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digital backdrops

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28 11, 2018

Marc Anthony Digital Print For His Legacy Tour

By |November 28th, 2018|Clients, Digital Printing|1 Comment

Sew What? Inc. had the opportunity to really pull a rabbit out of a hat for the current Marc Anthony tour. Not only was the task at hand a challenge in terms of sewing – it was also a challenge based on the very limited time frame. This was our moment to shine by performing some super-high-speed-sewing! Nonstop printing and stitching were in order, and the SW team pulled out all the stops to create this 46’h x 75’w digitally printed brail lift drape in just one week.

Wondering what a brail drape is? The term brail in fact comes from the maritime industry. Brails, in a sailing ship, are small lines used to haul in or up the edges (leeches) or corners of sails, before furling. On a ship rig, these brails are most often found on the mizzen sail. The command is, hale up the brails, or, brail up the sails. Certainly not to be confused with Braille, a tactile writing system for the blind.  In this instance the lines are use to lift and unfurl the stage drapery to create a reveal and cover effect that can be operated remotely via the motorized lift system.

For this project, there were a total of 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. Each lift line runs the full 46 feet in height – so there were over 700 running feet of lift line alone on this giant drapery with nearly 500 hand applied o-rings on the back side.

Matching the printed pattern is also a key component. In this case the print was printed onto 9 custom sized widths of fabric. For durability and a gorgeous lighting surface, we chose to direct print onto our crystal poplin. It is important that each printed segment is lined up perfectly before it is sewn. We used thousands of sewing pins to pre-pin by hand all the sections of cloth. So great attention is given to the craft of assembling the drape. Print. Seam. Add lift lines.  Finish top, sides and bottom. Add hardware. Insert all the O-rings. Inspect. Fold and ship!

It was a pleasure to work with the Marc Anthony team and specifically with his talented designer Travis Shirley and Roly Garbalosa of Garba Music.  Sew What? Inc. was delighted to be a key player in the production of this amazing arena tour!

21 11, 2018

Ultra Violet Backdrop for TOTO

By |November 21st, 2018|Products, Projects|1 Comment

Sew What? Inc. was recently given the opportunity to create a backdrop for TOTO. The artwork for this backdrop was initially delivered as a “square piece of art”. This is often typical for art that has been designed for an album or CD cover. In order to achieve a landscape style backdrop piece, it was necessary to have the artwork extended to add graphic elements to both the sides and the bottom of the scene. For this we worked directly with John Rios of John Rios Designs who is a skilled entertainment industry graphic artist and backdrop designer. In this case he used the style and theme of the client’s original artwork design and added details in the style of the original art so that it would fit the landscape shape we needed. The art was carefully formatted and saved so that the output would be at the greatest dpi resolution.

The new art file was then zipped and delivered to us at Sew What? Inc where we printed the file on our wide format vutek printer in house. The piece was printed onto our heavy cotton canvas substrate, and there are many hours of printing involved in a backdrop of this size. Once printed onto 10-foot-wide panels of cloth, the drop was vertically seamed by our sewing staff. The graphic was carefully lined up so that the detailed pattern was beautifully and invisibly matched when sewn into its finished size of 30’h x 40’w. Webbing reinforcements, hems and pockets were added to make the backdrop installation ready.

Once sewn the drape was then applied to a paint frame, where our skilled scenic artist took time to hand paint Ultra Violet effects carefully onto the key areas of the graphic.  This is a slow process and requires great care. The painting must be constantly checked under black light to make sure the UV effects are producing the desired effect.  More than just highlights, it was important that the drop had one look when under traditional stage lighting (to look and feel like the album art), and then take on its own complete UV look when the Ultra Violet lights are applied to it on stage (another worldly glow! Astronomical!).

19 11, 2018

Halloween Silliness Helped To Recharge Our Creative Batteries

By |November 19th, 2018|Company, Rent What Team, Sew What Team|1 Comment

With all of the holidays this season already seeming to “fly by” faster than we ever expect, we always try to take a few minutes to celebrate with one another here at Sew What? Inc. This past Halloween was no different…We wanted to have a little fun with the staff who have been working so hard this past touring season, and what better way to do that than with costumes and cake? 😉

When our days are filled with providing our clients with dazzling custom curtain orders, Classic Stardrop LED rentals, dramatic kabuki systems, lots of last minute drapery shipments, and everything in between, it’s never a dull moment around our sewing room and warehouse this time of year.

With members of the Whatters Family dressed to endear, to scare, to reminisce, and to just try and spark a little more of that special holiday spirit, we all came together to enjoy some incredibly decadent Black Forest Cake and pose for some truly goofy photos. A little sugar and carbs before a nighttime of passing out Halloween candy was exactly what the doctor ordered!

It’s great to be able to let loose every now and then, and having some silly moments with co-workers was a great way to recharge and refresh ourselves for the upcoming busy holiday season. Our staff is always so creative when it comes to costumes–and with the addition of some amusing “photo booth props,” we all had so much fun!

Let us help take some of the stress out of your upcoming holiday parties, productions, services, and concerts, and contact us today to help provide some amazing stage drapes for your next big upcoming event!

14 11, 2018

Old Dominion “Nashville Night in Buchanan” Silver Satin Drapes

By |November 14th, 2018|Clients, Products, Projects|1 Comment

This October, Old Dominion’s Matthew Ramsey brought a night of country music back to his hometown of Buchanan, Virginia. Along with Ramsey, this year’s “Nashville Night in Buchanan” also included bandmate Trevor Rosen and three of their songwriting partners, Josh Osborne, Matt Jenkins, and Shane McAnally. They were able to bring in 5,172 people to raise money for the local food bank, Buchanan Area Ministerial Association Food Pantry. Rent What? Inc. was so happy to be asked to work with Old Dominion again with our Silver Satin rental drapery.

We were honored when we were asked to be a part of another event with Old Dominion to help raise money for charity. We donated our stunning Silver Satin Drapes from our Rental Drapery Collection to create a beautiful backdrop for these performers. These drapes are some of the most reflective and striking materials imaginable and can change colors by splashing light onto them. Since they reflect light beautifully, they were able to create sensational color patterns and intensities for the event. With various drapery options from swags to Austrians to legs (and more), it lends itself to many different stage designs. This gave them the opportunity to create a distinctive look for the “Nashville Night in Buchanan.”

On top of raising money for the Buchanan Area Ministerial Association Food Pantry, Ramsey also announced that he has started a fund called My Hometown Fund, which gives directly back to the community. They have already raised around $50,000 for My Hometown Fund with the “Nashville Night in Buchanan.”

Our drapes from our Silver Satin Rental Drapery Collection looked amazing on stage for this event and they also layer beautifully with drapes from all of our dynamic drapery collections. Our Specialty Drapery Series’ make it easy to create dynamic look for any booth, show or exhibit by packaging an entire complement of matched drapery components in a single fabric theme. Each series contains a varied collection of drape sizes and styles that work together beautifully to create a fully designed scene. Contact our sales team today so we can help you get the perfect rental for your next show or event!

5 11, 2018

Why It Might Be A Better Idea To Rent Pipe and Base Hardware

By |November 5th, 2018|Products, Question of the Week|2 Comments

I recently posted a refresher blog article on some great reasons to purchase your own Pipe and Base (pb) hardware. And even though that is sensible much of the time, sometimes it’s just more valid to go ahead and rent your pb hardware when you need it. This post will be the other side to my buy vs. rent Pipe and Drape Hardware “conundrum”, exemplifying when it might be better to rent your pipe and base hardware rather than purchasing it outright.

INFREQUENCY OF THE EVENT/S: If you only produce 1 or 2 local trade shows or other similar types of special events a year, and never really know what your booth set-up or configuration will be, then it would be much more reasonable to just rent your pipe and base hardware and draping whenever you might need it. Counting on the exact inventory you already own to fulfill your requirements each and every time you need pipe and drape isn’t always reliable. This can put you in a tough spot at the last minute if you end up having to figure out what else you may need to supplement your own supply of goods. We can help you figure out exactly how much pipe and drape you will need and arrange the pb rental details for your event, helping to take all of the guess work out of it for you and thereby also helping to reduce your stress.

LOCATION OF THE EVENT/S: If you’re a local company, it’s often-times much less expensive to go ahead and rent everything you need for those occasional special events or productions that require pipe and drape. This is especially the case if you do not need us to ship it across the country for you, eliminating the worry of how the price of fuel could affect your overall rental price due to the ever-increasing cost of shipping via small parcel companies or freight forwarders.

SIZE OF YOUR COMPANY: Depending on the size of your company, sometimes it’s easier to rent everything when you need it, rather than having to figure a place out to store everything whenever another conference, convention, trade show, or special event comes around. Pipe and Drape can take up a lot of space to store it carefully so that it stays in good condition as long as possible. The hardware is also sometimes made up of an awkward or large sizes, shapes, or weights, so it can be extremely helpful to not have to worry about where you will be able to safely secure everything all year long.

SIZE OF THE EVENT/S: Renting is perfect for larger events in which you need a lot of pipe and base hardware and drapery that you wouldn’t normally ever need again. Especially if you know it’s going to be a massively large one-time event, in which you don’t want to have to worry about dealing with all of those hardware components after the event is over. It also makes sense to rent pipe and base hardware if the event is so small that you know you would end up needing a greater quantity for most of your typical-sized events in the future.

So basically, here are some rules of thumb that will help you decide if renting is the better way to go:

  • You only have one or two trade shows or events each year, and you never really know exactly what your configuration will be.
  • You are a local company where shipping is not an issue, and you can either come by and pick everything up from us or arrange to have us deliver/pickup everything for you here in town.
  • You are a smaller company and don’t necessarily have a safe place to securely store your own pipe and base hardware year-round, in between your trade shows and/or special events.
  • The configuration you are planning is so huge that you know you would probably never need that much pipe and drape again in the near future, or that it is so small of an event that you know you would most likely end up needing to supplement your supply for most of your typical-sized events down the line.

If these points applied to you, then it might be more practical for you to rent your pipe and base hardware so that you can reduce your worries about how to put everything together, where you will have to store it all year round, and how you would be able to maybe use it again in the future for a completely different event and configuration. Renting our pb hardware will give you the flexibility to have exactly what you want, where you want it, and for how long you will need it. Contact one of our sales reps today so that we can help you figure out what would be best for your event’s own unique pb hardware needs.