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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!

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!

17 12, 2019

Mixed Media Backdrop With Glowing Backlit Lettering Wows Audience

By |December 17th, 2019|Products, Projects|1 Comment

We were delighted to produce a backdrop recently for American rock band JIMMY EAT WORLD. A Dan Hadley stage and lighting design, this #backdrop was digitally printed onto an opaque, light blocking fabric with a step and repeat design. Our 10 foot wide Vutek direct printer produces bold and saturated color prints to showcase every style of art in a mural size. For this project, the durable opaque print fabric offered a full blackout, which hid all the goings-on in the background especially when being used during the day for festival events.

What made this drop so unique was that the band’s name was then cut out and replaced with a hand stitched translucent white polyester muslin allowing the lighting team to back light the band’s name for a bright and bold glowing effect! Check out how vividly the logo jumps off the drape and looks like it is glowing and “hovering” over the stage. 

We love the effects that can be created with a custom “cut drop”. You can replace areas of a backdrop with any number of different materials, for a variety of lighting and staging effects.  Adding gobos and moving lights behind the cut areas can give a unique and eye-catching look. See in this picture how gobo effects are achieved with creative back lighting fixtures.

This backdrop even rocked hard for day events……..  Here is a short and fun video that showcases the backdrop and the staging in full effect.  Way to go, Dan Hadley!  

At Sew What? Inc we love crafting textile art.  Let us know what your design is, and we will quote you for custom sewn backdrop made just for you. If you can dream it, we can sew it! To learn more about Sew What? Inc please join the conversation on Facebook at  https://www.facebook.com/SewWhatRentWhat

21 10, 2019

Unique Configuration Of Digitally Printed Drapes Showcased On Global Rock Tour

By |October 21st, 2019|Digital Printing, Projects|1 Comment

Having a concert tour means making sure that your stage goods are easy to transport, are simple to hang up, are flame certified ….and yet that they will still “pack a visual punch” for your audiences to truly enjoy from show to show. We were thrilled to get to work with renowned Lighting Director and Production Manager for the post-punk, American indie-rock band Interpol, Christian Lincoln, on just such a project earlier this year. He came to us looking for some digitally printed stage curtains that the tour’s team wanted us to custom build for the group’s eagerly anticipated upcoming international tour.

Christian wanted these custom digitally printed drapes to depict the unmistakable branding from the cover of their most recent album, Marauder, which needed a specific color, font, and style to the lettering. To give it a more interesting and attention-grabbing appeal, he also wanted to split the band’s name across three independent drapes—the main center drape and two adjacent legs. This way they could hang them at alternate intervals and at assorted distances from one another, to gain some added dimension to the tour’s stage design at their various-sized venues while on the road.

Printed on FR Heavy Knit, these drapes are working out wonderfully on their tour because they are fairly wrinkle resistant and so they travel really well. Furthermore, they have fabulously rich and photo-friendly (matte) surface which makes them fantastic for capturing incredible moments on stage, like these stunning images that various talented photographers have already taken on this tour (showcased in our new Flickr Gallery).

Turn on the bright lights

With dramatic stage décor and absolutely spectacular lighting elements, this tour’s overall design is exceptionally remarkable from beginning to end. Adding in the gorgeous harmonies, engaging rhythmic guitars and drums, and brilliant songwriting from all members of the band, this is a concert tour that won’t soon be forgotten. You can still check them out this summer and fall, and experience this talented and distinctive band live in person for yourself! And do not hesitate to contact one of our helpful sales reps to see how we can help you create the most striking custom soft goods for your own upcoming special event or concert production, too.

15 10, 2019

Dynamic Digitally Printed Backdrop Electrifies At Shows Both Indoors And Out

By |October 15th, 2019|Digital Printing, Projects|0 Comments

Earlier this summer, we were very excited to work renowned Production Manager Dustin Reynolds again, who was looking for a new digitally-printed backdrop for an upcoming tour of the incredible American country band Sugarland. He wanted something that would be dynamic and vibrant, yet durable and tour-friendly. It was critical that the drapery be certified flame retardant, yet also still be able to “withstand the elements” at all of the festivals and arenas that the band was planning to perform at over the summer.

He decided to have Sew What? custom-build them a dramatic and versatile 30’h x 50’w curtain out of lightweight, durable, and flexible polyester-coated FR Vinyl Mesh (blow-through). With this fantastic printable substrate, the tour could be confident that the backdrop would be able to withstand possible wind and other weather elements during their outdoor shows, and look clear, crisp, and fabulous at indoor venues, too. With webbing,grommets, and ties along the top, and reinforced grommets along the sides and bottom hems, they would be able to secure this drape to any type of unique structure, truss, or frame that their tour’s venues might have. With an incredibly dazzling graphic design made of stripes of black and white, they were able to distinctly light it up with all kinds of colorful theatrical lighting schemes–giving the drape a completely different and memorable look for each song set.

Dustin’s design team and the band was absolutely thrilled with the end result, as were Sugarland’s adoring audiences all over the country. Check out some gorgeous photos on our new Flickr Gallery taken by the super talented band photographer Shannon Guest (@ShannonGuestPhotography), and you can see the many striking looks that the tour’s lighting team were able to achieve for the band’s exceptional stage design. Custom-building a digitally printed drape, banner, border, leg, and backdrop is an easy and surefire way to really excite and amaze the guests at your event. Contact one of our helpful theatrical drapery specialists today and let us help you figure out the most amazing, one-of-a-kind custom curtains for your upcoming tour, production, or special event too!