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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!

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.
7 01, 2020

Custom Digitally-Printed Backdrop “Soars” At Recent Airplane-Themed Event

By |January 7th, 2020|Digital Printing, Projects|2 Comments

We are thrilled to have been able to work with the brilliant photographer David Hershorn and his wonderfully artistic team at PhotoBohemia on several drapery projects this past year. His company offers his clients a one-of-a-kind, personalized “photo-booth” experience at parties, galas, benefits, and a wide variety of other special events all over California. In offering his clients these amazing exclusive packages, he is always looking to add creative-looking and highly photographable backdrops to his company’s available portfolio.

Working with David, we were able to build him a custom digitally-printed backdrop to use at an upcoming aviation-themed corporate event. He provided us with the adorable and fun-filled graphic image, and our incredible 10ft. wide Vutek direct digital printer was able to print him a seamless drape of this truly distinctive and entertaining image.

With his talented team of photographers (the ultra-hip “pilots” pictured below), they were able to offer their guests a really cool, authentic row of airplane seats to pose on and in front of, as well as costumed airline-motif characters to take photos with, too (pilots, stewards, and stewardesses).

As you can see, the event’s guests had an absolute blast doing all kinds of hilarious and silly poses. The rich color saturation of our digital printer ink onto the FR Heavy Knit substrate is a surefire way to really wow your audience with a vibrant, travel-friendly backdrop that is perfect for special events, trade shows, concert tours, and productions of all kinds and sizes. With the help of our master sewing team, we can manufacture you a gorgeous, unique, digitally-printed backdrop up to practically any size or configuration that you desire. Pardon the pun, but this event would probably say “The Sky’s The Limit!”

With multiple printable substrates to choose from, we can help build you the most ideal drape for any type of scenario (translucent, opaque, wrinkle-resistant, permanent, matte, glossy, etc.). Contact one of our helpful account managers today, and learn some more information on how versatile and affordable a custom curtain can be for YOUR next big event, too!

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.