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30 09, 2019

Digital Drapery for the Marc Anthony Opus Tour 2019

By |September 30th, 2019|Digital Printing, Products, Projects|0 Comments

Check out our digitally printed drapery used for the Marc Anthony Opus Tour 2019 in Las Vegas.

No matter where you look, you will likely see digitally printed fabric, digital printed 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, concert drapes, and exhibit booth panels.

This massive printed drapery for the Marc Anthony OPUS Tour is a gorgeous example of how a printed billboard sized cloth can transform a stage. This is a spectacular walk-in scene for the top of the show!  Our fabric of choice for this type of project is our Crystal Poplin because of its durability and semi-gloss print surface. In a large-scale piece such as this, you really want the image to pop when lit. As Crystal Poplin is a translucent fabric, it also offers lighting designers the opportunity to flood with light from behind for a back lit or silhouette effect which gives another dynamic to the stage look.

At 42’h x 78′ wide this custom sewn brail lift drape is crafted with virtually invisible lift line details to fit and lift on a ShowRig Automation Lift System.  On cue, the drape is raised to reveal the stage. If needed the drape can be lowered mid show to mask the upstage area for a set change. Fascinated? To learn more about automation systems and how you might include one in your next show design visit SGPS ShowRig online at www.sgps.net

With so many different lighting effects, this spectacular drape with mural sized portrait of Marc Anthony takes on a life of its own. Just remember, the show starts BEFORE the curtain goes up!

Thanks to Roly, Andres and Silvia with the Marc Anthony production team for choosing Sew What? Inc to supply softgoods for this world tour.

Need something custom? Our custom sewing department can provide personalized drapery quotations for any specialty concert stage design. Take a look in our portfolio {https://sewwhatinc.com/portfolios/rock-n-roll-portfolio/} at some of the custom drapery styles available. For details and pricing contact us at 310-639-6000

#sewwhatinc #sewwhatrentwhat #marcanthony #backdrop #concertdesign #lightingdesign

10 09, 2019

Unique Multi-layer Backdrop Takes Center Stage in Tyler, the Creator Tour Set Design

By |September 10th, 2019|Clients, Digital Printing, Projects|0 Comments

When Alex Reardon of Silent House Productions contacted us regarding this year’s Tyler, the Creator tour, we could not have been more excited. We immediately knew that we would be involved in a stage design and touring production of epic proportions. With a full-on tour schedule of more than 30 shows in the USA, UK and Canada, it was clear we would need to develop a hamper friendly and tour ready drapery package.

We love being challenged to create something new and unique. Not the same old run of the mill white cyc – this projection surface was to have the texture of fine ribbons and the ability blow in the wind while offering a reflective and bright surface for lighting and projection. It needed to be tangle resistant and have a series of unique contoured bottom edge cuts.

Sew What?’s very own Shane Nelsen worked directly with Alex Reardon and the TtC design team and got immediately to prototyping different ways we could achieve this unique request. After reviewing many different materials, a decision to settle on a lightly toned knit cloth was made since it would check all the design need boxes and offer wrinkle resistance as well. The best approach was to digitally print the elements onto our Heavy Knit cloth. We were able to add the light grey toning to the cloth, print the 1” wide ribbon cut lines and draft in the unique contoured curved bottom.

Made in separate sections to allow for the sections to be layered and adjusted as needed onsite, there were 48 pieces in total that made up the four backdrops. Once all the printed elements were applied to their respective webbing headers and layered appropriately, it was time for the process of cutting all the ribbons. We don’t call ourselves the Sew What? “family” for nothing. It truly was a family event, and everyone (office staff as well) put in time on the cutting table to slice up cloth into miles and miles of ribbon. (Some might hang around the coffee maker for the most recent news, but for us we were hanging around the @feliciathegoat backdrop to cut and catch up!)

The outcome is absolutely stunning – and we hope that you will have time to see the show when it is in your town. We are thrilled to have been selected to provide a custom touring softgood package for Tyler, the Creator. Thank you to Alex Reardon and team for your support and confidence in our ability and product.

Tyler The Creator @feliciathegoat x Chicago #IGOR 

  • Creative Director / Lighting & Set Designer @alexreardon65 of @silenthouseproductions
  • Lighting Programmer @climbingwombat
  • Disguise Programmer @retinakiller
  • Notch FX @rowanglenn
  • Tour Manager @henrybordeaux
  • Production by @eighteentwentysix
  • Video Content: @immanent_vj

See a video of the backdrop in action as a projection surface: https://youtu.be/N6do_QHcjWk

19 12, 2018

Our Projection Proscenium Helped Create A Unique Stage For Tenacious D

By |December 19th, 2018|Products, Projects|1 Comment

The sewing staff at Sew What? Inc. are always super excited to have a Dan Hadley design pass through the sewing room.  Dan’s projects seem to bring out the best in our creative sewing skills, with textile minded challenges and fabric selections beyond the basic. It is always fun to watch the design come to life on the sewing table, and then see it in all it’s glory on stage once the tour starts. This design for the current Tenacious D tour was no exception!

Tenacious D is a rock duo formed in 1994, by Jack Black and Kyle Glass.  Over the years, Tenacious D has supported large bands such as Pearl Jam and Tool. This year the band released an album titled Post-Apocalypto and a web series called, Tenacious D in Post-Apocalypto, on YouTube. Tenacious D is currently on tour with our custom-made projection proscenium.

This design focused on two elements, surface and shape.  Firstly – a fabric surface that would precisely mimic a projection screen, without the cost and maintenance of a vinyl projection screen product; and secondly, a precisely shaped projection proscenium to showcase carefully mapped out graphics.

When it comes to taking projection surfaces on the road, many of our touring clients lean toward a substitute material. While a professional vinyl projection screen certainly offers a premium surface, there are many inherent difficulties in a touring “on the road” environment which include excessive weight, difficult to clean, problems unfurling and installing vinyl screens in cold weather and more.

There are several substitute textiles that we find popular, and after reviewing the options designer Dan Hadley selected our 120 “Brillante”. With a jet black backside and a brilliant bright white semi-matte surface to take front projection it was the perfect selection.

In order to keep all areas of the projection proscenium “seamless” the design was developed so that no individual surface area exceeded the 10 foot width of the cloth.  The shape was printed as a paper pattern, so that there would be absolutely no error made with the curves being precisely per the design. This is important so that the projection scene that had been pre-developed by the designer would sit perfectly on the cloth proscenium and not require to much graphic spill cleanup.

The legs were sewn as separate pieces to the proscenium header, making the set three pieces for an easy install. All the items fit easily in the bottom of a hamper and had durable touring finishes applied to them such as heavy-duty webbing and grommets at the top and reinforced pipe pockets at the bottoms of the legs.

It is amazing all the different looks that were created using the projection proscenium strategy. It is as though you are transported to a multitude of different venues in the course of one show.  By projecting a variety of “drapery looks” the theme of the stage was instantly transformed. Themes were Gothic, Art Deco, Pop Art and more…… The custom proscenium most importantly provided a surface for colorful and bold artistic slides mesmerizing the audience with this unique use of projection in the foreground – rather than the more tradition use of images and projection “behind the artists”.

Check out these amazing images showing just a few of the projection scenes created for the show.

And for those Tenacious D die-hards – here is a fun video on You Tube that you might get a kick out of – you will see our projection proscenium at work!

About Sew What?

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. For inquiries call 310 639-6000.

28 11, 2018

Marc Anthony Digital Print For His Legacy Tour

By |November 28th, 2018|Clients, Digital Printing|1 Comment

Sew What? Inc. had the opportunity to really pull a rabbit out of a hat for the current Marc Anthony tour. Not only was the task at hand a challenge in terms of sewing – it was also a challenge based on the very limited time frame. This was our moment to shine by performing some super-high-speed-sewing! Nonstop printing and stitching were in order, and the SW team pulled out all the stops to create this 46’h x 75’w digitally printed brail lift drape in just one week.

Wondering what a brail drape is? The term brail in fact comes from the maritime industry. Brails, in a sailing ship, are small lines used to haul in or up the edges (leeches) or corners of sails, before furling. On a ship rig, these brails are most often found on the mizzen sail. The command is, hale up the brails, or, brail up the sails. Certainly not to be confused with Braille, a tactile writing system for the blind.  In this instance the lines are use to lift and unfurl the stage drapery to create a reveal and cover effect that can be operated remotely via the motorized lift system.

For this project, there were a total of 16 vertical lift lines placed strategically on the back side of the drape. We craft these as near-invisible sewn vertical lines with O-rings running vertically to capture the aircraft cable that is used for lifting the drape. Each lift line runs the full 46 feet in height – so there were over 700 running feet of lift line alone on this giant drapery with nearly 500 hand applied o-rings on the back side.

Matching the printed pattern is also a key component. In this case the print was printed onto 9 custom sized widths of fabric. For durability and a gorgeous lighting surface, we chose to direct print onto our crystal poplin. It is important that each printed segment is lined up perfectly before it is sewn. We used thousands of sewing pins to pre-pin by hand all the sections of cloth. So great attention is given to the craft of assembling the drape. Print. Seam. Add lift lines.  Finish top, sides and bottom. Add hardware. Insert all the O-rings. Inspect. Fold and ship!

It was a pleasure to work with the Marc Anthony team and specifically with his talented designer Travis Shirley and Roly Garbalosa of Garba Music.  Sew What? Inc. was delighted to be a key player in the production of this amazing arena tour!

21 11, 2018

Ultra Violet Backdrop for TOTO

By |November 21st, 2018|Products, Projects|1 Comment

Sew What? Inc. was recently given the opportunity to create a backdrop for TOTO. The artwork for this backdrop was initially delivered as a “square piece of art”. This is often typical for art that has been designed for an album or CD cover. In order to achieve a landscape style backdrop piece, it was necessary to have the artwork extended to add graphic elements to both the sides and the bottom of the scene. For this we worked directly with John Rios of John Rios Designs who is a skilled entertainment industry graphic artist and backdrop designer. In this case he used the style and theme of the client’s original artwork design and added details in the style of the original art so that it would fit the landscape shape we needed. The art was carefully formatted and saved so that the output would be at the greatest dpi resolution.

The new art file was then zipped and delivered to us at Sew What? Inc where we printed the file on our wide format vutek printer in house. The piece was printed onto our heavy cotton canvas substrate, and there are many hours of printing involved in a backdrop of this size. Once printed onto 10-foot-wide panels of cloth, the drop was vertically seamed by our sewing staff. The graphic was carefully lined up so that the detailed pattern was beautifully and invisibly matched when sewn into its finished size of 30’h x 40’w. Webbing reinforcements, hems and pockets were added to make the backdrop installation ready.

Once sewn the drape was then applied to a paint frame, where our skilled scenic artist took time to hand paint Ultra Violet effects carefully onto the key areas of the graphic.  This is a slow process and requires great care. The painting must be constantly checked under black light to make sure the UV effects are producing the desired effect.  More than just highlights, it was important that the drop had one look when under traditional stage lighting (to look and feel like the album art), and then take on its own complete UV look when the Ultra Violet lights are applied to it on stage (another worldly glow! Astronomical!).