Glossary of Terms

Front of House typically opened and closed during performances to reveal or conceal the stage and scenery from the audience. Velvet Velour is a traditional fabric for this application, although many other materials are available – A pelmet or valance can enhance the appearance. Fullness of a curtain refers to the amount of material used within the curtains manufacture in order to produce pleats, these pleat give a visual appeal with better acoustics, 50% fullness is the usual standard or for extra acoustics 100%.Curtains can be lined to improve light and sound blocking.

Zanzibar Drape with Puddle Base

Legs are used for masking the sides of the stage,they define the sides of the performing area and hide offstage areas from the view of the audience to complete the effect Borders are fitted overhead masking concealing battons and hanging equipment from the view of the audience.

Backdrop/Cycloramas is a suspended Canvas or Filled Cloth that is extended the full width of the performing area and provides the background for a performance and can  be painted for a scenic view.

Joint Central Police Conference Backdrop
Large Backdrop used for projected images.


Cyclorama curtain
Doc 10 Cyclorama Curtain

Scrim are loosely woven Gauze (Sharkstooth) fabric, opaque to the audience when lit from the front. yet nearly transparent when lit from behind. 

2 Pass Blackout – A two coat process providing 100% blackout properties, whilst only complimenting colour of coating.

3 Pass Blackout – A three coat process providing 100% blackout properties, whilst allowing the colour to be complimented by both the base fabric and coating.

Buckram. A stiff coated fabric used for curtain headings and tie backs.

Bump. A thick heavy interlining produced to help with insulation and extra body to the curtains.

Dimout/Dimming. A fabric that is woven in multiple layers to block out light giving an almost blackout effect.

Durable FR (DFR) A flame retardant finish that can either be dry cleaned or washed depending on cleaning instructions.

Finished Drop. The length of the curtain from the top to the base of the curtain.

Finished Width. The finished width of the curtain, this would include any fullness.

Fullness. A flat finished curtain would not have extra material built in, 50% fullness would contain 50% more material achieved by pleating, 100% fullness would have double the material whilst achieving the required width.

Non-durable FR.(NDFR) A flame retardant finish that cannot be cleaned unless it is retreated afterwards.

Sateen. An appearance that is produced by showing more of the fine weft threads on trotective coating which helps to protect the fabric against moisture and soiling.

Twill Weave. A weaving method that is produced by showing the warp threads on the surface of fabric to create a soft sheen and denser appearance to the fabric and giving better protection against sunlight.

Warp. The threads running down the fabric parallel to the salvedge of the fabric. The threads running down the fabric parallel to

Welt. The threads running across the width of the fabric.

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