Swagged Border (also from our Timeless and Traditional Collection), and all of them embellished perfectly with our shimmery Copper Sheer Swags and few of our Gold Velvet Rope Swags, too (both brand new items from our Oh’ So Swanky Collection).

If you haven’t taken a look at our newly revamped website to get some fresh, eye-catching design ideas from our Specialty Rental Drapery Collections, why not do that today? Let our team of drapery experts help you choose the best combination of these divine drapes for your next special event or production!

18 07, 2017

A look behind the scenes at the creation of the MOVE Live Tour “steampunk themed kabuki drop”

By |July 18th, 2017|Digital Printing, Products, Projects|1 Comment

We recently had the opportunity to work with Stage Designer Butch Allen and the MOVE Live choreography team – crafting three unique textile drapery looks for the 2017 MOVE Live Tour. This popular touring production is the brain-child of multi-talented artists Derek and Julianne Hough. Both known for their multiple successes on the hit ABC show ‘Dancing with the Stars,’ they bring an incredible dance and performance spectacular to the stage in this production. Working with Peter Morse, Lighting Designer; Butch Allen, Set Designer; and Director Tabitha D’umo, this was an exciting project for Sew What? Inc right from the get go.

One drapery backdrop piece we made for this project was completely unique in its design and construction, and unlike anything we had ever crafted before. Having taken lots of photos of the progress we will feature the STEAMPUNK themed kabuki drop in this blog entry.  It was fun to see the design develop from the various inspiration materials that were supplied.

Let’s start with the initial design package, which drew on a variety of color tones, textures, and steampunk themes.  As with all backdrops, it is more than just designing the drape – it has to work with the theme of the show, the wardrobe, the lighting design, and the overall tone of the production. Take a look here, and in particular note the items that were ultimately selected to draw from conceptually in the creation of the 30’h x 24’w finished kabuki backdrop piece.

Starting with a baseline – the drape itself needed to have a backing which would set the overall color palette for the drape. For this the Espresso Encore in 22oz (a nice solid opaque polyester velour) was selected for the trapezoid lining. This is a sturdy and durable cloth that reacts well when appliqued and is often used in mixed media backdrops.  The Espresso color offered just enough warm tone that we could bring in all manner of golds, taupe and burnt umber tones on top of it.

A wardrobe inspiration package was supplied that offered a glimpse of the different costumes that would be designed and crafted for the artists and dancers.  In reviewing the different wardrobe styles, one piece in particular jumped out as being “translatable” into a larger scale.  This image here shows a women’s leather woven bustier top.  In crafting this in a large scale, we would dress the face of the Espresso Encore with different ribbon width layers of various fabrics and textures per this inspiration image from wardrobe – all the cloth ribbons would be laid out on the bias and crafted with a woven effect. To mimic the movement of the wardrobe piece, the backdrop would also have knotted and braided ends to stream off the edges of the drape.

The color palette for the overall piece was very important.  Often, it’s not just what materials you choose – but rather the colors that you select when it comes to artistic pieces such as this.  This drape needed to stand alone and be gorgeous whether lit under stage lighting – or unlit under natural conditions. Here is a snap shot of the materials that were selected to create just the right antiqued / bronzed / steampunk tones.  We blended from gold thru cocoa brown, and made sure to have more than one texture and finish within the palette.  Materials selected included Textura, Supervel and Illusion.

The final touches for this piece would come from the applique of some custom “steampunk” themed printed elements.  The client supplied the graphics in a low resolution file, which graphic artist John Rios of John Rios Designs then re-drew to suit our applique project. This included “toning” the new print files so that the color palette worked perfectly with the fabrics that had been selected for the project.  A group of digitally printed steampunk “cog and wheel” elements were to be printed and then “cut out” for a decorative applique over the top of the weaving as a final dressing layer.

The early concept was some quick copy, past and stretch of the various inspiration images. Once the idea had been developed and approved then it was time to get to work!

Enjoy these images (in order) showing the construction progress as this masterpiece was crafted in hours by our wonderful and talented staff.  Even Crispin the office dog helped out with the project.  This massive undertaking required ALL hands on deck!

And so now you are probably ready to look at the finished piece live on stage!  Well, here it is in all its glory. We could not have been prouder of our work and the craftsmanship of the Sew What? sewing team was really put to the test on this piece.  We think that the team did an amazing job – don’t you?

Want to see the kabuki drop?…………..  In this YouTube video, you can see the kabuki action which is very dramatic!

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.

10 07, 2017

Add The Perfect Touches To Your Summer Tour Design

By |July 10th, 2017|Products|1 Comment

Summer concert touring season is officially upon us, and there is no better time than now to start exploring the fabulous and versatile drapery design elements in our Oh So Swanky Rental Drapery Collection. Lightweight and easy to transport, these soft goods and stage “bijoux” will add excitement and drama to any stage motif, right out of the hamper! It’s a great opportunity to try out a different style without committing to just one look, so that your stage and lighting designers can get a much better idea of how fantastic they can look for your own stage design throughout the tour.


Want to add some sparkle and shine? Try out our light-as-air Mylar Rain Curtains to give your stage design some shimmery movement, texture, and dimension.


Interested in perhaps a more asymmetric and “avant-garde” feel? Check out our Illusion Ribbon Drape Kit with different styles of “baubles” that you can attach to the bottoms to give your stage a completely one-of-a-kind look.


Perhaps you already have your stage curtains set, but wanted to add a few accent pieces to give it a real “wow” factor….look no further than our seductive and silky fabric Goth Chandeliers.


AND THIS COLLECTION HAS SO MUCH MORE! All of the theatrical stage pieces in our Oh So Swanky Drapery Collection are a lighting designer’s dream come true—and can be mixed and matched to create a completely unique design that will be remembered long after the concert is over (like the design in the photo below, blending together the Illusion Ribbon Drape with a Mylar Rain Curtain backdrop—TRULY SPECTACTULAR!). Let our team of drapery experts help you add the crowning touch to your summer’s tour design—it’s what we love to do!