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27 08, 2019

Digitally Printed Backdrop Mesmerizes Audiences Across The Country

By |August 27th, 2019|Digital Printing, Projects|1 Comment

Here at Sew What? Inc., we honestly enjoy being involved in all kinds of concert tours, festivals, and productions, and we are sincerely excited to help create the most beautiful digitally printed backdrops for our clients that they can ever imagine. Our state of the art, grand-format in-house digital printer can create seamless custom-printed individual drapery pieces up to 10ft. wide each. And with our incredibly gifted manufacturing team’s mad sewing skills, we can then build custom digitally printed curtains in practically any shape, size, and style that our clients’ imaginative minds can think of.

This past spring, renowned Stage/Tour Designer Gordon Droitcoir (@courdesign) and absolutely unrivaled Lighting Designer Jonathan “Jonny” Kingsbury (@kingsburyeyes) reached out to us for a custom theatrical curtain. They were gearing up for the upcoming national “Mystic Truth Tour” for Southern Californian alternative rock band, Bad Suns, and wanted something completely distinctive to showcase behind the band while out on the road. They needed the drape to be lightweight and easy to hang, tour-friendly for transporting from show to show, and vibrant enough to showcase their energizing graphic design with a striking clarity that their entire audiences could enjoy.  They decided to have us construct for them a 16’h x 28’w “venue-friendly” backdrop that was digitally printed onto FR Crystal Poplin, a flame retardant fabric that works beautifully with digital ink for the ultimate in durability and color saturation, helping make their unique image truly stand out. 

This lightweight substrate’s super tight weave allows for a sharp, crisp image, and an almost “glossy” appearance. It has a wonderful translucency and glows exceptionally well when appropriately back lit. We love the way this textile delivers jet black and super saturated dark colors, too—which worked fantastically with this Bad Suns’ genuinely one-of-a-kind graphic.

With a wide array of printable substrates to choose from (indoor, outdoor, opaque, translucent, etc.), digital printing enables you to magnify a photo quality image into a stunning theatrical and scenic digital backdrop. This is especially exciting nowadays because any graphic image that is designed for printing on paper can now be printed on fabric, too. So we can literally take any idea from your graphic artist’s imagination and turn it into a real-world, spectacular stage design for your show or production—just like we did for Gordon and Jonathan and this tour. Reach out to us anytime and we’d be delighted to build you a remarkable digitally printed curtain for you upcoming special event, too. And you should definitely check out Bad Suns in concert at any of their upcoming shows this Fall across the country—their post-punk inspired music offers a downright extraordinary live show experience!

8 04, 2019

Colorful Digitally Printed Drapes Perfectly Compliment Tour’s Upbeat Atmosphere

By |April 8th, 2019|Clients, Digital Printing, Projects|1 Comment

We love when we get to help our clients create create a one-of-a-kind experience for the adoring fans of their band or artist, by building them custom-made theatrical drapes–which can then be enjoyed throughout the entire duration of their tour or production. A splash of vibrant color is often a very effective way to really grab the audience’s attention, and custom digitally-printed drapes and stage skirts are a fantastic method of adding an array of exciting colors to your own unique stage or event design.

Jason Mraz- Good Vibes Tour at Edgefield

This past summer our Senior Sales Representative Shane Nelsen was delighted to work again with the incomparable Production Manager Ettore Dedivitiis (“E.T.”) this past summer on Jason Mraz’s international “Good Vibes Tour” (which, due to its wild popularity, is still going strong and slated to continue through at least until this fall). ET wanted a versatile stage backdrop and a few complimentary, matching riser skirts for these lively, high-energy shows. He would need these drapes to work well on stages that were both large and small, and in venues that might be indoors or outdoors

Jason Mraz- Good Vibes Tour at Edgefield

With spot-on advice from Shane, ET decided to have us custom-build the tour some beautiful stage curtains out of our digitally-printed IFR Vinyl Mesh. This 25% blow-through (“wind transmission”) substrate is the perfect option when you are looking for a polyester coated material that will offer excellent color accuracy and high quality durability, and yet still be weather resistant. Tours love this direct-print digital substrate because it is lightweight, has low wind flow resistance, and yet still offers crisp image details and a truly brilliant color display. As you can see, these drapes were the perfect background for these cheerful, upbeat performers at both indoor concert halls and outdoor arenas.

Jason Mraz- Good Vibes Tour at Edgefield

Check out our new Flickr Gallery to see a collection of exceptional photos of these distinctive and vivacious digitally printed stage drapes, taken by a couple very talented photographers across the country. We strive to provide our clients with memorable stage curtains for all of their special stage designs, and were thrilled with how eye-catching these drapes turned out. Contact a sales rep today and let us help you create a completely original look for your design, too. We highly recommend that you try and catch Jason Mraz’s Good Vibes Tour live in person this summer, too—it’s a fantastic, exhilarating show filled with Jason’s honeyed voice and an incredibly talented band of musicians and back-up singers. It’s an unforgettable, feel-good show that the entire family will enjoy!

Jason Mraz- Good Vibes Tour at Edgefield

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!

25 07, 2018

Fantastic Example Of A Heavy Knit Digitally Printed Backdrop

By |July 25th, 2018|Digital Printing, Products, Projects|1 Comment

Whenever clients ask for a fantastic example of a “digitally printed backdrop,” I love showing them the beautiful and vibrant drape that we custom-built for the eclectic, talented Australian singer-songwriter Vance Joy a couple of years ago. In preparation for his upcoming world tour, his team (lead by Production Manager Mani Hammond) wanted a new stage curtain that could be used in a myriad of venue sizes—from large arenas to more intimate theaters. They knew that they wanted a 25’h x 45’w custom-built, digitally printed backdrop, but had some concerns about fabric choice. The designers didn’t want anything too heavy or bulky, but they also didn’t want anything that might be too sheer as they were planning on adding some dramatic theatrical lighting for different sections of the performance. And most importantly, they also needed it to travel well and not become too wrinkled while in transit.

The material that we recommended to them was FR Heavy Knit, which had the right combination of durability and print quality to meet their specific needs. Because this type of backdrop is topically treated after the digital printing is complete, its flame retardancy tests very well at venues while out on the road. This digital substrate is lightweight without being translucent, it has a wonderful matte finish to it, and the wrinkles tend to just “fall right out.” These are all qualities that make it a very popular and tour-friendly choice in digitally printed backdrops, and it worked out impeccably for this tour, too. Check out the video below to see it being made in our shop and then used in concert:

The artwork provided to us by our client was utterly gorgeous, composed of a “watercolor” design in shades of pinks, oranges, yellows, and greens. As you can see (with the eye-catching images from the tour that we collected in our Flickr gallery), this backdrop looked absolutely amazing hanging behind the artist and his band. When we saw pictures and videos from his shows, we were struck by how terrific the backdrop looked in natural lighting. But were even more blown away with how many incredible variations it took on under colorful theatrical lighting from their immensely skillful lighting design team. We loved that our client’s design vision turned into the exact soft goods that they were looking for! Do not hesitate to contact our sales representatives so that we can help your design vision also become a memorable, tangible reality on stage, too. And please check out Vance Joy on his current world tour if you can—it’s a brilliant show that should not be missed.

11 06, 2018

Wide Format Digitally Printed Backdrop Rocks Out At Festival Tour

By |June 11th, 2018|Digital Printing|1 Comment

Here at Sew What? Inc., we love being involved in all kinds of concert tours and festivals, and we are always so excited to help create the most perfect digitally-printed backdrops for our clients imaginable. Our state of the art, large-scale in-house digital printer can create individual custom-printed pieces up to 10ft. wide each–and with our gifted sewing team’s incredible skills, the sky’s the limit with how large you can have your soft goods sewn into. With a variety of substrates to choose from (indoor, outdoor, opaque, translucent, etc.), digital printing enables you to magnify a photo quality image into a stunning theatrical and scenic digital backdrop. This is especially exciting nowadays because any graphics that are designed for printing on paper can now be printed on fabric, too, so we can literally take any idea from your imagination and turn it into a breathtaking reality!

Recently our client Blackbird Productions approached our expert sales rep Marilyn Moss, to help them build a larger-than-life, custom-made digitally printed backdrop for their exciting Outlaw Music Festival Tour headlined by none other than the “Red Headed Stranger,” Willie Nelson. It needed to be lightweight and easy to hang, be tour-friendly going from show to show, and yet still be bright and colorful enough to showcase the festival design with glorious clarity for the entire crowd to see.  They decided on a 20’h x 40’w drape printed on Crystal Poplin, an extremely durable FR fabric that works beautifully with digital ink to really make the colors really POP. Check out this video designed by Tom Underhill to see this one-of-a-kind, gorgeous drape being manufactured right here in our very own LA warehouse:

As you can see, the festival design is extremely bright and clear, and ready for their entire audience to enjoy—for both those that are close-to and far-away from the stage. It’s also great to know that Direct Digital Fabric Printing is extremely cost-effective for both proof and short-run printing, it reduces production time from weeks to just days (which accelerates design and product development when time is of the essence), and most importantly it permits (and encourages!) customization and personalization from your own design vision.

Rent What? is always thrilled when we have the perfect rental specialty drape for your event, concert, or production. But if they don’t have exactly what you are looking for, we would highly recommend having a personally tailored digitally printed backdrop created by the talented individuals at Sew What? instead. Having trouble coming up with an idea for your upcoming show? Let our creative sales representatives help you figure out the ideal digital backdrop for your show, while also giving you the most “bang for your buck.” Need it transported across the country? Not a problem! Our team of innovative shipping coordinators can package it the best, safest way for your drapes—whether that be via a hamper, box, or pallet. Let us help your next tour’s stage design be as memorable as the shows themselves!