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

Top Fabrics for Theater Production Budget

Don’t Forget These Line Items in This Year’s Theatre Budget!

Another new year, is here which means it’s time to take a close look at your theatre production budget. According to a National Arts Journalism Program study on theatre budgets, physical production costs can make up 10-20% of your production budget, depending on the size. We know that you want to equip yourself with the best materials for your productions, but also want to stay within your budget. Whether you’re a school, church, community organization or professional theatre, we’ve got some tips to help plan the fabric line items of your theater production budget. Let’s get started on making the most out of your budget!  Read more

Drop Cloth Upholstery 101

Drop cloth is a versatile fabric that can be used for countless home and DIY projects. But did you know that painter’s drop cloth is also an ideal fabric for upholstery? We’ll show you why drop cloth upholstery has been so popular over the past few years, plus offer a few ways to upholster your furniture at home.

Why Use Drop Cloth for Upholstery?

So, with all the fabric choices out there, why use a drop cloth for your upholstery project? There are a ton of reasons why drop cloth is a great fabric, but here are just a few:

  • Very affordable
  • Durable cotton material
  • Good for beginners and for practice
  • Fabric comes with selvage edge (saving time on hemming)
  • Neutral color will fit many styles of room décor
  • Fabric can be painted on or dyed to desired shade
DIY Drop Cloth Upholstery - Customer Photo
Customer photo via Sandy Welsh

Convinced? Great! If you’re ready to purchase quality fabric for drop cloth upholstery, we recommend our 8-oz. cotton canvas drop cloths.

How to Prepare Drop Cloth for Upholstery

You can prepare your drop cloth for upholstery in 3 steps:

1. Soak fabric in a mixture of bleach + hot water + hydrogen peroxide for a few hours.
The hydrogen peroxide helps neutralize the bleach so it doesn’t ruin the fabric. Thecruxdesign.com recommends a 1:10 hydrogen peroxide and water ratio. About 2 cups of bleach should do it.

2. Wash in washer with hot water + laundry detergent, then dry.
Washing with laundry detergent helps soften the fabric. Plus, because canvas drop cloths are 100% cotton, you need to wash/dry to preshrink the material prior to cutting.

3. Iron the fabric.
This prevents wrinkling and helps for a neat-and-tidy end result.

 

DIY Drop Cloth Upholstery

There are several different methods of using drop cloth to “make over” furniture. You could either upholster your furniture or make a slipcover for it.

Tools to Upholster Furniture

Here’s what you’ll need for your drop cloth upholstery project (via HH&TW blog):

  • 8 oz. canvas drop cloth
  • Cardboard
  • Double-sided tape
  • Hot glue gun
  • Pliers
  • Staple gun with staples
  • Scissors
  • Screwdriver (flathead)
  • Upholstery tacks
  • Upholstery needles and thread
Chicago Canvas Drop Cloth Upholstery
Chicago Canvas Drop Cloths

Let us know how your projects go in the comments below. Have tips on drop cloth upholstery, or your own tried-and-true tutorial you’d like to share? We’d love to know! Email us your tutorials for a chance to be featured on our blog: email@chicagocanvas.com

Happy DIY!

What is a Cyclorama?

Here’s Everything you need to Know

Cycloramas are used in virtually every form of theater, television, media, broadcast media, and photography productions. If you want to create an illusion of a sky, open space, distance, or simply add special effects to your set, creating a cyclorama is key to achieving the illusion. Whether you are a veteran set designer or just starting in the industry knowing how cycloramas work can be extremely beneficial to your set design productions. Follow along on our blog post as we breakdown the basics of cycloramas.

Read more

CCS Teams up with National Breast Cancer Foundation, Inc for Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Chicago Canvas & Supply is proud to support the National Breast Cancer Foundation for breast cancer awareness month. Throughout the month of October, CCS will be running a promotion to help spread awareness for breast cancer research, prevention, and education. 10% of all sale proceeds will be donated to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, Inc. This cause is extremely important to Chicago Canvas and Supply, and we are honored to be able to support awareness efforts.
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Tips on Creating a Stage Flat

Stage and set design is an art form. Whether it’s for a professional Broadway show, or your local high school production, it’s the job of the set design team to find a way to transport you from the stage to another land. The tricky part is creating scenery that captures your imagination and can also be moved easily and quickly—this is where stage flats (or theatre flat) comes into play. Read more

Understanding Cotton Duck Classifications

What is Cotton Duck?

Cotton duck is a handy and versatile woven cotton canvas fabric. Also known as duck cloth, duck canvas, or natural canvas, cotton duck is known for its durability and has historically been used for a diverse range of heavy-duty applications, including boat sails and work clothing.  With a variety of types available, it can be confusing to determine which type of cotton duck canvas to use. Read more