ALL STAGE CURTAIN FABRICS WE FURNISH ARE FLAME RETARDANT
Almost all stage curtains anywhere in the country are for the most part made of the same materials, varying little from year to year. Here are the basic stage curtain materials:
Velour (sometimes called velvet): Velour is used most often for the front curtain and valance and sometimes for the side and back curtains. Velour can also be used with a lining for window curtains matching the stage curtains. There really isn’t any usual or standard color for velour curtains any more than there is a standard size. There are two kinds of velour:
Cotton: 100% cotton is a woven pile fabric, available in a wide range of colors, as shown here. Cotton velour comes in 16-oz Princess, 20-oz Marvel, 25-oz Memorable, 25-oz combed Majestic, or 32-oz Magic. Majestic goes through an extra finishing step that makes it look “silkier” or smoother than the other velours. Cotton velour is chemically treated to be flame resistant (FR) and requires dry cleaning in pure solvent. It is important to note that FR chemicals are affected by water and may cause a whitish gray stain to appear if the curtains are made wet by a leak or by accidental spillage; this stain is difficult and most times impossible to remove. The cleaning of a stage curtain is an important step in its maintenance and can greatly extend the life of the curtain. Cleaning should only be done by professionals such as LuXout to ensure that it is not damaged or that its fire-proofing is not compromised. Cotton velour has been used for stages for many years and may be what people expect to see when they look at a stage.
The usual choice for a front curtain and valance is 25-oz Memorable. For those with a larger budget, the heavier 32-oz Magic or the smoother looking 25-oz Majestic may be preferred. For those with a tight budget, 20-oz Marvel or the 16-oz Princess is a good choice. The weight of the fabric has little to do with the extended life span of curtains.
What matters most is how well they are maintained. (See our section on cleaning and maintenance.) For those conscious of sound problems caused by reverberation, the heavier the fabric, the more reverberation control. No velour is “sound proof”, but they will absorb and muffle reverberations caused by hard surfaces in the surrounding areas. In fact, 25-oz velour curtains are one of the best sound reverberation barriers that can be used in a room. (See our acoustical curtains.)
Polyester Velours: As the name implies, polyester velour is made of 100% polyester fibers, woven in the same process as cotton velour and dyed to closely match the same colors that are available in cotton. The polyester fibers are ”shinier”, which causes the color to appear slightly different from cotton velour. The colors on the fabric color card are available in both cotton and polyester, as well as in all weights of both.
Polyester velour is permanently and inherently flame resistant and will require no further FR treatment in the future. They are less affected by moisture changes than cotton and therefore shrink and stretch less when hanging. These velours are washable; if they are stained by some accidental spilling or get wet because of a roof leak, the stains can be washed off.
These velours are available in 13-oz Plateau, 20-oz Crescent, 26-oz Prestige, or 27-oz Charisma. The most common choice for a front curtain and valance is the 26-oz Prestige. For side and back curtains, the 13-oz Plateau is most common. However, Plateau is woven to be opaque so it can also be used for front curtains where the budget requires this. Charisma has a matte finish with a great depth of color.
Colors: All weights of velour, whether cotton or polyester, are available in any velour color. No velour color is ever dropped because velour is dyed to order and not kept in inventory (except for the colors we stock at our factory). Dyeing-to-order is one reason for the typical 4-5 weeks we quote for delivery of velour to us.
If you do not see a desired color in your samples, we can custom dye velour to match a sample you provide – perhaps a piece of carpet, wallpaper, or paint chip. We furnish a “lab dip”, which is a small sample of the velour dyed to your custom color for your approval before proceeding to dye the entire order.
Velour Weights: Velour is graded in weight per yard, which is a combination of number of picks per inch and the pile height. For example, 25-oz Memorable cotton velour weighs 25 ounces for one yard of fabric 54” wide. This is true for all of the velour fabrics. The weight given implies how much that fabric weighs for one yard of fabric.
Encore Brand Polyester Velour: There is polyester velour from another mill, called “Encore”. It comes in two weights: 22-oz (which is 64” wide) and 15-oz (which is 62” wide). 22-oz Encore is IFR and 15-oz Encore is DFR (durable flameproof treated). Both IFR and DFR Encore velour are permanently flame resistant. The difference is that in IFR, the chemical goes into the fiber; in DFR, the chemical goes into the fabric after weaving. Thirteen colors are available. Custom colors are not available. Both fabrics are usually less expensive than the comparable cotton or polyester velour