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custom stage curtains

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2 01, 2019

Custom Traveler Drapes and Track Beautify New Venue

By |January 2nd, 2019|Products, Projects|1 Comment

This past fall we recently had the distinct pleasure of working with Winnie Hsia, the founder, teacher, and performer of Sky Candy—an incredibly amazing aerial and circus arts school in Austin, Texas. Sky Candy is Austin’s premier circus training center for students of all ages, body types, and fitness levels. You’ll find fun and engaging classes, knowledgeable instructors, and a warm, welcoming community to support you on your journey. Because of their increasing popularity, they had just moved into a new facility with absolutely lovely high beam ceilings and plenty of spacious room for all of their trapezes, ropes, and other aerial constructions. They knew that they were in for some unique challenges with this new venue though, as one of their main walls was made up of a large glass doorway and separate window that they would need to be able to“mask off” during exhibitions and performances. However, those gorgeous ceilings were angled and covered in beams, which made it somewhat difficult to do a typical installation of the custom-built traveler drapes and traveler track system that they sought.

Once their team of architects and builders figured out how to safely and securely hang the schedule 40 pipe to suspend the traveler track from (and also be offset from the wall so that it could also hide all of the pinrails and other mechanics along that wall), they worked closely with our sales rep Marilyn Moss on ordering the exact kind of traveler track system that would work specifically for this new location. And as well, they were able to also order the precise size, style, and colored drapery they envisioned having as their room’s main “background” for all of their practices, performances, and everything in between.

First they discussed the kind of drapery that would work well in that type of set-up—Winnie wanted opaque soft goods that would block out all of the bright light streaming in from the glass along that wall. She also required something fairly lightweight that would retract easily on a traveler system, but still look really lovely and velvety when fully closed. And very importantly, she requested a type and color of fabric that would reflect lighting beautifully.

With Marilyn’s guidance, they chose a very striking fabric of 13oz. IFR Pewter Grey Apollo Velour—a substrate with a “pile nap” that is a splendid choice when looking for a stunning, opaque fabric. It is also ideal for high humidity environments as it will not shrink or lose its flame retardancy after it gets moist or has to be washed. To make extra certain that the light from outside would be completely masked, she ended up lining these pre-pleated grand bi-parting curtains with white/white blackout lining. Lightweight, attractive,and completely opaque, these drapes were spot-on with what Winnie and her design team were hoping for.

Next they decided on our ADC 1700 Series Besteel (walk-along) Traveler Track. Made of 14 gauge galvanized steel, this medium-duty track is an economical, sturdy, and dependable option for smaller-scale theaters and school auditoriums especially.  This brand of pipe-hung,straight-track configuration was the ideal type of traveler system to work impeccably with our custom-built lined Apollo Velour drapery. The hidden sewn snaps on the top of the curtains connected flawlessly with the traveler’s carriers, allowing for a smooth and easy opening and shutting of these drapes whenever they desired.

The end result turned out absolutely perfect! Being able to effortlessly open and close these magnificent drapes at the simple pull of a drape end is exactly what they were envisioning, and they couldn’t have been happier. We were thrilled to be a part of such an important project, and were beyond pleased with how wonderful it all turned out for them in this new space. Contact one of our amazing representatives—like Marilyn—so that we can help you figure out the most exquisite drapery package for your own unique stage, venue, or event design too!

19 12, 2018

Our Projection Proscenium Helped Create A Unique Stage For Tenacious D

By |December 19th, 2018|Products, Projects|1 Comment

The sewing staff at Sew What? Inc. are always super excited to have a Dan Hadley design pass through the sewing room.  Dan’s projects seem to bring out the best in our creative sewing skills, with textile minded challenges and fabric selections beyond the basic. It is always fun to watch the design come to life on the sewing table, and then see it in all it’s glory on stage once the tour starts. This design for the current Tenacious D tour was no exception!

Tenacious D is a rock duo formed in 1994, by Jack Black and Kyle Glass.  Over the years, Tenacious D has supported large bands such as Pearl Jam and Tool. This year the band released an album titled Post-Apocalypto and a web series called, Tenacious D in Post-Apocalypto, on YouTube. Tenacious D is currently on tour with our custom-made projection proscenium.

This design focused on two elements, surface and shape.  Firstly – a fabric surface that would precisely mimic a projection screen, without the cost and maintenance of a vinyl projection screen product; and secondly, a precisely shaped projection proscenium to showcase carefully mapped out graphics.

When it comes to taking projection surfaces on the road, many of our touring clients lean toward a substitute material. While a professional vinyl projection screen certainly offers a premium surface, there are many inherent difficulties in a touring “on the road” environment which include excessive weight, difficult to clean, problems unfurling and installing vinyl screens in cold weather and more.

There are several substitute textiles that we find popular, and after reviewing the options designer Dan Hadley selected our 120 “Brillante”. With a jet black backside and a brilliant bright white semi-matte surface to take front projection it was the perfect selection.

In order to keep all areas of the projection proscenium “seamless” the design was developed so that no individual surface area exceeded the 10 foot width of the cloth.  The shape was printed as a paper pattern, so that there would be absolutely no error made with the curves being precisely per the design. This is important so that the projection scene that had been pre-developed by the designer would sit perfectly on the cloth proscenium and not require to much graphic spill cleanup.

The legs were sewn as separate pieces to the proscenium header, making the set three pieces for an easy install. All the items fit easily in the bottom of a hamper and had durable touring finishes applied to them such as heavy-duty webbing and grommets at the top and reinforced pipe pockets at the bottoms of the legs.

It is amazing all the different looks that were created using the projection proscenium strategy. It is as though you are transported to a multitude of different venues in the course of one show.  By projecting a variety of “drapery looks” the theme of the stage was instantly transformed. Themes were Gothic, Art Deco, Pop Art and more…… The custom proscenium most importantly provided a surface for colorful and bold artistic slides mesmerizing the audience with this unique use of projection in the foreground – rather than the more tradition use of images and projection “behind the artists”.

Check out these amazing images showing just a few of the projection scenes created for the show.

And for those Tenacious D die-hards – here is a fun video on You Tube that you might get a kick out of – you will see our projection proscenium at work!

About Sew What?

Just like your audience, you want top performance. Sew What? understands and delivers. Our Stage Drapes and Theatrical Backdrops, Curtain Tracks and Theatrical Supplies exceed expectations and enhance your shows. For an experienced drapery manufacturer with work that ranges from digitally printed drapery for the hottest rock concerts, to the biggest theater performances, to just about any other kind of production under the sun, Sew What? is the answer. For inquiries call 310 639-6000.

12 12, 2018

Meet The SW and RW Staff, Part 26–Danny

By |December 12th, 2018|Company, Rent What Team, Sew What Team|1 Comment

Next in our “Meet The SW?/RW? Staff” Blog Series, I want to introduce you to one of the most artistic and proficient employees here at the company—Danny Garcia, the hard-working and remarkable coordinator for our Printing Department. Often working long weekday hours and on nights and weekends, he goes above and beyond to get the printing job done right for our clients, and on-time. Not to mention how exceptionally helpful he is with all of our warehouse departments, and that he is just an all-around nice guy, too. We are so fortunate to have him on our team, and would love for you to take a minute to read a little bit more about this indispensable member of the Whatter’s Family.

When did you first start at Sew What? What were you originally hired to do, and how have your duties changed since working here?

I was hired in October of 2015 as the printed operator, working with the graphics coordinator they currently had on staff. But by 2016, I was moved up to become the Printing Department Coordinator for SW. Basically, I organize and assist with client-provided graphics and artwork and file preparation, color correcting, and the actual digital printing of the soft goods. Then I work with the QC and Inspection Dept. to make sure that all of the printing outcomes are what the sales rep, and the client, had requested.

If you could take a vacation to anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?

It would have to be Paris, France— the art and photographic history there completely fascinates me, and I would really love to explore the museums and monuments in person someday. (Not to mention the amazing food!)

What kind of work did you do before coming to Sew What?

I have a background working in one of the relics we don’t see much anymore—a photo lab (with actual dark rooms). However, I have been working as a printer operator/technician for over 17 years, and really seem to have found my wheelhouse! Just previously to working here at SW, I was a printer operator for a company in Glendale that did a great deal of marketing for the Hollywood industry—movies, TV Shows, up-and-coming bands, etc. We also did general types of digital printing, including banners, retail, signs for car lots, etc.

Do you have a special talent?

With my history of working with photographers and photographs, I’ve found that I have a good eye for details— especially with Pantone color matching. It’s a great skill to have with this field in particular!

What is your favorite memory/circumstance/event from being part of the Sew What? family?

I have really enjoyed all the ways that the company promotes social gatherings with one another, and the many special occasions that we like to celebrate together, too. Activities like having a Taco Truck and Ice Cream Truck come by to treat everyone with delicious food over the summer, and the yearly company car wash was also a really surprising and wonderful added bonus for the staff that I had never seen before working here.

What is your favorite sports team/TV Show/Book/Movie?

I am a self-proclaimed LA-based sports NUT—I really love watching Dodgers, Angels, Rams, Chargers, Ducks, Galaxy—you name it. If it’s an LA sports team playing, I’m probably watching! Am thrilled that there are so many incredibly teams right here in my hometown. I especially enjoy going to games in person whenever possible.

What are some of your hobbies?

I am a huge fan of all kinds of music—from Jazz to Rock to Country, and everything in between. There’s nothing better than sitting at home relaxing, listening to some great music on a lazy afternoon.

What project have you worked on recently that was interesting or challenging?

Last year we worked on a complex series of digitally printed backdrops and multi-media drapes for Yusuf Islam’s tour that were totally different than anything I had previously worked on before. There were various different pieces of digitally printed drapes (printed on both Crystal Poplin and Heavy Knit), that were then intricately cut and sewn into elaborate shapes and structures based on the client’s provided graphics. By combining in blackout lining and Sharkstooth Scrim (to help provide for some extremely cool lighting effects), these mixed media pieces were some of the most elaborate custom drapery I have ever worked on. Sewing and printing had to be absolutely on point for this genuinely unique design. As a team, we were enormously proud of how truly fantastic they turned out.

https://youtu.be/qi_kjRBWKoU

Anything more about your time here at SW?

I really appreciate how “family-oriented” the team here at SW is….everyone is so much more than just an employee. We all care about each other’s welfare and morale, far beyond that of just being “co-workers”. It’s been such an eye-opening experience working for a company like this, and I absolutely love the family-vibe!

11 12, 2018

The Biggest Storms Can Also Eventually Lead To The Most Beautiful Rainbows

By |December 11th, 2018|Company|1 Comment

Sometimes a little rain must fall…. Or in the case of this past 7 days in Southern California, a LOT of rain must fall. But taking the bad with the good (and vice versa) is how we all manage to keep our heads above water, pardon the pun. We here at SW? were very lucky because our area was not affected by mud or debris slides, unlike many of our unfortunate neighbors here in the Southland. Adding a little inconvenience to our daily commutes through the crazy LA freeways (and trying to keep ourselves and our pets dry and safe indoors as much as possible) was a small price to pay for the rewards that this rain system brings to a very drought-ridden ecosystem. Not to mention enjoying the lovely rainbows that these storms also often bring…

The same is can be said for much of the “chaos” that often surrounds the planning of productions, trade shows, and concert tours—sometimes you simply must take the bad with the good. This is especially the case when it comes to the unpredictable “stormy” weather that can occur when it comes to planning live events (scheduling conflicts, changes of venue, cancellation/addition of performances, complete overhaul of stage design, etc.). You just need to trust that in the end your audience is going to love the show you produce, and that all of your hard work will be worth the extra care, labor, and effort that you and your team put forth. And that when it’s all said and done you will ultimately have an absolute “rainbow” of a great show!

Let RW/SW help YOU create a “rainbow experience” for you and your audience, by helping take some of the stress out of your design process by providing you the highest quality, stunningly beautiful theatrical stage drapes and soft goods for your upcoming special events and concerts that you could ever imagine. Choose from our extensive variety of gorgeous rental stage curtains, or we can also build you custom drapes out of your own unique vision. Either way, give us a call so that we can help you “weather” the storms of designing your stage, so that everything will come out “rainbows” for your special event, too.

3 12, 2018

Another Fabulous SW Thanksgiving–With A Twist

By |December 3rd, 2018|Rent What Team, Sew What Team|1 Comment

Each year the entire RW?/SW? staff looks forward to our company-shared meal together to give thanks for all of the hard work everyone has put in during the extremely busy summer touring season, the hectic fall school productions and trade shows, gearing up for a multitude of winter holiday-themed custom and rental orders, and everything in between. Thanksgiving may have already come and gone, but the warm memories of the remarkably scrumptious food still live on in our hearts (and waistlines!).

For Thanksgiving this year, our company’s generous owners Megan and Adam Duckett decided to delight the entire staff with something a little different–a delicious catered Italian meal (from a nearby local mom-and-pop restaurant) that was absolutely fit for royalty. We had rich and creamy fettucine alfredo, savory and hearty penne marinara, mouthwateringly cheesy chicken parmigiana, crisp and crunchy Caesar and garden salads, and the softest Italian bread you’ve ever tasted to help soak it all up. Sharing this meal and having some lively conversations were a great way to connect with one another in a way that we don’t always have the opportunity to during the work week.

We then topped off this meal in the most amazing way possible—with desserts of ALL KINDS that were brought in by the employees themselves. Everyone relished a combination of homemade fudgy brownies, yummy pumpkin cupcakes and pies, tasty flans and cheesecakes, light and flakey cookies and madeleines, sweet pound cakes in a variety of flavors, and what has definitely become a staff favorite at company occasions like this one—a heaping platter of fresh bionico (made up of a variety of cut up fresh fruit, heavy cream, granola, raisins, and shaved coconut….In two words, it is simply pure bliss).  😉

It’s always nice to take a moment and realize all of the reasons we have to be grateful this year—especially in light of all of the incredible hardships that many of our fellow Southern Californians are experiencing right now. We are very thankful that we get to work in with a fantastic, family-oriented company that spoils us with these delectable treats on all kinds of special occasions. We are tremendously thankful for both our amazing new and long-time-loyal clients who help push us to stay at the very top of the game in this always-evolving industry. And we are truly thankful for one another—working with such a wonderfully talented team of smart, kind, generous, and hard-working individuals is not something that we take for granted, not for one single minute. Having everyone get to sit and enjoy a meal together—including a few beloved employees that no longer work for SW—was a terrific way for us to be able to show sincere appreciation for one another.