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10 03, 2020

Looking for Inspiration? Check Out our Portfolios

By |March 10th, 2020|News, Products, Projects|0 Comments

If you haven’t checked out our portfolios on our website recently, I wanted to give you a little taste of what you will find in each of the portfolios. Here are just a few projects to inspire you – visit out Portfolios page to see many other featured projects that we are proud to have worked on.

ROCK AND ROLL PORTFOLIO

America – the home of legendary rock bands and so many of today’s pop stars. Madonna, Britney Spears, Don Henley, Sting; we have draped and masked stages for the best of them. While we tend to remember a concert in terms of the “set” and the “lighting and effects,” the draperies play an often invisible but integral role in how the show comes together. Giant painted stage backdrops set the scene, masking hides tech areas from the crowd, borders dress the floating trusses to hide the lighting instruments, and skirting surrounds the stage and band risers. Soft goods, as they are known to the “roadies,” are a major part of any touring set.

Project: Tenacious D
Fabric: Brillante

The design for Tenacious D focused on two elements, surface and shape. First, a fabric surface that would mimic a projection screen, and second, a precisely shaped projection proscenium to showcase carefully mapped out graphics. The designer, Dan Hadley, selected our 120 “Brillante,” which has a jet-black backside and a bright white semi-matte surface to take front projection. In order to keep all areas of the proscenium “seamless,” the design was developed so that no individual surface exceeded the 10-foot width of the cloth. The legs were sewn as separate pieces to the proscenium header, making the set three pieces for an easy install. As these photos demonstrate, the Tenacious D production team was able to create a variety of unique looks using the projection proscenium strategy.

DIGITAL PRINTING PORTFOLIO

If you can visualize it, we can print it.  As big or as wide as you want it.  Check out our show page of really impressive digitally printed backdrops and drapes for really impressive showbiz personalities such as Lady Gaga, Kenny Chesney and Brooks & Dunn.  And see what can be done to blow away the crowds at major public events and trade shows.  We can even combine digital printing with a whole host of special effects that will leave jaws on the floor. 

Project: Marc Anthony “Legacy Tour”
Fabric: Crystal Poplin

Sew What? Inc. created an extraordinary 46’h x 75’w digitally printed brail lift drape in just one week for Marc Anthony’s Legacy Tour. For this project, there were 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. For durability and a gorgeous lighting surface, we chose to direct print onto our Crystal Poplin. In order to make sure that each printed segment is lined up perfectly, we used thousands of sewing pins to pre-pin by hand all the sections of cloth. This backdrop looked amazing on stage for the Legacy Tour!

THEATRE PORTFOLIO

Grand drape, tab curtain, austrian, theatrical backdrops, tabs, legs and borders…. These are all words that we associate with the stage and the wonderful world of theatre. Sew What? Inc specializes in theatrical drapery manufacturing, so your needs can all be filled with just one telephone call. Not only for professional theatres – don’t forget that schools, churches, universities and even cruise ships have stages!

Photo By George Davidson

Project: GRIDWORKS for Princess Cruises / Ruby Princess
Fabric: IFR 26oz Velour / Custom Dye

Once again we had the privilege of working with Gridworks, one of the premier providers servicing the audio/video needs of the cruise line industry. This project was for Princess Cruise’s Ruby Princess while in dry dock. Gridworks team of installation experts had visited the ship some months prior to dry dock, and were armed with the measurements for a fast changeover and successful replacement of the drapery elements in both the Princess Theatre and Explorers Lounge.  All elements were sewn from Inherently Flame Retardant velour. Aside from the obvious and most featured Austrian Drape there were over 20 other items dressing the stage – including several scrims, a leno, a muslin cyclorama and plenty of masking drapes, legs and borders.

SPECIAL EVENT PORTFOLIO

Grammy Awards, SAG Awards, Golden Globe Awards; you name them and we have draped them! Tents in tennis courts and 5 course dinners in stadiums – the special events industry is all about transformation. Watch while designers transform the ordinary special event into the extraordinary. Custom trade show displays rely on the many effects that drapery can provide. Our in-stock inventory of pipe and drape has been an instant solution for many special event planners with a sudden on-site masking issue. Designers and special event planners alike can benefit from our services and fast turnarounds.

Project: Indiana Conference for Women
Fabric: Silver Textura and Pewter Textura

For the Indiana Conference for Women, we used a mixture of drapes from our Silver Satin Rental Drapery Collection. This stage included a row of complementary 30’h Silver Satin, Silver Textura, and Pewter Textura drapery legs with 16’h-22’h Crushed Silver Satin Swags. These drapes covered the entire wall of the ballroom, giving the event a clean, timeless appearance. These curtains light up beautifully, reflecting the colorful light splashed onto them. By using this mix of our rental drapes, they were able to have their own unique vision become a stunning reality.

RENT WHAT? RENTAL PORTFOLIO

Our rental drapery team has performed for many of the biggest names in entertainment, so we know the realities of dressing up a major venue and dancing around all the surprises that can pop up at the last second. It’s not just about having the right products, but having the experience and service our customers will remember when it comes to booking each new tour.

Project: Jonathan Antoine
Fabric: Pewter Textura

For Jonathan Antoine’s first solo performance in the United States, his team was looking for stage curtains that would be easy to work with, light up beautifully, and give the stage a timeless look. Antoine’s team decided to use a variety of our Pewter Textura rental drapes from our Timeless and Traditional Rental Drapery Collection. The stage was set using a mixture of pre-pleated legs and swagettes in various sizes. These rental drapes, along with a creative lighting design, resulted in a stunning stage design that gave the show a modern, yet timeless look.

Pretty impressive, don’t you think? There is so much more on our Portfolios page, including links to more content on Flickr and YouTube. So, make sure to head over to our Portfolios page today, and feel free to contact us for help with your next project!

25 02, 2020

Will YOU Be Our Valentine?

By |February 25th, 2020|Company, News, Rent What Team, Sew What Team|0 Comments

We SW? “Whatters Family” genuinely enjoy celebrations of all kinds—but ESPECIALLY ones that involve a holiday filled with smiles, hugs, laughter, sweet treats, and tons of silly photographs! This year was no exception—and to make things even more fun we decided to combine our Valentine’s Day shindig with our yearly company photo shoot.  O-M-G, it was definitely one for the record books (and for fabulous social media blasts)!!

The company provided us all with some of the greatest adorable and delectable special-made cupcakes with every type of Valentine embellishment you can think of on them. Moist, tasty, and festive, they were the perfect way to get things started, and kick our sugar intake into overdrive so that’d we’d have the energy to sincerely dazzle on camera.

Then they had the amazingly talented and wonderfully creative photographer/videographer Tom Underhill conduct one of the most entertaining and memorable company photo shoots I think we’ve ever had here at RW/SW. This photo shoot was bright, colorful, unique, and with a little bit of the “sugar and spice and everything nice” that truly makes us who we are.

The theme of this year’s photo/video shoot was how incredibly impressive our staff’s overall tenure with the company is—with a combined total of almost 382 years’ experience between all of the staff. Each person (and dog) received a custom placard to hold up for the video shoot in the warehouse, and being able to clearly see each person’s card listing out their years of experience with Sew What filled us all with a lot of pride.

From a few newbies having been here just under one year, to some long-term employees with over 15-20 years at SW, it is all an exceptionally remarkable achievement indeed—and we couldn’t be more delighted! The staff also got to pose in front of a custom digitally printed backdrop and our magnificent Red Satin Austrian rental curtain from our Rockin’ Red Drapery Collection. We did this in groups of friends and colleagues who have been working together for years—some more than a decade—and had a lot of goofy fun posing together for these pictures.

Then Tom had a set-up in the main office with one of our gorgeous custom-made velour drapes for the photo shoot, and added in few fun decorations to help with the overall motif. Complementing the look, we also were able to use some larger-than-life rainbow lollipops embellished with our company’s color-branded Yellow/Green ribbons that SW gave to each employee for the occasion. The combination of sugar, and the “encouraging” whoops and hollers of fellow employees, got everyone more than a little silly (and with some, completely out of character) while striking their poses…much to the great amusement for those of us watching. We haven’t laughed that hard in a LONG time!

Having these company-wide events that involve the entire team enjoying time with one another is what really brings us together as a close family—and the images from this photo shoot will be a fantastic reminder of this day for years to come!

29 10, 2019

Mix Of Rental Drapes Are Perfect Background For Old Dominion Benefit Concert

By |October 29th, 2019|Clients, News, Products|1 Comment

Feeling an enormous amount of pride to be a truly “Made In The USA” company, Sew What?/Rent What? feels especially privileged to be a part of important charity projects right here in America, wherever and whenever possible.  Recently we were humbled and honored to again work with renowned Production Manager Matt Anderson by providing him and his team with some gorgeous rental drapes for a stage he needed to help design for a vital, be a part of the incredible charity event spearheaded by Matthew Ramsey from the gifted contemporary American country music band Old Dominion, called “Nashville Night in Buchanan.”

This significant—and much anticipated—annual event originated in 2011, and benefits Buchanan Area Ministerial Association (BAMA) Food Pantry and other areas in need in Botetourt County. Matthew Ramsey, as well as all of the talented members of the Old Dominion band, brought an evening of fantastic music and lots of laughs back to his hometown of Buchanan, Virginia. Organized as a songwriters’ round to give back to the local community, the event also stars Old Dominion’s Trevor Rosen and Brad Tursi as well as Nashville songwriters Matt Jenkins, Josh Osborne and Shane McAnally. Additionally, the event benefits the Ramsey Foundation, which was created to provide resources to organizations working in rural communities. Their focus is helping to meet daily life needs as well as the enrichment of cultural arts. In addition, they seek to bring awareness to the disparities of cultural arts resources and opportunities in rural communities. That is why benefits like Nashville Night in Buchanan are so critical to help fund the aid programs that are so urgently needed in communities like theirs in Virginia.

Providing Matt Anderson and his team with beautiful and dramatic stage drapes was a great way to give the event some real pizzazz! Starting with lightweight and exquisite Pewter Textura pleated legs from our Timeless and Traditional Drapery Collection, they topped it off with our magnificent Smokey Pearl Swagged Border from our Silver Satin Collection. These drapes all light up extremely well, making them particularly versatile with colorful lighting schemes splashed onto them. Mixing and matching striking curtains from our various drapery collections is a fantastic way to create a stunning and completely unique stage design, no matter the size. Both types of drapery are made from exquisite and versatile IFR fabrics, which also offers peace of mind for the production staff, too.

Those of us at Rent What? couldn’t have been more thrilled with how spectacular their stage design turned out—as you can see by these photos. We were so pleased to have been a part of this extraordinarily crucial benefit for the very deserving people in those communities–we love being able to help our clients build dazzling production and stage designs all over the country! Contact one of our helpful account managers today and let us assist you with fashioning the most amazing stage design for your upcoming special event, with either lovely rental drapes, remarkable custom drapes, or a fabulous combination of both.

28 05, 2019

Combination Of Mylar Rain Curtains And Stardrop LED Drapes Dazzle Theater Audience

By |May 28th, 2019|News|1 Comment

We love our remarkable clients all over the globe—both big and small—but are especially thrilled when we get to help local productions put on a truly phenomenal show. Helping provide them with gorgeous, versatile, and user-friendly specialty rental stage curtains can sometimes really help boost an already fantastic concert, production, musical, or other special event design right over to true excellence!

Recently we were very pleased to work with the exceptional Set Designer Brian Cole and visionary Director Rachel Snow-Fornari of Alhambra High School’s Moors Thespians. This renowned high school theatre department was putting on a production of Bob Fosse, Fred Ebb, and John Kander’s legendary “jazz and corruption” musical Chicago, with a brilliant group of talented students and support staff producing each element of this celebrated musical’s stage design from scratch.

Needing rental curtains for several key scenes in the production, Brian and Rachel decided to start by renting some of our dazzling 23’h x 10’w Silver Mylar Rain Curtains. Completely electrifying, these drapes took any color that their lighting designers splashed onto them, and helped add glamour, excitement, and energy to every scene they were in. From our Oh So Swanky Rental Drapery Collection, we have this style of scintillating silver drapery in both 10’h and 23’h sizes to fit most stages.

Next, they knew that this musical’s storyline wanted to convey several scenes as taking place outside under a clear, crisp night sky… So, they chose to use one of our Classic LED Stardrop rental drapes, too. Rich, velvety, deep black velour curtains with blue-white bright LED lights sewn right into them, these Stardrop drapes are a favorite for all types of productions. With full control over the intensity, speed, and duration of the “twinkle”, you can create the exact look of a beautiful starry sky right in the comfort of your indoor venue—no matter the weather outside. Available in both Classic LED and RGB Chameleon, and with grommets and ties on all four sides of the drapes, these adaptable curtains can be used on a multitude of stage sizes, styles, and designs.

Not only did their custom stage design look absolutely stunning, but the kids also did a tremendous job with the acting, singing, dancing, and choreography too (thanks to their incredible choreographer Tess Johnson). And to top it all off, The National Youth Arts Foundation bestowed upon them four major awards in this year’s 14th Annual National Youth Arts Awards ceremony (including Outstanding Ensemble, and Outstanding Lead and Supporting Lead in a Musical), and they were also nominated for 5 others. With more than 700 productions considered for these awards spanning 17 states, Canada, and the UK, these enormously prestigious commendations rightfully honored Alhambra High School’s students and staff for all of their hard work and efforts on this magnificent production.

With superb photos taken by event photographer Richard Chambers, you can see how flawlessly they utilized both stage curtains for this show—sometimes using them individually, and other times layering them with one another for an especially memorable look. Rent What? was extremely happy for all of their accolades, and are genuinely looking forward to working with Brian, Rachel, and the rest of the team at Alhambra HS on more of their upcoming productions, too. Let us also help support you with some captivating rental or custom-made stage curtains for your next big show, concert, production, concert tour, or any other special event that you have coming up, too.

27 03, 2019

Celebrating 10 years of “It’s All Sew Biz”

By |March 27th, 2019|Company, News|3 Comments

It seems like only yesterday that I published the very first post on our company’s brand new blog, but amazingly enough, it was ten years ago, on March 24, 2009. In the beginning, I was not only the blog administrator, but also the primary author of posts, with Megan contributing as well. I was learning as I went along, so the early posts were mainly text with the occasional photo.

As the years went on, this blog evolved. As I became more comfortable with the WordPress platform and other platforms like Flickr and YouTube, we began to include more embedded content – including YouTube videos and Flickr photos of our custom stage drapes and rental stage curtains out on tour.

Over the years, the voice of the blog has become more diverse, as a variety of staff members have contributed posts. Some have contributed just one or two posts, while others have became regular and frequent authors. Today, blog posts are primarily written by Marianne, Megan and me (though my focus these days is more on administering the blog rather than writing posts).

It is just so amazing and gratifying to see how this blog has evolved and improved over the years. Whow would have imagined when we launched this new unfamiliar format ten years ago that the blog would still be going strong in 2019! Thank you to all of our readers and contributors – here’s to another ten years!