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FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently asked Theatre Drapery questions: Frequently Asked Theater Drapery Care questions: Frequently asked Flame Retardancy questions: Frequently asked Digital Printing questions: Frequently asked Theater Track questions:

I have a stage that I need a curtain for. I don't know the specific names of the types of stage curtains. Can you please describe them?

Stage curtains can be categorized into three types: proscenium curtains, masking curtains, and backdrops or cyclorama.

Proscenium Curtains
Proscenium curtains hang just upstage of the proscenium opening, and they include the main valance and the main act curtain. The main act curtain is also sometimes referred to as the grand drape or house curtain. These curtains provide a sight and sound barrier between the stage and audience area, sometimes referred to as the house. There are several styles of main act curtains:

  • Draw or Traveler Curtain
    The most common main act curtain is the draw or traveler curtain, which is made of two bi-parting sections. These sections are placed on two overlapping sections of track, and each half can be drawn from the center to the opposite side of the stage.

Masking Curtains
Masking curtains are typically up-stage of the proscenium curtains. They
are used to hide or "mask" off-stage areas, rigging, hardware, and
stage lighting equipment. Masking curtains include borders, legs or
side curtains and mid-stage, up-stage, and rear travelers.

  • Legs and Borders
    Legs and Borders help to "mask" off-stage areas and hardware, but also add additional depth to the stage and help divide it. Legs or Sides are sewn in pairs and are used to reduce or reveal the full width of the proscenium opening as necessary to fit the stage use.
  • Mid-Stage, Up-Stage, and Rear Travelers
    Traveler Curtains also help "mask" areas upstage of the proscenium curtains. They are made of two bi-parting sections. These sections are placed on two overlapping sections of track, and each half can be drawn from the center to the opposite sides of the stage. Sometimes a one-way traveler is needed, which means the curtain is made in one panel, installed on one section of track, and can be drawn to either stage left or stage right.

Backdrops or Cycloramas
Muslin, scrim and leno are often used as backdrops or for projection and lighting effects. Most are available in seamed or seamless form and paintable or non-paintable form.

Please see stage curtain layouts for additional information.
What type of theatrical fabric should I use for my theater draperies?
Generally Prosenium Theatre draperies are made of velour. Velour can be either synthetic or cotton and is available in a variety of different weights. Masking curtains are most often made of velour as well. However, several other theatrical fabrics are sometimes substituted on the masking (or cyc) stage draperies. Determining the weight of the theatrical fabric that is best for your venue would depend on a variety of factors including: asthetics, sound absorbtion, light blockage, environmental factors, and budget. To browse NorthEast Stage's collection of theatre fabrics, please click here. To contact a NorthEast Stage sales associate to discuss fabric options for your particular venue please click here.
What is fullness? Do I want fullness for my theater drapery?
Fullness is additional fabric that is added to a curtain by means of encorporating it into box pleats. This additional fabric (fullness) gives the curtain additional depth, sound absorbtion, and light absorbtion. Typically, NorthEast Stage can sew stage curtains with the following fullness options:

flat 50% fullness 50% fullness
FLAT
Drape is sewn flat with no additional fullness added.
50% FULLNESS
6" box pleats 12" O.C. with 50% extra fabric added to desired width dimension.
50% FULLNESS
3" box pleats 12" O.C. with 50% extra fabric added to desired width dimension.
75% fullness 100% fullness  
75% FULLNESS
4" box pleats 12" O.C. with 75% extra fabric added to desired width dimension.
100% FULLNESS
6" box pleats 12" O.C. with 100% extra fabric added to desired width dimension.
 
I am hanging my theater drape from track. What are my top finish options for this stage drape?
NorthEast Stage can finish the top of your stage curtain for attachment to track with this following options:

webbing, grommets, s-hooks sewn snaps blind sewn snaps
WEBBING, GROMMETS
& S-HOOKS

Standard top finish 3.5" Jute webbing, with #4 Grommets 12" O.C.; supplied with 2" zinc plated s-hook. Allows drape to be hung from track or rod.
SEWN SNAP HOOKS
Used for easier attachment to traveler tracks and cable; designed to easily clip on and off standard track carriers. Snaps 12" O.C.
HIDDEN SNAP HOOKS
Used for masking, and for easier attachment to traveler tracks; designed to easily clip on and off standard track carriers. Snaps 12" O.C.
I am hanging my theater curtain from track. What are my bottom finish options for this theatre drape?
Typically, NorthEast Stage finishes bottom hems, for theatre track applications, with a standard flat bottom hem, usually 6" for floor length curtains, and 3" for non-floor length curtains. The bottom hems are usually supplied with weight tape or a chain pocket, but can also be unweighted.
I am hanging my stage draperies from pipe. What are my top finish options for these theatre draperies?
NorthEast Stage can finish the top of your stage curtain for attachment to pipe with the following options:

webbing, grommets, ties sewn ties hidden webbing, grommets, ties
WEBBING, GROMMETS & TIES
Standard top finish; 3.5" Jute webbing with #4 Grommets 12" O.C.; supplied with 36" tie line. Allows drape to be hung from a dead hung pipe or fly system batten.
SEWN TWILL TIES
Standard top finish often referred to as "Blind Ties," which enables the masking of the batten from which the drape is hanging. Ties 12" O.C.
HIDDEN WEBBING, GROMMETS & TIES
Standard top finish often referred to as "Blind Grommets." Allows the masking of the batten from which the drape is hanging. Ties 12" O.C.
I am hanging my stage drapery from pipe. What are my bottom finish options for this theatre curtain?
Typically, NorthEast Stage finishes bottom hems, for theatre track applications, with a standard flat bottom hem, usually 6" for floor length curtains, and 3" for non-floor length curtains. The bottom hems are usually supplied with weight tape or a chain pocket, but can also be unweighted.
I am hanging my cyclorama from track. What are my top finish options for hanging this cyc?
NorthEast Stage can finish the top of your cyclorama for attachment to track by means of webbing, grommets, and S-Hooks as shown below:

webbing, grommets, s-hooks
WEBBING, GROMMETS
& S-HOOKS

Standard top finish 3.5" Jute webbing, with #4 Grommets 12" O.C.; supplied with 2" zinc plated s-hook. Allows drape to be hung from track or rod.
I am hanging my cyclorama from track. What are my bottom finish options for hanging this cyc?
Typically, NorthEast Stage finishes bottom hems for cycloramas that are going to be hung from track using either a 6" bottom hem, or a 4" bottom hem. The bottom hems are usually supplied with weight tape or a chain pocket, but can also be unweighted.
I am hanging my cyclorama from pipe. What are my top finish options for hanging this cyc?
NorthEast Stage can finish the top of your cyclorama using:

webbing, grommets, ties
WEBBING, GROMMETS & TIES
Standard top finish; 3.5" Jute webbing with #4 Grommets 12" O.C.; supplied with 36" tie line. Allows drape to be hung from a dead hung pipe or fly system batten.
I am hanging my cyclorama from pipe. What are my bottom finish options for this cyc?
Typically, NorthEast Stage finishes bottom hems for cycloramas that are going to be tied to pipe several different ways. NorthEast Stage can provide a pipe pocket with a hem or flap, a lined pipe pocket, supply a pocket with weight tape or chain, or an unweighted bottom hem. For advice on the best way to finish your cyc, please contact a NorthEast Stage associate.
Should my theatrical drapery and window draperies be lined?
Most curtains can be lined if desired; however typically you will find that main curtains and valances are lined to give the drapery a finished look. Lining also protects the curtain from damage caused by moving scenery and other objects which may snag the fabric. Linings can be either permanently sewn onto the main curtain, or be removable with hook and loop. Typically cotton fabrics are lined with denim lining or ranger lining, while IFR fabrics are lined with a polyester. NorthEast Stage also highly recommends that window curtains and draperies be lined for sun protection and additional opacity.
How do I care for my stage drapes?

Removing Wrinkles
The best way to remove wrinkles from your curtains or backdrops is to hang them a few days prior to your performance, show, or concert. If you do not have the opportunity to hang your curtains a few days prior, NorthEast Stage recommends brushing them thoroughly as described below.
Cleaning
NorthEast Stage does not recommend under any circumstances using any liquids or water on drapery materials. Brush your curtains (always in the direction of the nap) with a new brush and vacuum if necessary. In addition, drapery should never be steamed or dry cleaned, as this may remove the flame proofing chemicals.
How do I store my theater drapes when they are not in use?
hamper Storage
NorthEast Stage recommends folding your drapery carefully to limit wrinkles and storing in a canvas bag or canvas storage hamper. Never store stage drapery in plastic bags.
What do the abbreviations NFR, DFR, FR, and IFR stand for?
NFR: This fabric is not flame retardant.

FR: The fabric has been treated with a flame retardant chemical. The warranted period of effectiveness is guaranteed for one year, but it is likely to be effective for much longer. The fabric has been tested and complies with NFPA 701 small scale. The flame retardant process will be removed by washing. NorthEast Stage recommends annual testing of this fabric using the NFPA 705 (1997 or later) Field Test Method for Textiles.

DFR: The manufacturer has certified to NorthEast Stage that the fabric is durably flame resistant for the life of the fabric. The flame retardant process will not be removed by washing. NorthEast Stage, however, recommends annual testing of the fabric using the NFPA 705 (1997 or later) Field Test Method for Textiles, as accumulations of dust and oils may diminish the flame resistance of the fabric.

IFR: The fabric has been manufactured using an inherently flame resistant fiber or durable flame retardant process. The fabric will remain flame resistant for the length of its service life. The fabric has been tested and complies with NFPA 701 small scale. The flame retardant process will not be removed by washing. NorthEast Stage, however, recommends annual testing of the fabric using the NFPA 705 (1997 or later) Field Test Method for Textiles as accumulations of airborne dust and oils may diminish the flame resistance of the fabric.
What types of fabric can be used for digitally printed backdrops?
NorthEast Stage can print your artwork or image on a variety of different fabrics including muslin, canvas, vinyl, scrim, and velour. Please contact a NorthEast Stage sales associate for a recommendation based on your venue or needs.
In what form would I need to provide my artwork to NorthEast Stage for a digitally printed backdrop?
NorthEast Stage's recommendation for artwork is as follows:
Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator are the recommended applications.
.ai, .eps,.psd, .tif, or .jpg are the recommended file types.
For larger backdrops please contact a NorthEast Stage sales associate in order to evaluate resolution requirements for your digitally printed backdrop's specific size.
I recently purchased some track, and I misplaced the installation instructions. Can I please get a copy of the instructions?
Complete installation instructions for all of our tracks can be viewed and printed from the following link:
http://www.automaticdevices.com/installinstructions.cfm
 
 
 

New Jersey
NorthEast Stage | 620 Park Ave (Hwy 33) | Freehold, NJ 07728
Toll-Free (866)431-2201 | Phone 732-431-2201 | Fax 732-303-8169

Virginia
NorthEast Stage | 1518 Willow Lawn Dr | Richmond, VA 23230
Toll-Free (866)431-2201 | Phone 804-282-1556 | Fax 804-282-1566

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