DIY – How to Prepare a Canvas

Whether you’re trying out a new hobby or are looking to delve into professional artistry, you should know how to prepare a canvas. See all the tips you’ll need below.

Canvas Prep

Is it important to prime a canvas before painting acrylics?

Even if you buy primed canvas vs. unprimed canvas, most artists still like to prime their surface with gesso before applying any type of paint.

What is gesso?

Pronounced as “jess-o”, this primer is painted over canvas before actual paint is applied.

Why do you put gesso on a canvas?

The most common type of gesso looks just like white paint (but can also come in clear, black and other colors); it has a binding agent in it that protects the canvas and makes paint application smoother. Without it, your initial paint layer will bleed into the weave of the canvas, meaning you’ll use up a lot of paint making layer over layer until your lines are clean and colors are vibrant. Canvas can also deteriorate over time when certain mediums, like oil paints, are applied; gesso helps prevent that from happening.

How do you apply gesso to a canvas?

There are different kinds of gesso that are best suited for various types of acrylic and oil paints. No matter what type of gesso you use, you will apply it evenly with a large brush or sponge, let it dry, and then repeat 2-3 times. In case your gesso doesn’t dry smooth (and that’s the intended texture you’re going for), carefully sand it down to the desired level bit by bit, while being careful not to over-sand and damage the canvas.

How to Stretch Canvas

For professional painters or artists who paint often, it’s more affordable to buy materials in bulk and stretch it to size by hand, instead of purchasing pre-stretched canvases. Note that it’s difficult to stretch primed canvas, so it’s recommended to use unprimed canvas then coat with gesso before using.

To stretch your own artist canvas, you’ll need:

  • A large, clean surface to cut your canvas to rough size
  • Unprimed canvas
  • 4 stretcher bars (2 pairs of equal length; You can make your own stretchers  or buy them from a craft store)
  • Fabric scissors to cut canvas to size
  • Staple gun with stapes
  • Canvas pliers
  • Tape measure
  • T-square

To see each step, check out the excellent video tutorial by John Peters on the right-hand side of the page. →

Have any expert tips to add? Leave your comments below! Let’s learn and grow our skills together.

Get Canvas in Multiple Colors and Sizes

Curtain Care 101

When you invest money in your curtains, you certainly want to maintain their quality for as long as possible. Whether you just purchased a divider curtain for your home, warehouse, office or business or are looking for ways to keep your stage curtains  in pristine condition, use this curtain care guide to find out how to make them last.

Professional Grade Curtains


Dry Cleaning Curtains

Dry cleaning is the best option for professional non-synthetic stage curtains or any other treated curtains. Let your dry cleaner know if your fabric is flame retardant and ensure they’re using a solution that won’t affect it, as this could pose a future fire hazard.

Common flame retardant fabric used in theatre are: muslin, commando cloth, chroma key, marvel velour, sound absorbing fabric, and shark tooth scrim.

A Note on Flame Resistance

Flame retardant curtains are necessary for public spaces. A lot of factors, including curtain care, venue humidity and more, could affect flame resistance over time. To ensure your curtain maintains its flame retardancy over time, always make sure to:

  1. Test the fabric before and after dry cleaning.
  2. Retreat with flame retardant sealant solution as needed.

Dusting Curtains

Napped velour curtains will gather dust in the nap; you can lightly vacuum or beat like a rug before dry cleaning. Smooth fabric curtains will have dust on the surface, so you can brush and shake the dust/dirt off.

How to Hand Wash Curtains

If you are using synthetic fabrics (like encore velour), you can hand wash your curtains in a tub using mild detergent only (no fabric softener). Tumble dry on low, then hang immediately; never hang while wet. If you find that your fabric is simply too big to wash on your own, you may just want to opt for professional cleaning for convenience.

A Note on Synthetic Fabrics

The great news about synthetic fabrics is that, although they can get dirty, they’re easy to clean! Here’s what to do in case you encounter a common care issue with your synthetic fabric curtain:

  1. Paint marks and other stains can be spot cleaned with warm water (no bleach or harsh cleaners or detergents). Be sure to always use a soft bristled brush and test a small area with your cleaning solution first.
  2. Synthetic fabric curtains are known to attract dust. A lot of theaters choose to sweep or vacuum to get the dust off, or use a compressor hose to blow the dust and other debris off.

How to Fold Curtains for Storage

Curtains should always be stored in a cool, dry place both before and after using. You want to avoid moisture and dust to maintain the quality and life of your curtains.

Before taking theater curtains down, sweep the stage to ensure you won’t get any unwanted debris on the fabric. Use the whole stage to straighten out the curtain and fold it neatly, face to face. Store in a canvas bag (never plastic) so the fabric can breathe and prevent mildew.

Industrial and DIY Curtain Care


Plastic and Vinyl Curtains

Plastic and vinyl  curtains are both easy to clean. To avoid mold and mildew, simply wipe them down as needed. Use a non-abrasive cloth and a mild detergent/cleaner. Cleaners with bleach are recommended for clear PVC curtains being used in industrial settings.

Canvas and Drop Cloth Curtains

Woven fabrics like canvas attract dust, hair and even mold (ick!). We suggest removing all your curtain hardware seasonally to clean. In between then, use a dust brush while they’re hanging. You could also spray your curtains with some water-resistant spray to help control mildew.

Final Tips

If you’re ever in doubt of how to care for your curtain, contact a professional. It’s better to be safe than sorry!

Need more tips? Check out our Complete Guide to Fabric Care, or drop your questions in the comments below.

4 Simple Patio Shade Ideas

Looking to beat the heat this summer? Now you can, without having to stay cooped up inside! We’ve put together 4 patio shade ideas that you can use to DIY your own summer shelter and make a backyard oasis.

Create a Patio Awning

What it is: An awning is essentially a roof cover which can be made of fabric, wood, aluminum, or vinyl. We recommend using tear-resistant, waterproof and flame-retardant vinyl for fabric awnings since it’s the most durable fabric up for the job. Vinyl laminated fabrics are recommended for awnings because they cover these properties. If you’re looking for all that, plus stain resistance, opt for vinyl coated fabrics instead.

Why use it: Creates full shade for your deck, patio furniture, etc., plus it’s easy to clean.

Ideal for: Complete shade, plus additional privacy.

Tutorial: DIY Awning Tutorial (Simple Details Blog)

4 Simple Patio Shade Ideas - Vinyl Awning
Customer Photo

Build a Garden Pergola

What it is: A pergola is an outdoor roof structure that’s supported by columns. They can be wooden, vinyl or even aluminum.

Why use it: Garden pergolas often feature vines and flowers growing on the top and sides, which not only makes them a beautiful addition to any patio but can also help provide more shade.

Ideal for: Some shade over small seating areas in the garden or yard.

Tutorial: How to Build a Wood Pergola (HGTV)

4 Simple Patio Shade Ideas - DIY Pergola

Get a Shade Sail

What it is: A shade sail is a piece of triangular or square mesh fabric that’s made to be hung, in order to block out the sun and protect against harmful rays.

Why use it: People like to use shade sails because you can get creative and make your own custom design. You can even dress up the actual fabric with fabric scraps, ribbons or other materials. They can be hung from any tall structure (building, tree, pole, etc.).

Ideal for: Protection against harmful rays plus partial shade with air circulation for patios, decks, children’s’ play areas, outdoor entertainment areas, etc.

Tutorial: How to Install Shade Sails (Bunnings Warehouse)

Patio Shade Ideas - Shade Sail

Use a Shade Cloth

What it is: A shade cloth is a mesh fabric that provides sun/wind protection, plus reduced temperature for your outdoor area, plants and more.

Why use it: Some prefer using shade cloths instead of shade sails due to the rectangular length. Shade cloths can be hung from the ceiling as a shade curtain, attached over a fence, draped over your pergola and more. You can set shade cloth up in strips for some cool (no pun intended) and innovative designs! They are also super easy to put up and take down.

Ideal for: Portable or temporary shade (plants/crops, animal shelter, parties, kid’s play areas).

Tutorial: How to Install a Shade Cloth (Bunnings Warehouse)

Do you have any creative DIY shade ideas? Leave them in the comments below!

Patio Shade Ideas - Shade Cloth Rolls

Save 50% on DIY Shade Fabrics

Select Shade Sails & Shade Rolls - Sale Ends 10/1/17!

Camping Tarps 101

Ahhh, the great outdoors! All campers know that your trip is only as good as your survival skills and your tools. That’s why you need a great camping tarpaulin—they can come in handy for an unlimited amount of outdoor situations. Make your adventure a smooth one. Use this post as your guide to choosing the right camping tarp and getting the most use out of it.

Which kind of tarps should be used for camping?

You’d want something waterproof, durable and weatherproof. So, the best tarps for camping would be either vinyl-coated polyester tarps or iron horse polyester tarps. You can also use some lightweight camping tarps, like poly tarps, for short-term light-duty use (never for pitching tents or providing shelter, though).

Tarp vs Tent

Tarps can be used as shelter, but should you use them instead of a tent? Well, it depends on your preference. If you want to “rough it”, be our guest and pitch a tarp to use as shelter. However, tarps are usually used for shelter under “survivalist” situations. For families and less experienced campers, we recommend complementing your tent with a couple different tarps to provide extra protection and a ton of extra use throughout your trip.

Uses for Tarps While Camping

A tarpaulin could have an endless amount of use on your camping trip. Use it practically (such as ground covers, protection covers, privacy screens, etc.) and for survival! Check out just some of what you can use tarps for while camping.

Tent ground tarp – A tarpaulin can be placed underneath the tent on the ground or inside the tent covering the floor to block out moisture and add extra protection (this will also prolong the life of your tent!).

Ground sheets – Pull out your tarp to sit on during picnics, hikes or just around your campsite.

Rain barrier – Have extra protection in case a storm hits, protect yourself and your stuff against the mud, create a short-term shelter while bringing gear in/out of your tent, and cover your campfire.

Wind – Tarps can act as a windbreaker for your shelter.

Shade – Vinyl-coated poly tarps are UV-treated, so they protect you against the sun and its rays. Ideal for desert camping! Use this helpful video to learn how to hang a tarp from trees over your campsite.

Camp kitchen shelter – You should never cook inside your tent. Instead, create a cooking area with a tarp secured from above to protect against the elements. If your tarp will be next to an open flame, you will need a flame-retardant tarp.

Campfire protection – A must for when there’s unkind weather. A tarp can also help keep the warmth in, making your campsite cozy.

Tarp hammock – A comfortable and useful rest area/survival shelter. If you’d like a tutorial for this, here’s an excellent video from Survival Tracker. You can even go a step further and protect your hammock with another tarp shelter (see tutorial).

Tarping a Campsite

There are several different ways to tarp a campsite. Here are three of the most popular tarp shelter configurations:

  1. Diamond Fly
    • What it is: a diagonal pitch using a square tarp.
    • What you’ll need: Trees/poles, stakes, guy line and a square tarp.
    • Ideal for: Personal shelter, protecting against rain/sun, maintaining warmth.
  1. A-Frame
    • What it is: a tarp that’s pitched from the middle.
    • What you’ll need: 8×8 or 8×10 tarp, paracord, loops, stakes, lighter and a knife.
    • Ideal for: Roomier shelter (with two walls a roof) for campers, pets and equipment; shelter during snow or rain (because the angle allows for runoff)
  1. Envelope Tarp Shelter
    • What it is: A tarp that’s pitched from each corner at different heights to create a pocket for shelter.
    • Ideal for: Protection from ground and one side.
    • What you’ll need: guy line, stakes, trees/poles, tarp.

These are just a few ways you can pitch a camping tarp. Which others do you rely on? Let us know in the comments below.

Until next time–stay happy, campers! 😊

Unsure which kind of tarp of what tarp size to purchase?

What is Muslin Fabric?

When it comes to fabric faves, one of our most popular theater fabrics is muslin. What is muslin fabric, you ask? Here’s everything you need to know about the fabric we absolutely love.

5 Basics of Muslin Fabric

What is Muslin Fabric? - Customer Photo: Grey Muslin Curtains for Car Dealership

Customer Photo: Grey Muslin Curtains for Car Dealership

If you want to learn more about muslin fabric, here are the five need-to-know basics:

  • What is Muslin Fabric?
  • What’s the history of muslin fabric?
  • What are the different types of muslin fabric?
  • what’s muslin used for?
  • How do you care for muslin fabric?

What is Muslin Fabric?

Muslin is a long-beloved cotton fabric. It has what’s called a “plain weave”, which means it’s made from a crisscross pattern. Muslin is durable and versatile, so it’s used across professional and commercial industries, and even at home.

History of Muslin Fabric

It originated in (what’s today known as) Bangladesh during the 9th century. The word “muslin” is said to be derived from “Mosul”, as in, Mosul, Iraq. Muslin was a prized fabric in the ancient Mughal Empire.

What is Muslin Fabric? - Customer Photo: Natural Muslin Spray Painting

Customer Photo: Natural Muslin Spray Painting

 

What Are the Different Types of Muslin Fabrics?

Muslin can range in color, finish, size and weight.

What Do You Use Muslin For?

With its light weight and cotton material, muslin is an ideal fabric across many applications. It’s commonly used in theater (for set design—cycloramas, stage flats, backgrounds and props) and photography (as photography backdrops).

Here are a couple more uses for muslin fabric:

  • Home décor
    • Divider and accent curtains
    • Draped ceiling and walls
    • Window treatments
      What is Muslin fabric? - Customer photo - muslin backdrop

      Customer Photo: Muslin Backdrop

    • Floral treatment
    • Wall coverings
    • Backdrops
  • DIY/craft projects
    • Painted backdrops
    • Aisles runners
    • Quilt backing
    • Bandana
    • Pillows
    • Sheets
    • Teabags
  • Cooking
    • Wrap veggies to remove moisture
    • Squeeze lemons
    • Make cheese
  • Beauty
    What is Muslin Fabric? - Customer Photo: Natural Muslin

    Customer Photo: Natural Muslin

    • Exfoliate/wash face and lips

Muslin Fabric Care

Muslin can be washed at home with cold water and mild detergent and can be hung/laid flat to dry or tumble dried in the dryer on low. Muslin fabric does wrinkle. WikiHow has a great article on How to Get Wrinkles Out of Muslin Backdrops.

Inspired Yet?

Let's get creative!

Ultimate List of Fabric Scrap Projects

Anyone that works with fabric knows there are always a LOT of scraps. Why throw them away? Instead, save them, store them and take them out on a rainy day for some fun projects. This ultimate list of fabric scrap projects has a bunch of ideas to get your imagination going. Have something to add to the list? Leave it in the comments below! Be sure to bookmark this page for later and check back for updates.

Note: If you’d like to learn how to turn scraps to yardage before you start your fabric scrap project, see The Sewing Loft Blog for a complete tutorial.

60 Fabric Scrap Ideas

Décor

  1. Bows
  2. Wreath
  3. Fabric banner
  4. Picture frame
  5. Christmas ornaments

Pets

  1. Toys
  2. Bows
  3. Collar
  4. Pillows
  5. Blankets

Home

  1. Pillows
  2. Coaster
  3. Lanyard
  4. Curtains
  5. Floor rug
  6. Drink sleeve
  7. Table runner
  8. Quilt/Blanket
  9. Coffee/tea cozy
  10. Seat/floor cushions
  11. Embellish towels or blankets

Baby

  1. Bib
  2. Fabric baby mobile
  3. Toys (blocks, animals, etc.)

Fashion

  1. Scarf
  2. Brooch
  3. Hair bow
  4. Headband
  5. Fabric Jewelry
  6. Embellish clothes

Fun

  1. Ribbons
  2. Flowers
  3. Magnets
  4. Bean bags
  5. Cake flags
  6. Bookmarks
  7. Patch collage
  8. DIY bobby pins
  9. Fabric feathers
  10. Animal figurines
  11. Fortune cookies

Useful

  1. Belt
  2. Baskets
  3. Hangers
  4. Pouches
  5. Keychain
  6. Cord wrap
  7. Bags/Totes
  8. Pencil case
  9. Pot holder
  10. Book cover
  11. Glasses case
  12. Scissor cover
  13. Heating pad
  14. Earbud holder
  15. Pincushion
  16. iPad/Kindle case
  17. Sew-in interfacing
  18. Water bottle carrier
  19. Duster/Swiffer cover
Summer DIY Party Banner Via blog.chickabug.com
Summer DIY Party Banner Via Blog.Chickabug.com/2013/06/summery-diyparty-banner.html
Dog Toy via http://www.marymarthamama.com/crafty-cat/diy-fleece-dog-toy-tutorial/
Dog Toy via http://www.marymarthamama.com/crafty-cat/diy-fleece-dog-toy-tutorial/

Learn How to Upholster with Dropcloth

Dog Toy via http://www.marymarthamama.com/crafty-cat/diy-fleece-dog-toy-tutorial/
Dog Toy via http://www.marymarthamama.com/crafty-cat/diy-fleece-dog-toy-tutorial/
Fabric Flowers via http://snowybliss.blogspot.com/2010/06/long-stemmed-fabric-flowers.html
Fabric Flowers via http://snowybliss.blogspot.com/2010/06/long-stemmed-fabric-flowers.html
DIY Cord Keeper via http://leafytreetopspot.blogspot.com/2013/05/tutorial-diy-cord-keeper-from-fabric.html

Need More Scraps?

Browse Our Remnant Sale

40 Tarpaulin Uses

One of the reasons we love tarps is because they’re so versatile. If you buy one for your home, we’re sure you’ll be bringing it out time and time again. Check out some of the creative uses for tarps!

Creative Tarpaulin Uses

Camping

DIY Tarp Tent

  1. You can pitch a tent from your tarp.
  2. Protect the bottom of your tent.
  3. Use as a windbreaker.
  4. Make privacy dividers.
  5. Create shower/restroom area.

Shelter

  1. Keep wood dry.
  2. Animal shelter.
  3. Keep your fire in the rain.
  4. Shade yourself, or your supplies from the sun.
  5. Sleep or protect yourself from weather under DIY shelter.

Activities

  1. Cover supplies.
  2. Make a hammock.
  3. Hunting and fishing gear.
  4. Carry/transport supplies (firewood, food, etc.) around.

Hiking

  1. Create a make-shift picnic or rest area during breaks.
  2. Make a rain poncho.

Survival

  1. Gather water.
  2. Make a floatation device.
  3. Camouflage (with the right color, like olive drab).
  4. Use as a gurney to transport injured individuals.

Home

  1. Use to treat roof leaks.
  2. Use as a ground cover for simple clean-up.
  3. Protect floor while painting.
  4. Warm plants on cold nights.
  5. Use as temporary covers for renovation, construction, and unfinished projects.
  6. Make temporary room divider curtains.
  7. Cover and protect storage.
  8. Protect your carpet while moving.
  9. Cover patio furniture during rain/snow or shade from sun.
  10. Protect bikes from snow/rain/sun.
  11. Equipment and supply cover (sports, construction, garden, wood etc.).
  12. Use instead of a painters drop cloth.
  13. Play space for kids.

Vehicles

  1. Car/truck covers (inside and outside the vehicle).
  2. Boat/yacht covers.
  3. Boat windows.
  4. Boat sail.

Fun

  1. Use on a hot day as a slip-n-slide.
  2. Make your own waterproof bags.
  3. Use for the kid’s fort.

Find Tarps for Every Occasion

Waterproof - Water-resistant - Light- to Heavy-Duty

Your Complete Guide to Fabric Care

Fabrics are an investment! We know you want to keep them in pristine condition as long as possible. Just as every fabric has its own purpose, they also have their unique characteristics that need to be considered. Get the tips you need on all types of fabric care with Chicago Canvas & Supply’s ultimate guide.

Fabric Care Tips

We all know the sinking feeling of ruining a fabric, whether it be using the wrong chemical on it or shrinking it to a comical-like size. You can use these fabric care tips to help avoid some common mistakes.

Shrunk your fabric? This is the ultimate guide to fabric care that you need.

1. Do your research.
You have a lot of options. Everybody has a unique situation with different limitations, whether it be budget, space, or certain fabric qualities (waterproof, flame retardant, sound absorbing, etc.). Make sure the fabric you want to buy will best accomplish what you want within your limitations.

2. Get the right fabric for your application.
Many fabrics, like tarps, for example, have several different varieties. You need to make sure you do your due diligence when shopping to ensure what your getting will accomplish what you need.

3. Talk to an expert.
We understand that, with all the fabric choices, finding the right one can be overwhelming. So, why struggle? Talk to a fabric professional about your needs to save time and get the fabric that’s best-suited for your project.

Have a fabric question? We can help.

Fabric Care FAQs

After being in business for over 75 years, we’ve pretty much heard it all. We’ve put together some of our top fabric FAQs to help your project go off without a hitch.

What’s the right way to store fabric?

Store fabric is a dry, cool place and avoid storing in direct sunlight. Always ensure fabric is dry before putting it away.

Which fabrics shrink?

Cotton, flannel, wool, linen and silk will shrink, so always wash these in cold water.  Synthetic (acrylic, polyester, nylon, spandex) and tight-knit fabrics are less likely to shrink.

Can I wash this?

  • Do you wash fabric before sewing? It’s recommended to pre-wash all fabric before sewing, especially if you’re using multiple fabrics. A yard of fabric may shrink up to half an inch, so keep that in mind when ordering.
  • How can I pre-wash my fabric? Get the specific washing instructions for your fabric.
  • Can I wash synthetic fabrics? Yes; Machine-wash synthetic fabrics in warm water with mild detergent.
  • Can I wash muslin? Yes, at home with cold water and mild detergent. You will get creases after.
  • Can I wash drop cloth? Many opt to wash and bleach their painters drop cloth before use to loosen up the stiffness of the fabric. Find out how here: Dropcloth Upholstery 101
  • Can I wash wool? Treat wool with care. It’s known to shrink even more than cotton, and even after multiple washes. You can wash wool by hand and let it air dry. It’s best to take fine wool fabric to the dry cleaner.
  • Can I wash linen? Yes, you can wash linen in your washing machine, but expect wrinkles.
  • Can I wash rayon? Rayon can be hand washed with cold water and mild detergent or taken to the dry cleaner.

Don't order your fabric without reading this.

What’s the best way to clean tarps?

Vinyl, poly and canvas tarps can be hosed down. For tough stains, add some vinegar or mild detergent and clean with a sponge or scrub brush.

Learn more about the best way to clean tarps here: Tarp Repair Maintenance Tips

Can I iron my fabric?

Usually, it’s recommended to iron your fabric to ensure everything is neat and tidy for what you’re doing.

Need to know the right temperature? Thespruce.com has some tips you can refer to.

Which cleaners can I use?

Some stains require chemicals to remove. Always be sure check to see if the cleaner you want to use doesn’t have bleach. The milder the solution, the better.

Will the color bleed/fade?

Fabrics usually fade when they’re exposed to sunlight/heat, washed too much, or treated roughly. Color bleeding usually happens when the fabric has been washed in water that’s too hot. So if you’re worried, wash in cold water.

Have a unique project?

How to Choose Your Portrait Background

When we think of good photographs, we usually defer to the lighting, shadows, the emotion it evokes, and so on. But the background of your photo is what pulls everything together, with the ability to enhance or detract from some of your photos best qualities. To find out which fabrics to consider for portrait backgrounds, keep reading.

What to Consider Before Choosing a Photography Backdrop

The background of your portrait or studio photo helps draw attention to the subject. That being said, a backdrop can really make or break a photo. When it comes to choosing the best portrait background for your shoot, here are a few things to consider:

  • Fabric size and weight: Something that’s too heavy or bulky isn’t ideal. What’s going to be easy to carry around?
  • Location: Your fabric size and weight must accommodate your location. Will you be inside or outside? How much room will you have? Will it be windy? Will there be humidity? All of this may have an effect on your fabric.
  • Your subject: Are you shooting a person, or an object? Product photography requires clean backgrounds. You can get more creative with texture if your subject is a person. When shooting people, your background works to add emotion and context to what you’re trying to convey.
  • Color and texture: Remember to emphasize, not draw attention away from, the subject. Your fabric’s color and texture will help create the look and feel you want for your photo shoot.
  • Lighting: Your lighting technique will vary between dark and light backgrounds. Understand your fabric’s light reflecting qualities beforehand!
  • Budget: Are you looking for a short-term fix or a long-term reusable solution?

 

Muslin Backdrop

Muslin is a finely-woven cotton fabric with multiple uses. Used heavily within photography and set design, muslin is a favorite among creatives for its versatility, light weight and flat, “clothy” effect and feel. The durability of the fabric helps too (it won’t rip like vinyl or paper).  Muslin can be hung as a solid backdrop, or easily draped over chairs or other items.

 Why Muslin?

  • Non-reflective cotton absorbs light
  • Light weight; portable and compact
  • Durable and reusable
  • Washable; can be steamed and ironed
  • Versatile; different styles and colors
  • Less expensive than canvas

Canvas Backdrop

Some photographers want a heavier background, in which case canvas would be a good choice. Canvas backdrops provide a high-quality look for clients. However, if your project has tight budget or weight/portability restrictions, we would recommend muslin, vinyl or paper instead.

Why Canvas?

  • Professional look
  • Compact
  • Durable and reusable
  • Doesn’t wrinkle like muslin
  • Versatile; different styles and colors

Two Backdrops for the Price of One

Quick Guide: What is Velour?

If you have an upcoming theater production coming up, you’re probably debating which theater fabrics you’ll need. We understand that every production, team and budget is different. But if there’s one fabric we recommend to any size theater, it’s velour. What is velour? Keep reading to find out.

 

What is Velour?

Velour is a knit, napped fabric that’s memorable for its lush feel. Velour gets its signature soft feel from what’s called a pile knit texture (which comes from a weaving process where the loops are cut off at the end).
In the theater industry, velour is beloved for its rich luster, fabric durability and clean appearance. Velour fabric can be made from cotton or synthetic material, and has a range of qualities depending on the weight and type chosen.

 

Difference Between Velvet and Velour

Velour is not to be confused with velvet. Although similar, velour is a pile knit fabric, whereas velvet is a pile weave fabric (yarns are looped into one direction). The difference? Velvet is a lot softer and more luxurious, but also more delicate and better suited for lighter applications like clothing.

Velour Stage Curtains

Velour is a tried-and-true theater fabric. Known for its light-absorbing qualities, velour is most commonly used as stage curtains.

Uses for Velour Stage Curtains

Velour fabric is super durable and versatile in use. Plus, the crush fabric looks great, making it a smart investment for small to large theaters.  Any high school, college, church, community or national theater can use flame-retardant velour fabric for:

  • Professional looking stage curtains
  • Acoustical sound absorption
  • Pole and drape applications
  • Mid-sized main settings
  • Cyclorama curtains
  • Theater backdrops
  • Stage borders
  • Stage skirting
  • Upholstery

Black Velour Fabric

Example of black velour curtains - customer photo
Black Velour Fabric (Customer Photo)

Choose from many weights, naps, colors and styles!

Comparing Stage Curtains

If you’re looking to get some stage curtains for your production, this chart will help you compare the many fabric options you have:

FR Fabric Weight Light absorbing Wrinkle-resistant Opacity Sound absorbing
Duvetyn FR Cotton 12 oz. X
Commando Cloth FR Cotton 16 oz. X
Encore Velour IFR Polyester 15 – 22 oz. X X X
Sound Absorbing Material FR Cotton 20 oz. X X X
Marvel Velour FR Cotton 21 oz. X X X