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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!

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.

5 12, 2018

Pewter Textura Drapes Helped Set Magnificent Stage For Talented Tenor

By |December 5th, 2018|Products, Projects|1 Comment

Some of our clients travel to America for a single big event or concert, yet still want to be able to build an utterly spectacular stage design for their special production. Talking with one of our drapery experts, and then renting drapes from our Drapery Rental Collections, is the perfect place to start as we can help you get from design vision to remarkable stage design reality. Recently we were honored to be able to work with the attentive Set Designer Leigh Michal who was helping organize one of these special shows here in Southern California for the gifted, up-and-coming classical English tenor, Jonathan Antoine. Rising to fame as one half of the duo “Jonathan and Charlotte” on Britain’s Got Talent, he has subsequently gone on to a successful solo career and is gearing up for more even concerts around the world to help satiate his enthusiastic fan base, who like to call themselves “Fantoines”.

Since this specific concert was a “one-off” event (and his first solo performance here in the U.S.), they wanted to be able to use some of our gorgeous and eclectic rental drapery to help create a mesmerizing atmosphere, which would also blend seamlessly with Jonathan’s velvety vocal tones and the 10 piece orchestral players on stage. Consulting with the brilliant local Production Manager Bob Murray with Vector Management/ELEV8 Global Entertainment, their team aimed to have stage curtains that would be easy to work with, that would light up beautifully, and would give the stage a modern—yet timeless—look that would interweave with the concert’s overall elegant ambiance.

They decided to use a variety of our exquisite Pewter Textura rental drapes from our Timeless and Traditional Drapery Collection. Using a mixture of magnificent pre-pleated legs and striking swagettes in various sizes, they were able to build an absolutely stunning stage design that worked superbly from one song to the next. With the gifted Dan Creasey from Congo Designs as the concert’s inspired Lighting Designer, they were able to fashion an exclusive and memorable motif for each and every part of the concert that left the audience wanting more.

Photographed exceptionally by the illustrious photographer Bjarne Hemmingson (who takes photos at many of Jonathan’s concerts and traveled all the way from Denmark to capture some amazing images from this one, too) you can see how the combination of drapery and lighting helped give this stage design a truly breathtaking look. Adding to the mix the extraordinary singing skills of Jonathan, and it was clear to see that this impressive concert was a true success. We were thrilled to be able to work with this artistic team to help give this show a completely unique appearance, and we would likewise love to help YOU create a one-of-a-kind look for your upcoming special event, too!

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!

26 11, 2018

White Voile LED Drapes Add Elegance To Gala Event Design

By |November 26th, 2018|Products, Projects|1 Comment

Sometimes helping set the stage at one of our clients’ special occasions becomes a matter of not just décor and cosmetics, but can also help provide a picturesque setting for them to be able to produce a very important event, too. This happened recently, when we were thrilled to be able to work again with Reid Santabarbara from Reid Santabarbara Design. He wanted to arrange for a refined, yet memorable, backdrop for one of these important events—The 35th Annual Seattle University Gala, which every year helps to raise scholarship money for bright and motivated students in financial need.

Looking to have something that would help illuminate the stage for speakers, video presentations, and award ceremonies alike, Reid wanted some stunning rental stage drapery that would be flexible enough to work well with each element of the event. He and his event producer JT Sapp from Pike Street Productions decided to use some gorgeous and stylish White Voile LED drapes from our Delightably White Rental Collection as a striking background for the event–and their design turned out truly magnificent indeed! These sheer, pre-pleated IFR stage drapes have strings of beautiful, warm-toned (static) LED lights sewn right into them, which helped give their gala’s overall look a completely charming, elegant feel.

Showcase them in their lovely natural state (with the room lights on or off), or try splashing some colorful theatrical lighting onto them to really dazzle your audience. Lightweight to ship and hang, these low-tech “plug and play” drapes are an easy way to add some enchantment to any special event you might have—especially around the quickly approaching holidays! Contact one of our sales reps so that we can help you find the most exquisite drapery options from all of our Rental Drapery Collections for all of your upcoming special occasions, too.