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24 05, 2017

Wondering About Velour and Velvet

By |May 24th, 2017|Education, Fabrics|1 Comment

Have you ever seen a beautiful Grand Drape at a theatre and thought, “Wow, isn’t that velvet drape beautiful?” If so, you might be surprised to learn that the beautiful stage curtain that you were looking at was likely made from theatrical velour, rather than velvet.

This beautiful drape, made on behalf of Gridworks for the luxury cruise ship Queen Victoria, was manufactured from IFR 26oz Theatrical Velour

While the two fabrics are similar, there are some definite differences between the two, particularly in regards to weight and depth of nap. In general terms, velvet is lighter-weight, with a corresponding short nap, and is used primarily for apparel, whereas theatrical velour is heavier, tends to have a thicker nap, and is used primarily for drapery. There are also differences in the types of fibers typically used and in how the fabrics are constructed.

Want to learn more about the differences between velvet and theatrical velour, and about theatrical velour is made? We’ve written an article that explains all about it. To download the article as a pdf document, click here: “Wondering About Velour and Velvet?“.

1 05, 2017

What is a Kabuki?

By |May 1st, 2017|Education, Products|1 Comment

Here are a few excerpts from a wonderful white paper that we have on our website discussing “The Ins and Outs (and ups and downs) of the Kabuki”. If you have ever wondered about this simple yet highly dramatic effect then you will love the full article.

Picture this. You are at a concert. The opening act has just finished playing, and the crew has removed all of the band’s instruments and equipment, leaving only the drape that the band played in front of. The music starts, signaling that the main act is about to appear. Suddenly, the headlining band appears on stage, as if from nowhere. What just happened? Another piece of stage magic, called the Kabuki.

A Single Kabuki allows a single release – the drape is hanging, the solenoids are released, and the kabuki drops to the ground.

Solenoid-based kabukis are a dramatic way to showcase a backdrop or drape. Our solenoid system is remarkably easy to install. Simply clamp our drape ready solenoid heads to the truss or pipe, and connect with the supplied cables. You can position the “go” button anywhere on stage to deploy the drape drop on cue! Here is an image of what the solenoid heads look like – they are compact and easy to install.

Performance that Rocks! You’ll be impressed by the look of our rental kabuki drapes! Here is a video medley showing kabuki drops in use for a variety of stage projects.

Check out our online Portfolio of Past Drapery Projects. You can also see what exciting events and concerts are currently showcasing Rent What? rental draperies by visiting our Press Room.

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!

10 04, 2017

Pipe and Drape for Live Performances

By |April 10th, 2017|Education, Products|0 Comments

Did you know that pipe and drape, though originally designed for use as exhibit booths (aka trade show booths), is also a great option for live performance events?

Pipe and drape can be utilized backstage (and even under stage) to create temporary dressing rooms, designate backstage corridors, mask off areas, and more.

But pipe and base isn’t limited to backstage areas. It can also be used onstage as a beautiful backdrop for the performers on stages where truss or other overhead hanging options aren’t available, such as in the photo below:

Want to learn more about how you can incorporate pipe and drape into your next concert, show, or tour? Contact us via phone or online – we’d be happy to talk through your needs and make recommendations for pipe and drape purchase and/or rental options!