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  • 1.  Curtain Purchase

    Posted 09-11-2022 10:03

    We need new curtain legs for our big black box theater. It's been years since I've had to price such things. Any estimates on the price range and where to buy?

    Many Thanks!

    [Jen] [Jordan]
    [Director of Theater and Dance]
    [Junior Class and Day Student Advisor]
    [Miss Hall's School]
    [Pittsfield] [MA]

  • 2.  RE: Curtain Purchase

    Posted 09-11-2022 15:09

    To get relevant pricing it is imperative that you clearly define what you want so all bidders are pricing the same thing.  Items to identify include:

    • Height and Width (make sure your height accounts for the pipe grid elevation, any tracks, any trim chains, etc., and leaves room at the bottom so the drapes don't drag on the floor)
    • Fullness (Flat, 50% overlap, 100% Overlap, etc.)
    • Hem widths
    • End turn-back width
    • Top Hem & reinforcement height
    • Bottom Hem height
    • Statement that fabric shall be continuous from top to bottom without any splices
    • Nap orientation shall be consistent (decide if you want it nap-up or nap-down -- it makes a difference in how the light plays off of it)
    • Material (typically IFR Velour, but say it specifically)
    • Color(s)
    • Fabric Weight (typically in oz per yard -- can vary from about 12 to 30 - if you don't know, get some samples that you can feel)
    • Back Liners (yes, no; color, type), or double-sided (reversible - maybe one side black, pleated; the other side flat chroma-key green, for example)
    • Top attachment (snaps, mini-carabiners, eyelets, tie strings, etc.), color of attachment (can get silver/chrome, black, etc.)
    • Top attachment location (top for hanging from above with track/pipe visible, or back to conceal the track/pipe)
    • Bottom pocket weights (coated chain, plated steel squares, none)
    • Bottom pocket weights in a canvas inner pocket (yes/no -- hint:  'Yes' is preferred so the weights don't rest on the bottom of the fabric and make the curtain rub on the floor)
    • Storage bags (yes/no – size, material, labeling)
    • Storage hampers (yes/no – size. material, labeling)
    • Straps on storage bags so they can be pulled-up off the floor in-place (yes/no)
    • Labeling:
      • Inventory tags with unique serial numbers for each panel
      • Fire Retardant Tags clearly stating the material used
      • Size tags clearly stating the height and width
      • Manufacture date tag
      • Manufacturer's ID tag with company name, physical address, phone number, website URL, and Purchase Order number, etc.
      • (All tag lettering should be 1/4" tall [18 point] sans-serif font)
    • Shop Drawing with fabric sample and 12"x12" fabrication mock-up submitted for approval prior to fabrication (highly recommended, or you will have no idea what you will get until it is too late)
    • Delivery only, or delivery and installation
    • Warranty period (typically 1 year from date of installation)

    Who knew that it could be so complicated to get what you want?  It is this kind of detail that a Theatre Consultant defines for you so you get fair and equitable bidding.  Certainly, your purchasing department doesn't understand drapery with this level of detail.  Grand Drapes, Borders, Travelers, Legs, Acoustical Drapes, Cyclorama Drops, Scrims, and Projection Surfaces need this kind of attention to detail, too.  Each are unique.

    Erich Friend
    Theatre Consultant
    Teqniqal Systems LLC

  • 3.  RE: Curtain Purchase

    Posted 09-12-2022 07:28
    I would reach out to your local theatrical supply house, they could send a person out to measure and discuss options with you.

    Jerry Onik
    V.P. Theatrical Supplies and Equipment
    Heartland Scenic Studio

  • 4.  RE: Curtain Purchase

    Posted 09-12-2022 10:44
    Call Texas Scenic.  They can help you.

    Vicki Kirkley
    Director of Theatre
    Prosper High School
    Prosper, Texas

  • 5.  RE: Curtain Purchase

    Posted 09-14-2022 07:53
    Hello Jennifer,

    There are so many companies out there. I really liked my interactions with Northeast Stage.

    Crit Fisher
    Lighting/Sound Designer
    New Albany High School