Digital Printing Portfolio

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Digital Printing Backdrop Services Video by Sew What? Inc.
No matter where you look, you will likely see digitally printed fabric, digital printed theatrical backdrops and wide-format digital billboards. That’s because any graphics created for printing on paper can be printed on fabric. With a variety of substrates to choose from, digital printing enables you to magnify photo quality images into stunning theatrical and scenic digital backdrops, as well as logo emblazed fabric treatments – perfect for that next tradeshow.

Check out the digital fabric printing services by Theatrical Drapery Manufacturer, Sew What? Inc. We provide custom backdrops and fabric treatments for theaters, school auditoriums, tradeshows, special events.

Marc Anthony -  Digital Printing Portfolio

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Project: Marc Anthony “Legacy Tour”
Fabric: Crystal Poplin

Sew What? Inc. created an extraordinary 46’h x 75’w digitally printed brail lift drape in just one week for Marc Anthony’s Legacy Tour. For this project, there were 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. For durability and a gorgeous lighting surface, we chose to direct print onto our Crystal Poplin. In order to make sure that each printed segment is lined up perfectly, we used thousands of sewing pins to pre-pin by hand all the sections of cloth. This backdrop looked amazing on stage for the Legacy Tour!

Vance Joy - Digital Printing Portfolio

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Project: Vance Joy
Fabric: Heavy Knit

The digitally printed backdrop for Vance Joy was made using Heavy Knit fabric, which has the right combination of durability and print quality. The client was looking for a 25’h x 45’w custom-built backdrop that wasn’t too heavy or too sheer, so Heavy Knit fabric was the perfect choice. This digital substrate is lightweight without being translucent, with a matte finish and wrinkles that just fall right out. This makes it a very popular tour-friendly choice for digitally printed backdrops. The artwork that was provided by our client was a gorgeous, watercolor design with shades of pink, orange, yellow and green. These colors really popped on stage and looked beautiful under all the variations of colorful lighting.

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Green Day - Digital Printing Portfolio

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Project: Green Day
Fabric: Black Rip Stop & Crystal Poplin

For Green Day’s tour, we created a two different digitally printed backdrops. For the main stage Kabuki drape – a giant digitally printed “BOOM BOX design” backdrop was crafted. This piece, nearly 60 feet wide, was printed onto Crystal Poplin – for the ultimate durability and color saturation. The Kabuki drape was deployed during the show using a set of solenoids supplied by Sew What? / Rent What?, which allowed the drape to be released from the air with the press of a button. In addition to the “BOOM BOX design” backdrop, there was a massive Black Rip Stop masking drapery package on tour with them as well. This lightweight, water resistant, and durable textile is one of the rock n roll “go to” fabrics for big arena shows!

Outlaw Music Festival - Digital Printing Portfolio

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Project: Outlaw Music Festival
Fabric: Crystal Poplin

For the Outlaw Music Festival, we made a 20’h x 40’w drape printed on Crystal Poplin, an extremely durable fabric that makes color really pop. This fabric is lightweight and easy to hang, making it tour friendly. We digitally printed a bright and colorful design that showcased the festival design. Our large-scale in-house digital printer can create individual custom-printed seamless pieces up to 10ft wide each, and with our incredible sewing team’s skills, the sky is the limit for how large you can have your soft goods! Digital printing enables you to magnify a photo quality image into a stunning theatrical and scenic digital backdrop.

Digitally Printed Globe Banners for ESRI - Digital Printing Portfolio

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Digitally Printed Globe Banners for ESRI
Fabric: Direct Print onto Polyester, FR White 110″ Blackout Lining

The client was ESRI (Environmental Systems Research Institute). ESRI creates geographic information systems (GIS) to help companies and organizations develop responsible solutions to geo-global problems.

A set of 8 digitally-printed double-sided circle banners. Sixteen circles, each 13 feet in diameter, were direct-printed onto 16 foot wide fabric. The circles were then sewn back to back, to create 8 banners. An interlining of White Blackout Lining ensures that the circles can be sewn back-to-back without the image showing through to the other side. The gorgeous artwork was provided by ESRI.

The vibrant colors of the globe glow and appear three dimensional in contrast to the white of the massive structure. This was truly a unique project for Sew What? and one we are really proud of, as it shows the versatility of digitally printing with a grand format printer onto fabric. Digitally printing is not just for scenic backdrops!

Photo By: Copyright © 2010 Esri. All rights reserved. Photo credit Joel Beukelman, Esri.

2012 CMA Awards - Digital Printing Portfolio

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2012 CMA Awards

Fabric: Dye sublimated Poly Silk

For the opening performance of the 46th Annual Country Music Association Awards, art director Alana Billingsley came to us with a very specific need. Her design called for a large replication of the American Flag, but on a fabric which would allow light to filter through the flag as well as allow the drape to perform as a sniffer drape. The solution? Using a dye sublimation process, the stars and stripes were replicated in all their glory onto poly silk. To allow the flag to function as a sniffer drape, a reinforced D-Ring sniffer patch was sewn on the back near the center of the flag, with a sniffer tube line attached. At the end of the performance, the flag was dramatically whisked out of sight into the sniffer tube, to the amazement of the audience.

A Kabuki Backdrop can offer a different, but equally dramatic alternative to a Sniffer Drape. Through the use of a solenoid system, the drape can hang in front of the artist and then, with the touch of a button, swiftly drop to the floor to reveal the scene behind.

Photo By: Alana Billingsley

Jennifer Lopez Tour - Digital Printing Portfolio

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Jennifer Lopez Tour

Fabric: Digitally printed Satin with Rhinestones and appliqués of Silver Boucle

For Jennifer Lopez’s latest tour, the focus was on the “bling.” This dramatic Kabuki Drape started with digitally printing on Satin in various tones of grey. The addition of appliquéd sections of Silver Boucle, along with hundreds of rhinestones painstakingly applied by hand, brought this drape to the next level. When the lights hit it onstage, it brought the dramatic sparkle that the artist was looking for.

To achieve a similar silver sparkly look, consider layering Silver Satin Austrians or Swags with pieces from Rent What’s “Oh So Swanky” collection.

Michelle Branch - Digital Printing Portfolio

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Michelle Branch

Fabric: Digitally Printed on Heavy Knit

Designed incorporated classic vintage speaker stacks concept. Artwork was all done by John Rios. Took concept and built art from variety of files.

Photo By: John Rios

Kenny Chesney - Digital Printing Portfolio

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Kenny Chesney

Fabric: Direct Print on to Crystal Plus {special order}

Kenny Chesney is well known for opening his show with a dramatic effect. This year a 100 and 20 foot wide Austrian mechanism lift system took down stage center. The dramatic and colorful logo backdrop was custom sewn to accommodate the lift lines of the Austrian mechanism. The glossy and bold design was magnificent when both front and back lit.

Photo gallery showcasing Kenny Chesney digitally printed drapes by Sew What? on Flickr.
Photo By: Ed Wannebo, Production Manager.

Flogging Molly

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Flogging Molly

Fabric: Heavy Knit

This is a digital print mixed media drop where all the windows were actually cut out. Under backlight the windows glowed, but as a front lit piece the gray tone palate gave a wonderful bold but multi-tasking surface (RE-touch).

Photo By: John Rios

Little Big Town - Digital Printing Portfolio

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Little Big Town

Fabric: Direct Print Heavy Knit

This was a classic wallpaper step and repeat design single color that gave the client a lot of flexibility because it was 4 separate pieces. They were able to tie the drapes on in different configurations to in order to fully utilize a variety a of stage sizes at different venues. The white, unprinted elements, in the design took light beautifully and the general effect was soft and textural.

Photo gallery showcasing LBT digitally printed backdrops by Sew What? on Flickr.
Photo By: Bobby Simmons

Little Big Town - Digital Printing Portfolio

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Little Big Town

Fabric: Direct Print on Artist Lite

Custom design, by graphic artist John Rios, combining an American theme – the eagle – with a monster graphic background for a retro feel. This backdrop was used as Kabuki and is one of three layers that dropped away during the course of the little big town show, with each Kabuki drop revealing the next backdrop design.

Photo gallery showcasing LBT digitally printed backdrops by Sew What? on Flickr.
Photo By: Bobby Simmons

Little Big Town  - Digital Printing Portfolio

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Little Big Town

Fabric: Heavy Knit

This was a dramatic and moody piece that was direct printed on the heavy knit. And we chose the cloth because it is a durable touring product, in this particular case we opted for vertical seems because of the line of the architecture of the building and tree line, and the areas without printing were designed in specifically to give the lighting designer the ability to use it not only a s a scenic drop but also as a cyclorama

Photo gallery showcasing LBT digitally printed backdrops by Sew What? on Flickr.
Photo By: John Rios

Sheryl Crow - Digital Printing Portfolio

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Sheryl Crow

Fabric: Direct Print to Artist Lite

When Paul Guthrie asked to produce this digitally printed wide format backdrop for Sheryl Crow we suggested using a flexible polyester based fabric named Artist Lite. A great printing substrate – the Artist Lite takes color well and is light and translucent. Ideal for large format backdrops where flexibility and vibrancy and translucency are important.

This direct print backdrop gives a dynamic and retro look to the stage and takes color well from both the front and behind. When back lit, the lighter areas offer greater translucency than those where the black ink was laid. It gives the lighting designer a very flexible palette to work with.

Sheryl Crow’s rental kabuki solenoid package provided by Rent What? Inc

Photo By: Paul Guthrie of Toss Film & Design Inc

Brooks and Dunn “Last Rodeo Tour”

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Brooks and Dunn “Last Rodeo Tour”

Fabric: Direct Print to Artist Lite

Sew What? Inc, the Theatrical Drapery Manufacturer of concert backdrops and stage drapes, was awarded the contract to provide a digitally printed wide format backdrop for country music notables, Brooks & Dunn. The dramatic looking backdrops which are now being viewed at their concerts were all produced in-house on a 120” Vutek printer on a flexible polyester based fabric named Artist Lite {https://sewwhatinc.com/eswatches/printable-fabrics/artist-lite/}. A great printing substrate – the Artist Lite takes color well and is light and translucent. Ideal for large format backdrops where flexibility and vibrancy are important.

Great American Food Fest - Digital Printing Portfolio

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Project: Great American Food Fest

Fabric: Direct Printing onto Standard Vinyl Coated Mesh and Matte Vinyl

This project involved lots of backdrops, banners and lots of signage – to fully brand the first annual Great American Food Fest. The files were all created in Illustrator, and were full color vector files. The American music and food theme ran thru all the various pieces. The standard vinyl coated mesh and the Matte Vinyl both meet the flame retardancy needs for the event and were durable for the outdoor installation.

What made this project challenging was the timeline – less than 7 days from delivered files to printed, finished and installed. Sounds like “fast food” to us!

Photo by: Lynda Vaughn

Soulja Boy Backdrop

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Project: Soulja Boy Backdrop

Fabric: Direct Print onto FR Clear Vinyl / Direct Print onto Heavy Knit

This was a really interesting mixed media print piece – a combination of traditional digital printing textile – Heavy Knit – and a nontraditional substrate – Flame Retardant Clear Vinyl.

The concept designed buy Justin Collie of ArtFag, LLC was that the lenses of the sunglasses were to appear reflective – and give the effect of floating in front of the more muted tones of the colors of the American flag. This was a very successful effect – giving the appliquéd backdrop lots of bang for it’s buck.

Natural Point, OptiTrack Convention Booth - Digital Printing Portfolio

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Natural Point, OptiTrack Convention Booth

Fabric: Dye sublimation onto Heavy Knit

This was actually a series of pieces including dye sublimation wide format printing and Cambio! tension fabric shapes to complete an entire booth for OptiTrack. The printed signage element at the top was sublimated so as to achieve maximum color saturation and get a very bold output. The play between the black, the white and the PMS red had to be right on the money. Of course both Direct Print and Dye Sublimation can be used in such a scenario – however dye sublimation does tend to produce a more saturated color output.

Photo by: Jim Richardson with Natural Point

Dierks Bentley Kabuki

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Project: Dierks Bentley Kabuki

Fabric: Dye Sublimation

“You need a 30’h x 60’w in how many days?” …………….Production staff from Deirks Bentley knew where to call when they needed digital printing services for their tour. Dye sublimation gave us the saturation of color required to really hit the CK and process blues in this logo embedded artwork. As it was to be used as a kabuki drop down stage and there were obvious vertical break lines in the art, we chose to produce the item with vertical seams which disappeared into the artwork.

Photographs by: Todd Ortmeier

Digitally Printed Backdrop for The New Cars - Digital Printing Portfolio

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Project: Digitally Printed Backdrop for The New Cars

Fabric: Digitally Printed Heavy Knit

Isn’t this a great shot? And let me tell you – The New Cars sure did put on a good show. This photo is from their performance at the House of Blues show on Sunset Blvd.

Our multi-tasking digitally printed backdrop hangs behind them for personalization and displays their logo with clarity. With so many different substrates to choose from there is a digital backdrop for every band no matter the budget. Heavy Knit was selected as the best substrate for this project as is it low wrinkle and easy maintenance. Perfect for a tour where there is extended storage time between show dates and the backdrop will be stored folded.

Photo by: Jim Steinfeldt

Triple Horse Installation – House of Worship

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Project: Triple Horse Installation – House of Worship

Fabric: Vinyl Coated Supreme Mesh

This direct print onto Supreme Mesh was a multi part piece – allowing maximum flexibility for actor entrances and exits as well as the potential to move to a smaller (or larger) stage location in the future. The angular “mosaic” style segments lent themselves stylistically to the piece of art – recognizable by all. Supreme Mesh is an excellent candidate for printing – often overlooked for indoor use. As seen in this example – it is indeed a very viable material for both indoor and outdoor use. The color saturation on the Supreme Mesh is very good, despite that fact that it is a mesh.

Photo by: Triplehorse Productions

Jason Aldean Tour

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Project: Jason Aldean Tour

Fabric: Direct Print to Heavy Knit

Heavy Knit is a premium substrate for durable and heavy weight backdrops. Offering excellent wrinkle resistance this substrate is a perfect match for tours or permanent installations. It takes bright colors well – making it an excellent candidate for a graphic as bold as this design for Jason Aldean.

Cut drop for Lady Gaga Tour, Europe & Australia  - Digital Printing Portfolio

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Project: Cut drop for Lady Gaga Tour, Europe & Australia

Fabric: Digitally Printed Airtex / 15oz Encore Velour / Black

We were exited, and challenged, when we were asked to produce this extremely unique mixed media backdrop for Lady Gaga. Designed by Ray Woodbury of RK Diversified {www.rkde.net}, this piece combined a variety of stage effects and various textiles. The lower graphic area was direct printed onto Airtex. The cut drop was created by inserting areas of tiger mesh. Hidden smoke lines added live exhaust to the city skyline and a front projection screen build into the graphic brought the printed billboard to life. Over 200 LED lights were hardwired to illuminate “the fame machine” sign giving this custom piece a lot of interest and dramatically framing the stage. A dramatic backdrop for a dynamic artist!

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Kenny Chesney Tour

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Project: Kenny Chesney Tour
Fabric: Direct Print

To achieve one of the most impressive reveals seen on the road – we participated in the automation of a digitally printed wide format backdrop by way of attachment to a custom SGPS ShowRig Motorized Lift System. With 120 linear feet of printed media – the center section of over 80 feet of backdrop was flawlessly and gracefully raised when 13 lift lines were operated. When fully raised the drape stacked neatly up in front of the truss above while the artist performed – ready to drop again at the end of the show. For this particular project where the client wanted “luminescence” when backlit, therefore we selected a 16 foot wide substrate with good translucency and a soft hand. This substrate provided intense color saturation and gives the image a projected appearance in a backlit scenario.

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Photo gallery showcasing Kenny Chesney digitally printed drapes by Sew What? on Flickr.
Photo By: Ed Wannebo, Production Manager.

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