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14 09, 2016

Unique Mixed Media Backdrop for Passenger Tour

By |September 14th, 2016|Digital Printing, Fabrics, Projects|1 Comment

Last year, we manufactured a Mixed Media Backdrop that was so complex and interesting that, when I stumbled on pictures of it recently, I just had to share it with our readers. We have made many Mixed Media Backdrops over the years, but this particular one for Passenger is particularly interesting due to the many different fabrics used and the various effects each fabric offered.

Designed by Oculus, with artwork created by Sarah Larnach, the image of the sun rising over lush rolling hills was translated to a backdrop with the intent to select specific fabrics with qualities that would take advantage of specialty stage lighting to create contrast and intensity not usually found in a scenic backdrop. First, the vibrant green hills were digitally printed onto Heavy Knit. With the background hills lined for opacity and the foreground hills left unlined, with proper stage lighting the foreground hills can take on a medium translucent glow against the depth of the background hills, or the entire hill area of the backdrop can appear nearly black.


Bryan Dos Reis – Photography / Sarah Larmach – Artwork Element / Okulus – Design

Above the hills, Pewter Textura was used to create the sky and sun. By lining most of the Textura with Sharkstooth Scrim, but leaving the “sun” section unlined, when lit, the sun appears to shine brighter than the surrounding sky. Above the sky, Black Encore Velour fades into the background, creating a nearly invisible header so that the backdrop appears to float.


Bryan Dos Reis – Photography / Sarah Larmach – Artwork Element / Okulus – Design

This was an interesting project for us, and we are so proud of the way our talented sewing staff were able to achieve our client’s vision with this beautiful backdrop. I hope this backdrop can also serve as inspiration to our readers as they consider the many ways that digital printing and theatrical fabrics can combine to make a truly unique backdrop.

27 07, 2016

Concert Backdrop Hand Sewn for A-List Rock Band GARBAGE by Sew What? Inc

By |July 27th, 2016|News, Products, Projects|2 Comments

Check out this CUSTOM mixed media BACKDROP that we produced for GARBAGE. Digitally printed in house on our very own 10 foot wide Vutek printer – and then custom sewn and crafted hot pink mylar sparkle cloth appliqued to the piece in all the right places. WOW! totally cool – search for the band online and see lots of audience videos with this specialty drape.


Just like your audience, you want top performance. Sew What? delivers! Our Stage Curtains and Theatrical Draperies, Stage Backdrops, Curtain Tracks and Theatrical Supplies exceed your expectations and enhance your shows. With experience that ranges from the hottest rock concerts to the biggest stage events to just about any other kind of production under the sun, Sew What? is the answer.

VIDEO by Tom Underhill


Brainspoon is a rock ‘n’ roll punk band based in Los Angeles, California. A staple of the Downtown Los Angeles rock scene, the band has earned a solid reputation with its blistering live show and catchy songs.

Brainspoon’s music has been played on “Livation” on KXLU Los Angeles, KUKQ in Phoenix, and KKZZ in Ventura, as well as on Goldie’s Garage on Sirius/XM satellite radio. The band has been featured in Sparkplug Magazine, the Ventura County Star, and the VC Reporter. The band consist of Lead Vocals: Daphne Vandervalk, Guitar and Vocals: Michelle Balderrama, Bass: Tom Underhill, Drums: Chris Diez. Brainspoon can be reached at:

13 06, 2016

Creating a Mixed Media Backdrop for Garbage

By |June 13th, 2016|Digital Printing, Products|1 Comment

Back in March, 2016 we were contacted by the lighting designer for alternative rock band Garbage.  They were ramping up for their 2016 tour and were looking to get a new custom backdrop made.  They had some artwork already designed and were looking for some ideas on how to translate their ideas and artwork into a unique fabric backdrop.

We arranged a conference call and discussed the idea of a Mixed Media Backdrop where the artwork (images of leopards and the band’s logo) would be digitally printed onto Heavy Knit in black and white, and then a fuchsia sequined fabric would be used to fill in the negative space around the artwork. To assist the client to visualize the end result, a small sample (see below) was made and sent to the client for approval.


The client liked the sample but wanted to come to the shop to discuss some other options such as fabric color.  After seeing different fabric swatches, a decision was made to use the same fuchsia fabric shown on the sample.  The job went into production, the panthers were printed onto the Heavy Knit, and the fuchsia drape was made.

The next step was to lay the digital print onto the floor and lay the fuchsia drape on top of it, and a team of sewers pinned around the panthers and logo in preparation for sewing.  From there, the drape was moved to the sewing area, and the layers of fabric were sewn together where pinned.  The backdrop was then moved back to the floor, where the sewers then cut away the fuchsia fabric, revealing the printed leopards and band logo.  Finally, top, bottom and side finishes were added to complete the finished product.

The new backdrop made its debut on May 24th in Reims, France, as shown in the You Tube video below.  It’s always exciting to see the backdrops in action after all of the hard work that goes into them!

3 05, 2016

Custom Digitally Printed Backdrop Brings Joy To Staff Too

By |May 3rd, 2016|Products, Projects|1 Comment

Recently we had the honor of being contacted by Mani Hammond, the Production Manager for Australian singer-songwriter Vance Joy.  In preparation for a new world tour, they wanted to replace their current digital backdrop with a new one that could be used in a myriad of venues. They were looking for a 25’h x 45’w custom-built, digitally printed backdrop, but had some concerns about fabrics.  The design team didn’t want anything too heavy, but they didn’t also want anything too sheer, and so we recommended FR Heavy Knit as the right combination of durability and print quality to meet their needs. This tour-friendly digital substrate is lightweight without being translucent, making it a popular and tour-friendly choice.

Just what the Dr. ordered: great music with @mawenrich and a spontaneous run in with friends. Blind Pilot and Vance Joy were great!

The backdrop under “white” lighting showing the printed colors of the design.  The letters hung in front of the backdrop were provided by the tour.

The artwork provided to us was gorgeous, composed of a “watercolor” design in shades of pinks, oranges and greens. The finished backdrop was shipped to the 1st Bank Center in Denver, Colorado for their February 19th show, and the design team, and Vance, were all thrilled with the result.  When we saw show photos, we were struck not only by how beautiful the backdrop looked in “white” light (as in the photo above), but also how many amazing variations it took on under skillful colored lighting, as below:


We love it when our client’s design vision comes out so spot-on with that they were looking for, and this gorgeous backdrop absolutely brought “joy” to the entire staff while it was hanging in our warehouse, too!

Check out this video to see it being made in our shop and then used in concert:

5 01, 2016

It’s All About the Backdrop!

By |January 5th, 2016|Products|1 Comment

Outstanding Theatrical Backdrops

You want a production that’s cutting-edge? Sew What? has got the scissors! Our stock-in-trade is creating amazing custom-sewn, custom-printed backdrops that dazzle audiences, whether for plays, musicals, concerts, tours, television or special events. We’ve sewn custom drops for the biggest names in Rock and Roll, Hollywood and Fashion. And they keep calling us back for more. Whatever you can envision, we can produce. Elaborately hand-painted or incredibly digitally-printed, yeah, we do that. We’ve got the fabrics, the tools and creative know-how to pull off the extraordinary. Just as important, we’ve got the road-tested experience to know what counts when it comes to practical matters such as durability, FR certification and all the other factors that are the difference between a hit and a headache.

Bla Sab_2


Custom Backdrops Start with Custom Thinking

We believe scenery production is as much an art as it is a craft.  So we nurture the creative spirit at Sew What?.  That is why set designers often consult with our team to arrive at unique set solutions involving surprising fabric selections, unusual cuts, new printing techniques…in other words, whatever it takes to create drama on the stage.  Take a look at our digital stage draperies portfolio to see what we mean.

Want to see renderings vs. finished projects? How close will the backdrop be to your initial vision? Click here.

It’s A Materials World

Whether you are looking for a muslin backdrop or canvas, polyester or Sharkstooth, we have a wide selection of fabrics to work from.  In fact, you can digitally sample our fabric swatches by simply clicking here.  We can offer expert guidance as you decide upon the fabric that best fits your show’s needs.

We’re committed to the success of your production by fabricating custom backdrops that stop the show, whether it’s a major theatrical production, a national rock and roll road tour, the launch of a new fashion line, or an international trade show exhibit.  You can expect nothing less than our best performance.

As one of our customers recently put it:

“…Everybody “oo’ed” and “ah’ed” at the backdrop. It was beyond any of our expectations! I couldn’t begin to tell you how much I personally appreciate your hard work and the beauty of the end product! …Thank you ‘sew’ very much!!!”