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scenic backdrops

/Tag: scenic backdrops
13 11, 2018

Aluminum Metal Mesh Curtains Help Create A Memorable Stage Design

By |November 13th, 2018|Products, Projects|1 Comment

The theatrical production world is unlike anything else out there—getting a group of incredibly artistic people together to whip up costumes, make-up, sets, and decorations, not to mention learning and memorizing lines, songs, musical numbers, dance routines, and other choreography, is no small feat at all. We all here at RW?/SW? love being able to provide rental and custom drapes to our wonderfully creative clients whenever possible, helping them by taking the stress out of at least one element of the show—the stage drapery!

We were thrilled to be able to work with Artistic Director/Theater Teacher, and Virginia Thespian Co-Director Mr. Cimino-Johnson (Mr. CJ to his students) at Rock Ridge High School For the Performing Arts again. He wanted some unique rental drapes to help create a “false proscenium” on stage for their Fall production of “Shrek—The Musical”. Needing the drapes to be eclectic yet versatile, dramatic yet edgy, and of course have some really cool texture and light like a dream, he decided on renting a few of our Aluminum Metal Mesh rental curtains from our Industrial Textures Drapery Collection.

Lightweight and easy to hang, these metal mesh drapes are a stage designer’s dream come true. By simply splashing different hues of colorful lighting onto them, you can very easily create a multitude of different looks and atmospheres using the same exact drapes each time. In this case, Mr. CJ and his talented students did an amazing job using these drapes mixed with some of their personally supplied “erosion netting” to help give the overall look of a stringy, Spanish-moss covered rocky swamp.

We look forward to working with this great school again in the future on their truly extraordinary productions, offering them different rental curtains based on their own particular needs. Contact our sales team today so that we can help YOU with getting the most perfect rental—or custom—theatrical stage curtains for your upcoming productions, concerts, and any kind of special events you can think of.

1 08, 2018

Custom Mixed Media Drapes Energize Crowds On Rock Tour

By |August 1st, 2018|Products, Projects|1 Comment

A fantastic way to construct something genuinely one-of-a-kind for your production, concert, or trade show is to have our skilled sewing staff custom sew a mixed media piece that comes directly from your own original vision. Layering different substrates on top of one another can create a completely unique appearance for your backdrops and other theatrical soft goods. Recently Megan Duckett worked with the tremendously creative Paul Guthrie with the Nine Inch Nails current “Cold and Black and Infinite” World Tour, to help fashion a distinctive look for the band’s concert tour.

The design called for a specific hand-painted pattern on the drapes to showcase during parts of the performances, so we started with a Heavy Weight Cotton Muslin as the base fabric for this textured 40’w drape and its corresponding 12’w drapery legs. This material is quite popular for our clients as the wrinkles tend to “fall right out” once hung up at each venue, and the open weave structure of the fabric allows for paint to adhere nicely to it, too. Sharkstooth Scrim was then layered on top of the painted muslin, giving the curtains a textured, almost “coarse” quality to them. The scrim layer was also scenically painted, enhancing the dramatic effect even more. The tour lighting design, which called for the use of a variety of colored lighting schemes and creative image shadows, definitely gave the overall presence of these edgy drapes a truly extraordinary look. Check out more photos of this undeniably exceptional backdrop here on our Flickr page, too.

Contact us to get insightful information, suggestions, and options to better design the stage for your upcoming special event or concert tour. We have so much fun helping our client’s magnificent ideas become a reality in the most breathtaking ways possible, and having us build you a mixed media custom drape is definitely a sure-fire way to wow your audiences each and every time!

11 06, 2018

Wide Format Digitally Printed Backdrop Rocks Out At Festival Tour

By |June 11th, 2018|Digital Printing|1 Comment

Here at Sew What? Inc., we love being involved in all kinds of concert tours and festivals, and we are always so excited to help create the most perfect digitally-printed backdrops for our clients imaginable. Our state of the art, large-scale in-house digital printer can create individual custom-printed pieces up to 10ft. wide each–and with our gifted sewing team’s incredible skills, the sky’s the limit with how large you can have your soft goods sewn into. With a variety of substrates to choose from (indoor, outdoor, opaque, translucent, etc.), digital printing enables you to magnify a photo quality image into a stunning theatrical and scenic digital backdrop. This is especially exciting nowadays because any graphics that are designed for printing on paper can now be printed on fabric, too, so we can literally take any idea from your imagination and turn it into a breathtaking reality!

Recently our client Blackbird Productions approached our expert sales rep Marilyn Moss, to help them build a larger-than-life, custom-made digitally printed backdrop for their exciting Outlaw Music Festival Tour headlined by none other than the “Red Headed Stranger,” Willie Nelson. It needed to be lightweight and easy to hang, be tour-friendly going from show to show, and yet still be bright and colorful enough to showcase the festival design with glorious clarity for the entire crowd to see.  They decided on a 20’h x 40’w drape printed on Crystal Poplin, an extremely durable FR fabric that works beautifully with digital ink to really make the colors really POP. Check out this video designed by Tom Underhill to see this one-of-a-kind, gorgeous drape being manufactured right here in our very own LA warehouse:

As you can see, the festival design is extremely bright and clear, and ready for their entire audience to enjoy—for both those that are close-to and far-away from the stage. It’s also great to know that Direct Digital Fabric Printing is extremely cost-effective for both proof and short-run printing, it reduces production time from weeks to just days (which accelerates design and product development when time is of the essence), and most importantly it permits (and encourages!) customization and personalization from your own design vision.

Rent What? is always thrilled when we have the perfect rental specialty drape for your event, concert, or production. But if they don’t have exactly what you are looking for, we would highly recommend having a personally tailored digitally printed backdrop created by the talented individuals at Sew What? instead. Having trouble coming up with an idea for your upcoming show? Let our creative sales representatives help you figure out the ideal digital backdrop for your show, while also giving you the most “bang for your buck.” Need it transported across the country? Not a problem! Our team of innovative shipping coordinators can package it the best, safest way for your drapes—whether that be via a hamper, box, or pallet. Let us help your next tour’s stage design be as memorable as the shows themselves!

21 02, 2018

Digitally Printed Backdrop Stuns Audience At Church Production

By |February 21st, 2018|Digital Printing, Fabrics, Products|1 Comment

Recently I came across this awe-inspiring custom digital stage backdrop made from FR Vinyl Mesh, which was a multi-part piece printed and sewn by Sew What? Inc. for our client Triple Horse Studios. They wanted to have something truly remarkable custom-built for a large church production they were designing across the country, yet also it needed to be memorable, beautiful, AND functional.  Having this directly printed digital backdrop made into 5 separate pieces (consisting of drapes 42 feet high by: 35 feet wide, 20 feet wide, and 9 feet wide) allowed maximum flexibility for performer entrances and exits as well as the potential to move to a smaller (or larger) stage in the future. The angular “mosaic” style segments lent themselves stylistically to this instantly recognizable piece of art. FR Vinyl Mesh is an excellent candidate for printing – often overlooked for indoor use. The color saturation and output on this heavily coated vinyl mesh surface is extremely vibrant—fantastic for both smaller OR larger sized stages.

This custom theatrical backdrop made of Vinyl Mesh is great for when air circulation is of concern. This makes it an outstanding choice for indoor and outdoor events that may have sound and music elements. It is also tested and approved as Flame Retardant (FR) so you are not limited to only using it outdoors, which means it can safely be used for events and productions held in all types of venues. This specific backdrop was also “hot-wedge” welded, giving an almost “seamless” look to its vertical seams. Top-finished with webbing, grommets, and ties made it very easy to attach to the church’s in-house truss system in a manner of minutes.

Our state of the art, grand format in-house digital printer can create individual custom-printed pieces, seamless up to 10ft, and with our gifted sewing team’s skills at image matching and seaming, the sky’s the limit with how large you can have your soft goods sewn into! Here is another example of what this incredibly versatile Vinyl Mesh looks like up close through a colorful sample design:

As you can see, the images are extremely bright and clear, which will nicely showcase your intended photo or graphic stunningly for your entire audience to enjoy—for both those that are close-to and far-away from the stage. I would highly recommend having a personally tailored digitally printed backdrop created by the talented individuals at Sew What? instead– because they can literally take any idea from your imagination and turn it into a breathtaking reality.

18 12, 2017

Brilliant Graphic Design is Showcased in this Mixed Media Backdrop for Gov’t Mule

By |December 18th, 2017|Digital Printing, Fabrics, News, Products, Projects|1 Comment

Rock ’n’ roll music has always been a reflection of the times, and the new Gov’t Mule album, Revolution Come… Revolution Go, is no exception. The album was released June 9th, and the band again sets the tone for their legacy with its cleverly-crafted songs, intelligent lyrical commentary, and downright provocative playing. It’s those traditions, combined with an observant eye on the present, that define their tenth full-length studio effort.

This current tour supports the new album release, and Warren, Matt, Danny and Jorgen deliver a patchwork of musical styles, and you can see the passion in their performance in these wonderful photos by Heath Robson.

Image by Heath Robson

There are so many ways to approach each custom backdrop that we are asked to craft.  For a great number of our backdrops, the entire design is digitally printed on our wide format digital printer.  For Gov’t Mule, however, the bold design of the medallion style logo with its solid black surround lent itself perfectly to us crafting a mixed media backdrop. We used both solid opaque black cloth as well as a digitally printed replication of the central graphic, and then with great care we stitched them together into a multi layered piece of textile art.

Working with Tour Manager Fred Cox, we selected 22oz Encore Velour for its wrinkle resistant knit construction to be used for the black background.  Encore is a wonderful substrate for mixed media backdrops as when it is scissor cut it does not fray – allowing for intricate shapes and designs to be taken from the baseline fabric.

Image by Heath Robson

The medallion element in the center was printed in full and glorious color onto our Heavy Knit print fabric. This is a wrinkle resistant knit construction, that takes bright and bold colors well, and is a perfect candidate for applique.  After years of use in the marketplace, this substrate has proved itself a perfect match for tours and projects which require long periods of hamper storage.

The combination of Heavy Knit and Encore Velour is very popular for mixed media backdrops. Not only do our clients love this flame retardant cloth combination – but our sewing room does too! Both fabrics make their way through the sewing machines with ease, making this fabric combination, quite literally, a win-win.

Image by Heath Robson

The medallion area, once sewn onto the black drape, was then treated as a “feature element”.  We turned the drape on its face and meticulously cut away the black Encore Velour from the back of the printed areas.  What this did was allow for the medallion to glow (as it is a translucent fabric) when back lit by revealing it from behind.  This painstaking process required hours of careful trimming and hand scissor cutting to remove the Encore and reveal the glowing central element. Custom sewing for the Entertainment and Event Industry, such as this, is a specialty of ours.

Image by Heath Robson

From the Gov’t Mule website, Haynes is quoted to say, “In many ways, the chemistry between the four of us is an extension of the chemistry that the original trio had. The approach we take to the music is the same uncompromising and adventurous approach, although it’s inevitable that the music is going to grow in different directions. The common thread is the influences we choose and the way we play together, which harkens back to how important improvisation was in most of the music we all love. At the end of the day, we’re friends. Making this music is satisfying in a way that’s completely different from any other project I’ve been a part of. That’s what inspires all of us.”

Image by Heath Robson

About Sew What? Inc:   Custom sewing. It’s our passion, our bread and butter. It’s how we got started and what we live for. Our custom-sewn drapery products have graced the stages of many of the biggest names in music and theater, dressed some of the top fashion show runways, and brought color and drama to major trade show exhibits here and abroad.

We serve these main market areas: Theatrical Drapery Manufacturing, Touring Draperies for Concerts, and Custom Sewn Products for Special Events & Trade Show Exhibits. The portfolios below display many examples of our work and may offer you some ideas on what’s possible with custom drapery. Need ideas? Visit our various Portfolios below or our Flickr Gallery for past projects, and then review fabric choices.