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stage backdrops

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10 09, 2019

Unique Multi-layer Backdrop Takes Center Stage in Tyler, the Creator Tour Set Design

By |September 10th, 2019|Clients, Digital Printing, Projects|1 Comment

When Alex Reardon of Silent House Productions contacted us regarding this year’s Tyler, the Creator tour, we could not have been more excited. We immediately knew that we would be involved in a stage design and touring production of epic proportions. With a full-on tour schedule of more than 30 shows in the USA, UK and Canada, it was clear we would need to develop a hamper friendly and tour ready drapery package.

We love being challenged to create something new and unique. Not the same old run of the mill white cyc – this projection surface was to have the texture of fine ribbons and the ability blow in the wind while offering a reflective and bright surface for lighting and projection. It needed to be tangle resistant and have a series of unique contoured bottom edge cuts.

Sew What?’s very own Shane Nelsen worked directly with Alex Reardon and the TtC design team and got immediately to prototyping different ways we could achieve this unique request. After reviewing many different materials, a decision to settle on a lightly toned knit cloth was made since it would check all the design need boxes and offer wrinkle resistance as well. The best approach was to digitally print the elements onto our Heavy Knit cloth. We were able to add the light grey toning to the cloth, print the 1” wide ribbon cut lines and draft in the unique contoured curved bottom.

Made in separate sections to allow for the sections to be layered and adjusted as needed onsite, there were 48 pieces in total that made up the four backdrops. Once all the printed elements were applied to their respective webbing headers and layered appropriately, it was time for the process of cutting all the ribbons. We don’t call ourselves the Sew What? “family” for nothing. It truly was a family event, and everyone (office staff as well) put in time on the cutting table to slice up cloth into miles and miles of ribbon. (Some might hang around the coffee maker for the most recent news, but for us we were hanging around the @feliciathegoat backdrop to cut and catch up!)

The outcome is absolutely stunning – and we hope that you will have time to see the show when it is in your town. We are thrilled to have been selected to provide a custom touring softgood package for Tyler, the Creator. Thank you to Alex Reardon and team for your support and confidence in our ability and product.

Tyler The Creator @feliciathegoat x Chicago #IGOR 

  • Creative Director / Lighting & Set Designer @alexreardon65 of @silenthouseproductions
  • Lighting Programmer @climbingwombat
  • Disguise Programmer @retinakiller
  • Notch FX @rowanglenn
  • Tour Manager @henrybordeaux
  • Production by @eighteentwentysix
  • Video Content: @immanent_vj

See a video of the backdrop in action as a projection surface: https://youtu.be/N6do_QHcjWk

30 04, 2019

Aluminum Metal Mesh Drapes Help Build Dynamic Rock Tour Stage Design

By |April 30th, 2019|Clients, Products, Projects|1 Comment

Our clients have quickly come to realize that Aluminum Metal Mesh drapes are a fantastic option for ALL kinds of stage designs, and that they add “electricity” to numerous types of occasions—and not JUST at rock concerts and tours anymore (but they are absolutely perfect suited for those, too).  Events ranging widely–from Barbershop Harmony and Christmas orchestral concerts, to school productions, corporate events, and video shoots–these striking theatrical curtains have something that will completely dazzle everyone who lays eyes on them.

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We were thrilled to work with gifted Tour Manager Eric Frankhouser and his amazing team of stage designers and producers for the Eels Tour last summer. He was looking for a material that would give a little edginess to the overall stage design, while still adhering to this ultra-cool American rock band’s overall eclectic vibe. They needed it to be easy to tour with, easy to hang, and—most importantly–easy to spectacularly light up. It was a no-brainer—they decided to use some Metal Mesh rental panels from our Industrial Textures Specialty Drapery Collection.

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This wonderfully textured substrate makes it easier to create distinctive looks throughout the same event, all while using the exact same drapery. Various colored theatrical lighting and gobo effects added incredible diversity, drama, and excitement to each individual look of the show. And the crunchy, wrinkled texture of these drapes make them ideal for touring, too—as you can literally just hang them up right out of the hamper, and they’re good to go!  

Eels, o2 Academy, Glasgow, 4th July 2018

The tour was ecstatic with the way that these drapes worked seamlessly with their shows’ indie-pop-alternative-pop-rock atmosphere. Their lighting team did a flawless job with interweaving various lighting schemes for every song, giving them each their own unique look and feel. You can view more gorgeous photos taken by some supremely talented photographers while out on tour, and see how the band’s brilliant design team was able to create a truly memorable background for this extraordinary group of musicians.  If you are able to check out this band in person, you really should–they are currently out on another international tour and it is definitely not one to miss. Feel free to contact one of our helpful sales reps to see if our selection of Metal Mesh rental drapes fit your upcoming event’s staging needs. If not, then we can also custom build you a Metal Mesh drape to work effortlessly with your next production’s exclusive size and style.

Eels - O2 Academy Brixton, London - 2nd July 2018

5 03, 2019

Inspiration Comes From Our Fabulous Flickr Galleries

By |March 5th, 2019|Company, Products|1 Comment

Our clients contact us all the time looking for options and suggestions of some stunning theatrical curtain ideas for their upcoming special events, concert tours, trade shows, and stage productions. One of the most effective ways we’ve been able to assist them with gaining valuable inspiration for stage design ideas is suggesting that they take another look at our always-expanding Flickr Galleries.

Jorja Smith 11/26/2018 #15

Showcasing all kinds of images—including custom-built grand stage drapes and digitally printed backdrops being used on international concert tours, to local awards banquets needing a little extra flair with a few of our beautiful rental curtains, to just about everything else in between—there’s a little something for every type of stage design you can think of.

Grizzly Bear - Ed Droste, Daniel Rossen, Chris Taylor & Christopher Bear

We know that occasionally “seeing is believing” when it comes to creating a one-of-a-kind look for your own special event or show, and that sometimes inspiration can simply come from viewing a beautiful picture. Our SW?/RW? team is excited to share photos from fans and photographers around the world who have been moved to snap a few pics of their favorite artists and bands, and then share them with others eager to check them out as well.

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Collecting them all into easy-to-navigate photo galleries helps make it effortless in assisting you to find your own next event design using our gorgeous rental drapes and striking custom curtains, too. Next time you’re working on your big or small productions, concerts, trade shows, or other special event designs, why not take another glance at our SW Flickr Gallery, and see what fantastic stage drapes might catch your eye…..Then give us a shout and we’ll be happy to help bring those design visions to life for your production, too!

#Repost @xecuteulifer: @Shinedown #Nashville #shinedown #brentsmith #barrykerch #zachmyers #ericbass #bridgestonearena

8 01, 2019

Vibrant Drapery Helps With Color-Specific Branding Scheme

By |January 8th, 2019|Products, Projects|1 Comment

Color—it can truly help you create a completely one-of-a-kind design, and is a considerable aspect of “branding” yourself for your audiences to recognize far beyond even your name, image, or graphics might be able to do. Our artistic and savvy clients know this, which is why we try to offer them colored rental drapery whenever possible, in order for them to really “hit home” their event’s overall focus.

Recently we were thrilled to be able to work again with the dynamic event producers Michael and Deb Roccoforte with FORTE, by helping supply them with some of our striking rental pipe pocket drapery that they needed for a genuinely important event for their own client, Wabash College. Taking place at the renowned Indiana State Museum, they knew that the school’s bright and identifying color scheme is highlighted by a brilliant rich shade of red. Therefore they wanted to have a likely-colored background for all of their own digital banners and cubes decorating the event space, to better tie everything together into one eye-catching theme.

Choosing from the various colors of rental pipe pocket drapery that we offer to use with their own existing pb hardware, they decided on renting some of our gorgeous Atomic Red Super-Vel pipe pocket curtains that wove in beautifully with the school’s distinctive color motif. This 8oz. fabric is quickly becoming a fabulous and economical alternative to heavier velour fabrics with a very similar look and feel. These curtains are also ideal for travel, as this type of inherently flame retardant, lightweight fabric is durable, wrinkle resistant, and road-tough.

We were so incredibly pleased to see what an outstanding job they did for this event’s memorable design, and were also absolutely delighted with what a perfect background these drapes made for the school’s marketing pieces. Check out our website to see the numerous colors and sizes of pipe pocket drapery that we offer in our rental collection. And we would love for you to contact one of our helpful sales reps today to see if we can provide you with rental or custom pipe pocket drapery for your next big upcoming special event, too.

2 01, 2019

Custom Traveler Drapes and Track Beautify New Venue

By |January 2nd, 2019|Products, Projects|1 Comment

This past fall we recently had the distinct pleasure of working with Winnie Hsia, the founder, teacher, and performer of Sky Candy—an incredibly amazing aerial and circus arts school in Austin, Texas. Sky Candy is Austin’s premier circus training center for students of all ages, body types, and fitness levels. You’ll find fun and engaging classes, knowledgeable instructors, and a warm, welcoming community to support you on your journey. Because of their increasing popularity, they had just moved into a new facility with absolutely lovely high beam ceilings and plenty of spacious room for all of their trapezes, ropes, and other aerial constructions. They knew that they were in for some unique challenges with this new venue though, as one of their main walls was made up of a large glass doorway and separate window that they would need to be able to“mask off” during exhibitions and performances. However, those gorgeous ceilings were angled and covered in beams, which made it somewhat difficult to do a typical installation of the custom-built traveler drapes and traveler track system that they sought.

Once their team of architects and builders figured out how to safely and securely hang the schedule 40 pipe to suspend the traveler track from (and also be offset from the wall so that it could also hide all of the pinrails and other mechanics along that wall), they worked closely with our sales rep Marilyn Moss on ordering the exact kind of traveler track system that would work specifically for this new location. And as well, they were able to also order the precise size, style, and colored drapery they envisioned having as their room’s main “background” for all of their practices, performances, and everything in between.

First they discussed the kind of drapery that would work well in that type of set-up—Winnie wanted opaque soft goods that would block out all of the bright light streaming in from the glass along that wall. She also required something fairly lightweight that would retract easily on a traveler system, but still look really lovely and velvety when fully closed. And very importantly, she requested a type and color of fabric that would reflect lighting beautifully.

With Marilyn’s guidance, they chose a very striking fabric of 13oz. IFR Pewter Grey Apollo Velour—a substrate with a “pile nap” that is a splendid choice when looking for a stunning, opaque fabric. It is also ideal for high humidity environments as it will not shrink or lose its flame retardancy after it gets moist or has to be washed. To make extra certain that the light from outside would be completely masked, she ended up lining these pre-pleated grand bi-parting curtains with white/white blackout lining. Lightweight, attractive,and completely opaque, these drapes were spot-on with what Winnie and her design team were hoping for.

Next they decided on our ADC 1700 Series Besteel (walk-along) Traveler Track. Made of 14 gauge galvanized steel, this medium-duty track is an economical, sturdy, and dependable option for smaller-scale theaters and school auditoriums especially.  This brand of pipe-hung,straight-track configuration was the ideal type of traveler system to work impeccably with our custom-built lined Apollo Velour drapery. The hidden sewn snaps on the top of the curtains connected flawlessly with the traveler’s carriers, allowing for a smooth and easy opening and shutting of these drapes whenever they desired.

The end result turned out absolutely perfect! Being able to effortlessly open and close these magnificent drapes at the simple pull of a drape end is exactly what they were envisioning, and they couldn’t have been happier. We were thrilled to be a part of such an important project, and were beyond pleased with how wonderful it all turned out for them in this new space. Contact one of our amazing representatives—like Marilyn—so that we can help you figure out the most exquisite drapery package for your own unique stage, venue, or event design too!