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18 02, 2020

Custom Soft Goods Help Give Tour An Exceptionally Unique Vibe

By |February 18th, 2020|Products, Projects|1 Comment

Rock and Roll tours are unquestionably our company’s bread and butter, and nothing pleases us more than being able to aid a tour with some fabulous stage curtains for their one-of-a-kind tour designs. Recently we were thrilled to be able to work with the renowned Production Designer Jonny Kingsbury with Cour Design. He had a very unique vision for the tour design for up-and-coming indie-rock artist Clairo, and wanted us to assist him and his amazing lighting and stage design team with a few custom soft goods. Sometimes we do this by manufacturing fresh, new drapery in one fabric and in one style. But other times, like with this project, we used two different types of materials to help them accomplish this incredibly fabulous look.

First they were looking to build three “walls” made of an immaculate fabric that they could use to fashion their stage’s design space at many different kinds and sizes of venues while out on tour. To do this, we built them three 20’h white FR Super Knit drapery that they could hang onto their existing truss and hardware to fashion into these crisp backdrop walls with sharp, clean corners. This fabric is a fabulous ultra-wide substrate that is perfect for both front AND rear projection of graphics, video, or any other kinds of colorful lighting effects that you might want to splash onto it. And as you can see by these gorgeous photos taken by gifted music and concert photographer Matty Vogel, it takes lighting superbly!

Next they wanted to add an exceptional center-point element to the design that would give the stage some dimension and texture, and offer their lighting team a secondary location for selected video and picture projected imagery to really “POP”. To achieve this distinctive look, they built a separate truss frame so that it could be used mid-stage from the backdrop, but upstage from the artist and her band. Since this would be front-projected onto only, and because they didn’t want any residual projection to spill-over onto the backdrop walls, they needed this substrate to be completely opaque—but still offer the same crisp, clean, flat, and smooth surface that the Super Knit did.

This fabric also needed to be over 9’h and 18’w AND seamless, and likewise be a fully opaque, projection-friendly FR substrate that would be wide enough for this specific set-up. These particular characteristics are pretty uncommon, so it directed us to the perfect material—FR Blackout Lining in White/White. Typically used as a printable fabric, this time it worked out beautifully as a custom smooth, white, fully opaque design piece instead. We were able to build this curved, semi-circle custom drape with a “return strip” sewn on the top of it, so that the fabric literally curled up and over the top of the truss piece and tied onto it with hidden sewn twill ties all along the backside. This helped give the entire structure a completely seamless appearance, and give them another super-clean projection surface.

Utilizing two different substrates worked out wonderfully for this truly exclusive stage design, and their lighting team did an outstanding job with all of the stunning lighting and projection effects. These versatile drapes allowed them to have the ability to change the look and feel of the décor for each song set by simply change of the lighting scheme. They created an exceedingly remarkable stage design, befitting a genuinely talented artist. We loved getting to work with Jonny on this project, and get to demonstrate once again one of the favorite mottos we have regarding our custom-manufactured drapery…”If you can dream it, we can sew it!” And if you have a chance to check out Clairo on her current tour, you definitely should!

11 02, 2020

Stunning Digitally Printed Backdrop Showcased Beautifully At Holiday Concert

By |February 11th, 2020|Clients, Products, Projects|1 Comment

Every now and then our clients send us photos of the custom drapes that we built for them being used at their special event, production, concert, or trade show…..and they just completely take our breath away. Recently we received these awe-inspiring images from one of our enormously artistic clients: Luther College, and more specifically from Creative Director Michael Bartels and Associate Director of Music, Susan Potvin. As you can imagine, we were overjoyed to see how magnificent it looked at their event!

Christmas at Luther 2019, Whom Angels Greet with Anthems Sweet presented by Aurora, Cathedral, Collegiate, Nordic, Norskkor Choirs and Symphony Orchestra held in the CFL Main Hall on December 4th, 2019. Photos by Wyatt Hill

Designing their yearly “Christmas At Luther” Concert, they were looking for something absolutely memorable for their enraptured audiences to enjoy throughout the entire show.  Combining the choirs of Luther College, the Luther Orchestra, the Handbell Choirs, and the incredibly rousing performers playing on their mighty Luther College pipe organ, they were producing a show design that needed to be heartrending, exciting, moving, and most of all, versatile enough for each individual performance to stand out on their own.

Christmas at Luther 2019 Photos by Nick Greseth

Working with their SW account representative every step of the way, they decided to provide us with an utterly gorgeous original graphic image and have us custom build them a large-scale digitally printed drape to act as the perfect backdrop for this very special yearly showcase. Wide format digital printing gives us the opportunity to present “picture perfect” images like these to our clients’ audiences. Seamless images of up to 10′ wide can be produced, and a variety of fabrics – both for indoor and outdoor use – are available to choose from. At roughly 26’h x 48’w, this particular curtain was going to be a considerable element of this event’s staging, so they wanted it to work effectively with all of the various components to their overall design vision.

Christmas at Luther 2019 Photos by Nick Greseth

By choosing to have us print their backdrop on FR Crystal Poplin, they were able to construct some dazzling, dramatic looks with gorgeous, colorful front projection lighting. This lightweight substrate’s super tight weave allows for a sharp, crisp image, and an almost “glossy” appearance. This fabric also works beautifully with digital ink for the ultimate in durability and color saturation, helping make their unique image truly stand out.

Christmas at Luther 2019 Photos by Nick Greseth

Plus, the excellent translucency of this fabric also allowed them a multitude of different moods to be created, because it has a wonderful translucency and glows exceptionally well when appropriately back lit. So, by simply changing the theatrical lighting that they splashed onto the front of the drape and from behind,  they were able to have an endless amount of striking looks and backgrounds for their stage—all still using the same exact curtain. Charming holiday décor and lovely sheer drapery legs all added one-of-a-kind, elegant touches to this event’s stunning motif.

Christmas at Luther 2019, Whom Angels Greet With Anthems Sweet features Symphony Orchestra, Norskkor, Nordic, Collegiate, Aurora, and Cathedral Choirs in the CFL Main Hall on December 4th, 2019. Photo by Anh Le.

Taking place in Luther College’s Center For Faith and Life Auditorium, this packed house was genuinely dazzled and inspired by all of the diverse and superb performances, the exquisite holiday touches, and the spectacular production design. You can see by these exceptionally impressive photos provided by The Luther College Photo Bureau what an absolutely outstanding job they did on this cherished, yearly holiday concert. Their custom drapery project was a labor of love for both Michael and Susan from the very beginning, and we couldn’t be more impressed with how remarkable their production design turned out!

Christmas at Luther 2019, Whom Angels Greet With Anthems Sweet showcased the talent of Symphony Orchestra, Norskkor, Nordic, Collegiate, Aurora, and Cathedral Choirs in the CFL Main Hall on December 4th, 2019. Photo by Danica Nolton.

Do not hesitate to reach out to our helpful drapery experts and we’ll be delighted to build you a custom digitally printed curtain for you upcoming special event, too. Let us assist with your next production’s stage design, to be as unforgettable as the show itself—just like what the team producing this fabulous concert brilliantly accomplished!

Christmas at Luther 2019, Whom Angels Greet With Anthems Sweet showcased the talent of Symphony Orchestra, Norskkor, Nordic, Collegiate, Aurora, and Cathedral Choirs in the CFL Main Hall on December 4th, 2019. Photo by Danica Nolton.
4 02, 2020

Innovative Stage Design Dazzles Audiences At Inspirational Conference

By |February 4th, 2020|Products, Projects|1 Comment

We love it when our amazing clients come to us looking to help them come up with an original production design based on their own really cool, unique event’s “vision”. And then sometimes when helping our clients think “outside the box” on their stage design, we end up building them custom drapery to help make it look like their stage is actually INSIDE of a box.                        

We were recently excited to be contacted by gifted Production Designers Shay and Ben Walton with GT Pro, who were working with the brilliant Lighting/Show/Technical Designer Chase Hall to produce the main stage design for the Mosaic Conference 2019. Entitled “The New”, this wildly popular three-day yearly conference was being held at the iconic Theatre at Ace Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles. Gorgeously restored–consisting of a remarkably dramatic proscenium, a 1600-person seating capacity, and an absolutely stunning Gothic architectural features–this venue offered a truly spectacular setting for all of the many eclectic performances and speeches that the conference offered its captivated audience.

Shay, Ben, and Chase wanted this special event’s stage design to be clean and powerful, yet still versatile enough to be used as the backdrop for various segments of the conference’s renowned speakers, artists, and influencers. They and their design team decided to create three sides of a crisp, white “box” that they could project engaging videos, inspirational imagery, and colorful lighting onto throughout each segment of the summit.

They started by having SW custom-build them an extremely large, all-white drape with minimal vertical seams and a smooth, flat surface. Using fabulous 192” FR Superknit substrate, we were able to construct a larger-than-life 40’h x 80’w single drape for this production design. Measuring, inspecting, cutting, and sewing multiple panels of fabric that were 40’ high by 16’ wide is no small endeavor, and keeping it clean for the entire production process was quite an impressive feat in and of itself!

Next we consulted with Chase on ways to best way to fashion the sharp corners that would really bring home the stage design’s exceptionally distinct look. He and his team ended up installing virtually invisible aircraft cable on the stage floor and the top of the truss structure, making sure it was good and taut. Once tension was applied, it created the appearance of perfectly tight corners. Adding some large LED screens to the staging offered even more versatility with the overall vibe of the motif, which also encouraged a fresh look and feel for each and every element of this lively and inspirational symposium.

We were ecstatic to hear how successful the weekend was, and were genuinely thrilled to see these fantastic event photos provided by The Mosaic Team, too. Getting to work on meaningful projects like this one is always such an honor for us, and we are very excited to see what this amazing design team comes up with next! Don’t hesitate to contact one of our account representatives today to learn how we might be able to help you create a one-of-a-kind design for your upcoming special events, too.

11 11, 2019

Custom Soft Goods Help Create Memorable Tour Stage Design

By |November 11th, 2019|Clients, Projects|1 Comment

We love being able to work with our regular clients on uniquely remarkable drapery projects, and truly enjoy getting to see how they are able to turn something possibly considered “standard” into an undeniably memorable stage design. It takes a uniquely talented lighting and stage designer who can take some simple white drapery and turn them into complete “wow” pieces, and that never ceases to always impress us!

This past summer we were thrilled to be able to work with one of these such designers, the incredible Adam “Orby” Cowan, with the Breaking Benjamin World Tour again. He and his stage and lighting design team devised a very cool look using the band’s existing record-cover design as a main backdrop. But they also wanted to add some edgy, versatile soft good pieces to the stage design to be able to create an absolutely sensational, distinctive motif for this international tour.

They had constructed some truss “hanging” structures (two squares and a triangle) and were looking to drape them with a tour-friendly substrate that they could light up with all different colors and gobo designs. Wanting drapes that would be seamless, crisp, white, and still durable, he decided to have us custom build them set pieces using the ever-popular FR Super Knit fabric. Using this wide, flame retardant substrate was a fabulous way to build stage curtains that would help to give them the clean and taut look they were envisioning, and which could additionally be front and rear projected onto beautifully as well.

Orby did such a phenomenal job as lighting programmer and operator for all of the concerts, by crafting a completely one-of-a-kind look and feel for every part of each concert, and from venue to venue. You can see by these gorgeous photographs taken by gifted band photographer Courtney Dellafiora that he was enormously successful in building an exceptional look for the band’s stage time and time again.

Sometimes the drapery that you are picturing for your stage design may not yet exist—so that is exactly where Sew What? comes in! Chat with one of our helpful and creative drapery specialists today, and let us help you figure out the most amazing drapery that we can custom build for your own exclusive tour, production, or special event design. It’s what we love to do, and it shows!

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!