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13 12, 2016

What Is Pipe and Drape? Read All About It!

By |December 13th, 2016|Education, Products|1 Comment

Perhaps you have heard the terms “pipe and drape” or “pipe and base,” but you aren’t clear what these terms mean, or how pipe and drape works. Not to worry – we’ve got you covered.

“Pipe and drape” and “pipe and base” are interchangeable terms that refer to a system of portable components typically used to create exhibit booths such as those used in trade shows. Typically, the hardware components consist of steel bases along with aluminum uprights and drape supports (“pipe and base”), while the drapery is hung on the drape supports.


With a slipfit system, such as the system that we offer for purchase or rent, each upright is attached to a base via a pin and screw assembly.  The uprights, which may be standard (fixed length) or adjustable, have one or more sets of 4 slots, positioned every 90 degrees.  The telescopic drape supports, which have hooks on either end, fit into these slots. The configuration of 4 slots at 90 degree positions, allow you to attach up to 4 drape supports to each upright (such as when configuring multiple booths side-by-side and/or back-to-back).

Shorter uprights have just one set of slots, while 6′ or longer uprights have two sets of slots (one at 3′ from the bottom and one at the top). This allows you to create a booth with a higher back wall and shorter side walls, such as this.



Typically drapery is made as flat (unpleated) single width panels (typically 4′ to 5′ wide, depending on the fabric), with 3 to 4 panels used for every 10 feet of drape support width, to allow for natural fullness. These drapes generally have an open 5″ top hem to allow the drapes to be threaded onto the drape support. Banjo Cloth is the most common economy choice for exhibit booths, but other fabrics, such as 15oz Encore, are often selected when greater opacity is desired. Custom drapery is also an option for those wanting something different, with a multitude of  drapery style possibilities ranging from pleated drapes to digitally printed backdrops to non-operable Austrians and more.

Although pipe and drape is most commonly used for exhibit booths, it can also be used in many other applications. Here are just a couple of examples:





Want to learn more about how you can use pipe and drape for your next trade show, performance, or special event? Contact us at 310-639-6000 or on our website – we’d love to help! We have a number of different hardware and drapery options available for purchase or rent, to fit nearly any budget.

13 04, 2016

The Smaller Side of the Austrian Curtain

By |April 13th, 2016|Products, Projects|1 Comment

Ever consider using an Austrian curtain, but think that your stage design area might be a little too small?  For our customer Visual Elements’ inspired design, we had just the right solution.  Using our rental 12’h x 10’w White Textura Austrian Zip Walls tied onto standard pipe and base hardware, some beautifully classic – yet modern – sitting areas were created for a recent special event.  The mixture of our beautiful traditional drapery with some rich and creative theatrical lighting make their design vision come to life, even in their smaller space, and helped make their event turn into a great success.

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The amazing concept of our innovative non-operable Austrian Zip Wall Draperies is just that– they actually ZIP together. This means they are incredibly versatile, and can be used as individual panels, as in these beautiful photos taken by Joe Hodge (Producer at this event, from Visual Elements), or zipped together to create wider panels or a wall-length backdrop.  Large OR small—our versatile and decadent Austrian Draperies can add a glamorous, vintage look to any set design. Contact our helpful sales representatives today to find out which would be best for YOUR next special event!

DW_Visual Elements White Textura Zip-Walls 1

22 03, 2016

Favorite Video Resources

By |March 22nd, 2016|links, News, Products|1 Comment

Of course YouTube is like a time warp.  Once you enter, seemingly hours can pass while clicking around and exploring the myriad of videos – both useful and not – that seem to pop up in the watch next feed.  So……. It’s pretty easy to get distracted!

Here are a couple of really useful VIDEO RESOURCES that relate to our custom sewn drapery and stage backdrops.



A sniffer (aka snifter) kabuki drape effect is produced when a large drapery element is “magically” pulled up and disappears above the stage. This effect can be produced with ropes and pulleys, or more modern methodologies including fast speed motors. It is a combination effect – the drapes must be “kabukied” first from solenoids before they can be extracted up into the grid.

Your exclusive Sniffer effect team:;

View the video here:

Need some help with Pipe and Drape assembly?

It’s so simple! Pipe and drape packages are extremely versatile and can be used for a variety of events. Exhibits and conventions make use of these systems for portable custom trade show displays. Churches and other small organizations often utilize pipe and drape to create hallways and barriers. Or pipe and drape can add that finishing touch of flare around a live performance.

They can help your trade show exhibits and drapes make a powerful first impression. By selecting appropriate drapery panels, you can create a custom partition system that will either blend tastefully with your existing decor or give your event a colorful and competitive edge.

Watch our tutorial of Custom Pipe and Drape Setup and Uses by Sew What? Inc and Rent What? Inc.

Curious how our Portable Pop Up Dressing Rooms assemble?

Want to see if one of these on site changing spaces is right for your event?  You are going to love the convenience of our portable pop up rooms. Use them to create tech spaces, or as dressing rooms. Gang them together to make a green room. They are quick and easy to set up and travel conveniently in a roadworthy wheeled case.

Famous Friends who have rented our portable dressing rooms: We’ve dressed the best – Usher, Trey Songz, Jonas Brothers, AR Rahman, Foreigner and many many more artists and bands!  Here is a fun and fast look at the assembly process:  Easy as 1-2-3

7 03, 2016

Renting Pipe and Drape

By |March 7th, 2016|Products|1 Comment

Of course you know that at Sew What? Inc we offer pipe and drape for sale, which can be used in convention booth designs and trade show exhibits………….. but did you know that we also RENT this versatile product?

If you are looking for a low cost approach and only need the gear for a week or few………. Then consider renting this portable drapery product – choose from lots of A La Carte pipe and drape elements all available from Rent What?

  • Adjustable Uprights in a variety of sizes
  • Bases in a variety of weights
  • Drape Supports and Cross Bars
  • Black and Colored Velour Drapes in a variety of heights
  • Wheeled Dollys and Carts for portability

PD_WestTec Student Services Center

Here’s why we love the idea of renting pipe and base:

Our rental inventory of premium 15oz Encore or 8oz Super-Vel pocket-top drapes are in top condition. By renting, you can have the flexibility of one color for one show and another color for the next. No commitment.  No cleaning, folding, or storing, and no managing your flammability certificates. Rental drapery is supplied clean and folded and with all the required certifications – so if you only have limited use, why buy?

Drapery panels come in standard 5’w and 15′ wide panels, sewn flat with versatile pocket tops. Heights up to 20′ and many colors available – we are ready to dress your booth or event to impress.


“Road Ready” Pipe & Base Rentals That Perform:

For an economical and portable masking solution, use our single width drapery panels with our pipe and base hardware system. Consider masking out the perimeter of your event space, creating a series of booths or displaying a backdrop or banner. We welcome any questions about your own Pipe and Drape rental needs – just contact us!

Want to see how easy it is to use?  Watch this fun and fast instructional video:

4 02, 2016

Pipe and Drape Offers Ease of Setup and a Wide Variety of Configurations

By |February 4th, 2016|Education, Products|2 Comments

You may have heard the terms “Pipe and Drape” or “Pipe and Base,” but aren’t sure what those terms mean.  Or you know that pipe and drape is used for exhibit booths (at trade shows, consumer shows such as Home and Garden shows, and the like), but you aren’t familiar with other ways it can be used.  Maybe you assume it is complicated to set up, and so you didn’t think it would work for your needs.

If so, think again! Pipe and drape is extremely easy to set up.  No special tools are required, and in most cases, no additional equipment is needed.  A simple configuration can be assembled in just a few minutes by two people (no experience required).


This photo demonstrates how beautiful custom drapery, along with furniture and accessories, can transform simple pipe and base hardware into an amazing custom exhibit space. Photo Courtesy Groove Footwear / Vybe Inc.

Pipe and drape can also be used for a number of different applications other than exhibit booths, including hanging a small backdrop, decorating an event space, and much more.

PD_Blue Pipe and Drape

Pipe and drape is an easy option to provide a beautiful backdrop to a musical performance.

Want to see what I mean in action?  Check out our video showing how to assemble Pipe and Drape in several different configurations.

Think pipe and drape might work for your next production, event, show, or other function?  Feel free to contact us, and we would be happy to discuss the variety of purchase and rental options in hardware and drapery to get you the functionality and look that you need.