Fabrics for Lighting & Sound
Sound and lighting are key components when it comes to the ultimate theatrical set up. They can engage the audience and capture their imagination. However, knowing what staging solution you need can be tricky. Luckily for you, Whaleys are a trusted industry expert when it comes to theatre drapes and curtains, and we can manufacture a bespoke solution suited to your budget, space and purpose.
How we can help?
Lighting plays a key role when you’re putting on show. Whether it’s for enhancing character personas, changing scenes or setting the mood, it can bring the stage to life and engross your audience in what’s happening in front of them.
Curtains are an essential element in theatre lighting design, as they can significantly affect the lighting effects on stage. They serve multiple purposes, including creating a background for the performance, hiding the backstage area from the audience’s view, and providing privacy for performers during quick costume changes.
Additionally, curtains help control the amount of light entering the stage area, which is crucial for creating various lighting effects. For example, heavy or blackout curtains can block out external light sources, allowing lighting designers to create a range of dark or shadowy atmospheres. Conversely, lightweight or sheer curtains can be used to filter natural light, creating soft and dreamy effects.
Lighting may be vital for bringing what’s happening in front of the audience to life, but the without the right balance of sound, you won’t be able to achieve the best theatrical atmosphere. Considering the acoustics of both the venue and staging set up takes time. You don’t want your audience to be disturbed by activity that’s occurring outside of your venue, or behind the curtains, which is why we can provide you with sound masking drapes, to solve your acoustic challenge.
One of the most significant challenges when it comes to sound in a theatrical setting is the acoustics of the venue. Every space has a unique sound profile, which can affect how sound travels and is perceived by the audience. For example, a large, open auditorium with hard surfaces will have a different acoustic profile than a smaller, intimate theatre with plush seating and soft surfaces. To mitigate these challenges, curtains and stage backdrops can be used to help with sound control.
Using curtains and back drops you can manipulate light and create the perfect atmosphere for your performance. Here are some of our curtains:
Star Cloths are a firm favourite with clients that want a starry backdrop for plays, concerts, dances and events. The black backdrop is filled with tiny little bulbs that can twinkle like the night sky, or can shine like a rainbow. Whether you’d prefer fibre optics or LED bulbs, we connect these to a control box which can then be connected to your control desk. The fabric we use for the main backdrop is Black Wool Serge which is perfect at preventing light peeping through and is fire resistant after washing. To prevent the curtain and cables getting damaged, we then line it with a light cotton to provide you with ultimate protection.
Gauze is a magical choice for those who want to manipulate the light and bring the stage to life. Sometimes referred to as Scrim, Gauze is extremely adaptable, allowing you to control what happens in a performance, through different lighting angles. By using theatre lights at the front of the stage, you can block out any scene changes or movement that’s happening behind.
But when using a backlight, the Gauze becomes transparent and light bleeds through, opening up the stage allowing efficient transitions to different acts. For this type of backdrop, we use either Sharkstooth or Scenic Gauze, which are differentiated by the shape and style of weave.
Spanning the back of your stage, a Cyclorama (Cyc) is hung and is often used to represent the sky or open space. Not only can they be lit with spotlights, but they can be projected on to bring a new dimension to the stage. To achieve the best possible result, the Cyclorama must be seamless to prevent interruption of the lighting, which is why we advise choosing from our filled cloth or white canvas range. Both these fabrics are pre-treated and conform to flammability requirements, but will be needed to be re-coated if they come into contact with a liquid.
Front of House Curtains
Being able to control sound can intensify the atmosphere and give you the ability to enthral the audience in what’s happening before their eyes. Front of House Curtains are not only perfect for preventing peeping light but masking sound too. Choosing a heavy fabric such as Wool Serge or Stage Molton cancels out noise from behind the curtains, and in the wings, giving you the opportunity to create that ideal experience.
Pelmets, Legs, Borders & Valance Curtains
Not only can we provide you with Front of House curtains to mask sound, but other elements to complete your staging solution and create the best acoustics for your venue or show. Normally, these are made out of the same or similar fabric to the Front of House curtain, meaning the heaviness of the material dampens noise. If you already have these theatre drapes, but they aren’t eliminating unwanted sound, we have a make-up alteration service where we line the curtain with another fabric to provide you with the best solution.
To find out more about our Lighting & Sound service, give us a call or fill out our contact form and one of our staging experts will be in touch.