First of all, have fun and good luck with your new show!
As I’ve mentioned several times lately, I’m behind on my digests, so
I’m sure you’ve gotten lots of replies by now.
Regarding your fabric needs for your show, if it’s something like
bit to wrap around cases, if you can sew then I think that’s the way
to go. It’s inexpensive & you can get just what you want!
When I set up my booth for the first time, I even made my own booth
wall drapes. I was able to spend relatively little money because I
used unbleached muslin. I was able to make it fit to my setup and it
worked very nicely. I switched to a “proper” pipe & drape setup last
year, though, and I’m happy with my new made-by-someone-else drapes
for it. For any fabric other than the muslin, it’s cheaper to get it
already made, not even taking into account your time to do it. That
being said, for other bits of fabric & color throughout your booth,
make it yourself if you can! There is a bounty of available fabric,
and you’re not having to buy a whole trunkload of it. For my old
table setup I had a skirt that attached around the length of the
whole thing, and it was easy to make out of one length of fabric
which I hemmed up width-wise to make it the right length. That
really was pretty easy sewing, so long as you have a machine of
course. My new setup has five individual (modular) case stands, and I
once again hit the fabric store. I happened upon one going out of
business so I got an incredible price and bought all they had of the
fabric I chose, but even so I could have found something nice for a
decent price. There was a bit more measuring & sewing this time since
they were individual, but it was still just making rectangles. I was
even able to make my display props match my skirt and case liners,
since it was all done with fabric I bought.
As for a drape in the back, it sounds like you’re talking about an
outdoor show since you’re using a tent. If you do that, make sure you
attach it well because everything blows & sways when you’re outdoors.
Sometimes excessively so. I have pictures hanging in my booth & they
can be a PITA because they blow in the wind. The walls are always
flapping at least a bit in the breeze (and it seems like it doesn’t
take a real WIND to get tent walls flapping), so anything else on
them will do the same, perhaps moreso. I don’t like white walls (in
my tent or in my house), but I put up with them in my tent so I don’t
have to worry about hanging yet something else up, or dealing with it
blowing, or having to wash it afterwards because it got dusty or
muddy. You never know what conditions you’ll face! I’ve seen some
gorgeous tent wall coverings, but I don’t envy the cleanup when I
break down from a show and what little fabric I do have is filthy.
By the way, many shows require fire-retardant fabrics. If you do buy
your own fabric, you can buy a spray that will make your fabric
Designs by Lisa Gallagher