What are tension fabric shapes? Also known as Tension Fabric Structures, they are geometric shapes (triangles, squares, rectangles, stars, etc.) made from a stretch fabric such as Cambio!

The most simple tension fabric shapes are two-dimensional and frameless. With these stretch shapes (we offer a number of stock shapes), the shapes are hemmed on all sides, with reinforced grommets placed at the corners or points. The shape is then displayed by hanging from a batten or truss and then tensioning the sides (by attaching to the side of the proscenium or a moveable upright) and/or bottom (by attaching to sandbags or directly to the stage floor or the back of the stage deck), often with clear monofilament (fishing line). Some great examples of this type of stretch shape are shown on our website, on the Special Events Portfolio page – check out the Bridal Table by Details Ottawa.

In addition to hanging tension fabric shapes, tension fabric shapes are also made by combining stretch fabric with metal frames in either two-dimensional or three-dimensional configurations. This creates a stretch shape that can be easily moved to a variety of locations onstage without having to worry about attaching the piece to the stage itself. Two- and three-dimensional metal shapes are manufactured by a company specializing in metalwork. Sew What? can then make custom stretch pieces to fit the frames. The fabric shapes are attached to the frames using Velcro (loop velcro sewn to the perimeter of the shapes and then adhesive hook velcro attached to the frame). With targeted lighting, the customer is able to create a variety of interesting looks to provide a backdrop to the show.

The best thing, though, is that tension fabric shapes are a really affordable option (especially frameless shapes) – which makes them a great option for organizations (such as churches, schools, or event planners) who want to create a really dramatic look to a show or event but have a limited budget.