At Whaleys, our expertise lies in the art of creating tailored solutions for theatres around the world. From London to Leeds, we are renowned in the textile community for our high-quality manufacturing of theatre curtains providing you with a creation that won’t only dazzle you, but your audience too. Not only are we experts in manufacturing your curtains, but measuring, installing and caring for them too. We work with you every step of the way to manage your bespoke solution and ensure you are fully satisfied with the end result.
Front Of House Curtains
The theatrical experience is not only characterised by interval ice-cream and red velvet chairs, but that initial moment when the lights go down and the drapes are drawn in to reveal what’s behind them. It’s imperative that your front of house drapes are in pristine condition and run as smoothly as possible.
There are four different types of Front Of House curtains that are synonymous with the theatre, that suit different stage types and budget requirements.
- Fly Curtains are the most timeless drape and the most synonymous with the traditional theatre experience, raising and lowering at the start, interval and end of the show. They require a fly system built in to raise and lower objects.
- Traveller Curtains are ideal if you don’t have enough space for a Fly Curtain. They’re distinguished by two overlapping drapes which create a statement when drawn into the wings of the stage.
- The Austrian Curtain is ideal if you want to create a captivating theatre experience but have little loft space. Traditionally, this theatre drape has both vertical and horizontal fullness, crafting a scalloped effect, which is influenced by the fabric and your desired appearance.
- The Venetian Curtain adds a touch of glamour to your theatre with its ornate design. It’s similar in appearance to the Austrian theatre drape, however each individual pleat is able to move independently, making it a highly versatile curtain choice.
These are manufactured in your choice of fabrics depending on your desired finish and budget restraints, with the knowledge and experience of fabric specialists. To keep it classical, we recommend choosing either Cotton Velvet Velour or Wool Serge in that distinctive shade of red, which is perfect for eliminating light and adjusting the acoustics. For something a little more contemporary that suits the like of our Austrian or Venetian curtains, we’d proposing opting for Heavy Stage Satin that can contain up to 50% fullness, or a lighter fabric such as Curtain Satin for up to 300% fullness.
Pelmets are a decorative addition to your theatre. Also known as Teasers, they frame the stage, keeping your audience focused on what’s happening in the performance. Usually, these are manufactured flat or pleated, and from the same or similar fabric that your Front Of House curtains are produced in. However, every project we work on is unique, meaning we create bespoke pelmets that compliment your theatre, and work to your requirements.
Curtain Legs truly bring your performance to life. By hiding performers and equipment that’s waiting in the wings, they smoothen scene transitions and keep the audience fixated on the main stage. They also have the ability to add depth to your stage, by dividing the area and giving performers different stage entrances. With busy backstage areas, it’s easy for your Curtain Legs to get damaged, so to prevent wear and tear, we’d always recommend finishing your drapes in Curtain Lining to extend their lifespan. Not only do they give you maximum opacity, but will leave you feeling confident that your Curtain Legs won’t get damaged during every performance.
Borders & Valance Curtains
Borders and Valance Curtains complete your theatrical solution, adding an aesthetic and functional finish to your stage. They sit behind your Front Of House drapes and Pelmets, and span the width of the stage, to further frame the stage and hide any rigging and lighting. Valance curtains are normally manufactured to the same style as your Front Of House drape, to create consistency.
Backdrops are also synonymous with stage productions, allowing the audience to become fully immersed in the performance. At Whaleys, we produce four different styles of backdrops that can create stunning effects.
- Gauze (Scrim) is an extremely versatile stage drape. As an open weave fabric, it creates a magical effect by manipulating light depending on the angle. Made from either Scenic Gauze or Sharkstooth Gauze, the fabric will appear opaque when lit from the front, or translucent when lit from the back.
- Scenic Backdrops can bring the performance to life by emphasising what is happening on stage. It is most commonly painted on to add scenic value, so we recommend either Assorted Cotton Canvas or Scenic Cotton Canvas for their durability and high versatility.
- A Cyclorama hangs towards the back of the stage and is normally used to represent open space or the sky. In some circumstances, this style of stage curtain can also be projected onto, but to achieve this effect the fabric used must be seamless which is why we recommend Filled Cloth or Cotton Canvas.
- Star Cloths are perfect at creating an illusion of a starry night. Paired with our Supreme Blackout fabric we work alongside an electrical team to entwine fibre optics or LED bulbs into the fabric. These are then connected to a control box which can then also be connected to a DMX control desk if you have the equipment.
Along with stage curtains, we also provide Floor Cloths which are ideal for a one-off performance or adding to the scenery. We stock a variety of light-weight fabrics that are well suited to the job including Muslin and Cotton Calico.
To find out more on how we can provide you with your theatrical solution, get in touch with one of the theatre experts who will be happy to answer all of your questions or queries.