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theatre backdrops

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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!

10 07, 2018

Custom-Built Unique Projection Screen Perfect For Conference

By |July 10th, 2018|Clients, Products, Projects|1 Comment

We have some of the most fabulously imaginative and innovative clients in the business—and being able to offer them custom-built theatrical soft goods makes us truly happy. Designing exciting and captivating trade show and conference stages is one of the most important projects that a lot of our clients engage in on a regular basis. So it is imperative that we are able to provide them with the exact size and style of essential drapery that they may for their unique events.

Earlier this spring one of our wonderfully creative clients, Mi Media Productions, was the production company behind this year’s impressive Wireless West Conference 2018. Event Designer and President of Mi Media Productions, Mike Ivey, worked with marketing managers Paige DeLazzer and Kari Willis from E-Factor to help configure the sensational lighting motif and appealing design layout for this popular event. Mike knew that they wanted to have the largest projection surface possible at their venue, and have it also be completely and absolutely opaque so that nothing behind the screen could be seen by the audience. But as the event’s stage, at 16′ h x 60′ w, would be considered outside typical “industry normal” dimensions, standard rental drapery was not going to be best option for them.

Conferring with our sales rep Marilyn Moss, they decided to have Sew What? custom-build them the exact theatrical soft goods that they needed for this riveting seminar so that they would get precisely what they were envisioning. They chose White/White Blackout Lining as a non-traditional projection screen surface, choosing hidden ties on top for hanging, and a pipe pocket bottom so that they could weigh it down and give it a nice, clean, smooth surface. This fabric was ideal as it offered them complete and total light blockage, and also gave them an impeccable surface for crystal clear projected images and video.

You can see by these stunning photos that Katch Moments Photography provided the conference just how perfect this custom-made “projection screen” turned out for this event, helping the weekend become a huge success. We loved being able to help our clients come up with a solution for their own exclusive stage design, and look forward to working with them again in the future. Let our team of drapery experts help YOU achieve a flawless look for your special event, too—with custom OR rental drapery products!

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.

29 08, 2017

Opaque, Transparent, Translucent

By |August 29th, 2017|Education, Fabrics|1 Comment

Since the majority of our work with clients is done via phone and email, clear verbal and written communication is key to our business. We need to clearly understand what our clients’ needs are and clearly explain to those clients what we recommend.

Sometimes it is fairly simple. The client knows exactly what he or she wants in a drape: fabric name, drapery style, fullness, etc. Other times, however, the client may just have an idea of a look but isn’t sure how to best describe the look. It’s our job to help the client describe their design and what they are trying to achieve in the design with the drapery.

One of the factors to consider is how opacity affects the customer’s design and drapery needs. Is the client looking for masking drapery and therefore needs the drape to be a solid black “non-see-through” fabric? If so, do they need complete light blockage (or “blackout”) drapery, or do they just want to ensure that any objects behind the drape can’t be seen?

When the customer asks for a “transparent” or “translucent” fabric, what is the customer trying to achieve in the design? Does the design call for something floaty and “see-through” or does it call for back-lighting, rear-projection, or a silhouette effect? Depending on the answers to these questions, either a “transparent” or a “translucent” fabric may be recommended (as the two terms are not synonymous).

Voile is an example of a transparent fabric, through which objects can be clearly seen (as above).

As we discuss the issue of drapery opacity, we sometimes find that a client is unclear about the difference between the terms “opaque,” “transparent,” and “translucent.” Of course, we do explain these terms directly to the client, but we have also found it helpful to our customers to send them a link to our white paper “Opaque, Transparent, or Translucent? Tips for Making the Best Fabric Choice for Stage Draperies.” Not only does the white paper explain the different terms in regards to how they relate to stage drapery fabrics, but it also lists common opaque, transparent, and translucent fabric choices.

Want to learn more about this fabric opacity? Click here to download a pdf copy of the white paper.

22 08, 2017

Mix Of Rental Drapes Create The Perfect Look For An Unforgettable Wedding

By |August 22nd, 2017|Products, Projects|3 Comments

Getting to be a part of some of the biggest awards shows, televised national sporting events, international concert tours, and most extravagant stage productions is a thrill, and an honor, that we do not take lightly. We absolutely love being able to help “set the stage” for special events of all kinds and sizes. That’s why it is especially humbling and gratifying for us to also be trusted to help provide theatrical soft goods for one of the most memorable, important events in a young couple’s life together—their wedding day!

Recently we provided some stunning rental stage drapes for a wonderful young couple, David and Seraphim Afflick, on their spectacular “La La Land”-themed wedding ceremony and reception at the area’s very popular Capitol Center for the Arts in Concord, New Hampshire. Wanting to have something dazzling to help give just the right “Grand Hollywood Night” feel to their ceremony, they chose one of our Classic Stardrop LED drapes to adorn their ceremony stage. This gorgeous 15’x30’ (can be hung either way) drape is easy to hang and operate, and the end results are always completely captivating.

Then for their reception this uniquely stylish couple wanted an elegant drape to hang behind their “sweetheart table” that would help give them a polished background for all of the stunning photos that would be taken during the night by their amazing photographer Odi Jin. They ended up choosing one of our luxurious and versatile rental Silver Textura (non-operable) Austrian Zip-Wall curtains. These drapes are a lighting designer’s dream come true—making them the perfect backdrop for all kinds of special event and stage designs. We were so pleased to be a part of the unforgettable wedding day of such a creative and fun-loving couple, and we wish a lot of happiness for David and Seraphim throughout the rest of their lives together, too.