The theatre backdrop you choose can have a big impact on the tone and atmosphere of an event. Whether you’re hosting a play, a conference or a live music show, you must select a stage backdrop that will enhance the performance. There is a wide range of theatre backdrop materials, styles and finishes to choose from. So how do you decide which is the right one? Check out our helpful guide to choosing a stage backdrop below. 

What is a Stage Backdrop?

A stage or theatre backdrop is a large piece of material that hangs at the back of a stage or set. Despite the name, stage backdrops can be used at a variety of events including stage performances, conferences, music festivals and trade shows. They hang like a curtain and are generally made from heavy-duty, flame-retardant fabric, such as muslin or knitted polyester. Depending on the event, the material may be left plain or it may be printed with an image or pattern. For dramatic performances, stage backdrops often have a scene printed on to them to create the right environment. For corporate events, backdrops may include logos of sponsors or the host company.

Why is a Theatre Backdrop Important?

Whether you’re hosting a conference or a musical, the right backdrop helps to create the right look and feel for your event. It can also be used to conceal unsightly parts of a building which would mar the impact you’re trying to achieve. Backdrops provide valuable advertising space at conferences and trade shows; any logos that are printed on the backdrop will appear in event photographs and help with your marketing efforts.  

Theatre backdrops also have several practical purposes. They can be used to block out light, for example when sets are being changed. They also perform an important safety function; backdrops are required to be flame-retardant so they protect the audience, performers and backstage staff.

How do I Choose Theatre Backdrop Material?

Consider the purpose of your event and what kind of experience you wish to create for the audience. Different backdrop fabrics have their own set of characteristics and it’s important to choose the material that best suits your event. 

Premium Theatre Backdrops

Standard Premium Backdrops are available in a variety of materials and provide a good surface for projecting light effects and images. The most popular material is a knitted polyester fabric which is ideal for frontlit applications and folds into an easily transportable package. These are ideal for textile banners, wall graphics, seat covers and use in tension frame systems. 

Ornate Premium Backdrop

Blockout Stage Theatre Backdrops

Blockout Stage Backdrops are a perfect choice for exhibitions, presentations and performances where it is important to prevent light showing through from behind the backdrop. You can design a blockout backdrop just as you would a standard backdrop, but it will contain a black, rubberised liner on the reverse which prevents light shining through. 

theatre backdrop material

Satin Backdrops for Indoor Exhibitions

Satin Backdrops can add real impact to indoor exhibitions. The silk-like finished fabric offers a brighter, glossier version of standard polyester backdrops. If you’re hosting a stand at a trade show, satin backdrops allow you to create vibrant and punchy graphics that will help you to stand out from your competitors and catch the eye of prospective customers. 

Satin Theatre Backdrop with Gold Ornate Detail

Stunning Veil Backdrops

Veil Backdrops are extremely fine and lightweight, making it a great option if you want to create stunning visual effects using the light that passes through the material. This is a popular choice for theatre, dance and artistic performances where the set designer wishes to add depth and movement to a scene.

Veil backdrop for theatre productions

What Kind of Finish is Best?

When you have chosen the perfect theatre backdrop material for your event, you need to consider the finish of your backdrop. The “finish” refers to how you wish to attach the backdrop to your stage rigging. Many stage and theatre backdrops have “hem and eyelet” finish, allowing the backdrop to be easily tied to a rig using tie-wraps or a bungee cord. Other options include stitched edges, pole pockets or you can combine multiple finishes to allow you to fix your backdrop in a variety of ways. 

Choosing a theatre backdrop can be a little overwhelming. There are so many options and you want to be sure to create the right effect for your event. Consider the purpose of your event, your audience and the atmosphere you wish to create. It’s easy to personalise a stage backdrop to create exactly what you need – your imagination is the only limitation! 

Are you looking for the perfect theatre backdrop for your next event? Take a look at the Banner World range of high-quality Stage and Theatre Backdrops and place your order today. Get free delivery on eligible orders over £250.

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