Event Draping 101: The Truth About Stiff vs Loose Drapes

by Precious Stevens on April 26, 2022

Event Draping 101: The Truth About Stiff vs Loose Drapes

Let’s have a talk, sis. How long have you been in the pipe and drape game? Has it been a few months…a few days…maybe even a couple of hours? Regardless of where you are in your event draping journey, I want you to understand the difference between stiff and loose draping sheers. This is the ying and yang of premium draping, and you need both to make your designs pop. Keep reading to learn what it means to use both types of fabric and how to spot the difference. What if you were able to know exactly what fabric blends to buy and also where they should go on your backdrop? That would be a game-changer for you, right? Think about those countless hours spent choosing the wrong fabrics that would be gone, leaving you to spend more time building your brand and perfecting new designs. It almost sounds like it’s too good to be true. Well, believe it, sis. I’m going to give you a key tip to getting this stretch vs stiff fabric right.

Why do you need to know about stiff and stretch fabrics for event draping?

When I first got started, I built an inventory full of all the wrong fabric. I purchased what everyone was using at the time which was sheer and sequin. If I didn’t have a shimmer or sparkle, I wasn’t getting it. Little did I know, that was a complete waste because I bought all the wrong textures which prevented me from getting the swag right. It got real overwhelming real quick. You already know that nearly everything in this industry is tight-lipped, so I almost felt like giving up. I don’t want that to happen to you, so you need to learn the ins and outs ASAP. Trust me, it will help you from making a lot of mistakes with good fabrics.

What are stiff fabrics?

Stiff fabrics like voile are named so because they do not have any give to them. You’re going to have to iron them, steam them, and really work your hands to get them to look a certain way. Because of their lack of stretch, the best way to use them is for making your pleats for the inner portion of your backdrops. With stiff fabrics, you don’t want to use them for any swagging. You only want to use them for pops of color and added texture in event draping. Stiff fabrics should be used strictly for fillers in your backdrop because they’re going to show up straight and smooth in your final piece. Make sense? Let’s move on.

What are loose fabrics?

On the other end of the spectrum, you got your loose fabrics like spandex and 4-way stretch. With these textures, you don’t have to worry about a lot of upkeep or even preparation to get them ready. There’s no ironing, no be honest, it’s not a whole lot of anything. They’re heavier than your stiff fabrics, making them perfect for giving swoop effects and swag for your guests to see. Because their swagging abilities are so great, you wouldn’t want to necessarily use these as fillers. Instead, you can use these in the third zone of your designs for perfect scallops or swags. Not sure what I mean by the third zone? No worries. Learn that and tons of more premium draping techniques in my draping masterclass that is perfect for beginners of event draping.

Combining Stiff Fabrics & Loose Fabrics in Event Draping

So, you got your stiff fabrics, and you got your loose fabrics. Back in the day, people only used one or the other to create their backdrops. Let me be real with you, sis: They didn’t know any better. They were jacking up designs left and right and didn’t even have a clue. But… when you know better, you do better. Now, we use a combination of the two in order to create more elaborate designs. Remember, stiffer fabrics are great for fillers and go on the inside. Looser fabrics help to create razzle-dazzle like swoops and swag, so they go on the outside. Now that you know more about the stiff and loose fabrics and how to incorporate these two textures into your designs, I wanted to remind you about the Spring line that I just launched not too long ago. This line will give you the best fabrics to use at all of your spring events, including some of the ones I mentioned like the spandex and chiffon. Make sure you check it out! What other questions do you have about stiff vs loose fabrics? Be sure to drop them in the comments.

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published