Ceiling Draping Symmetry

We receive numerous inquiries regarding using a hoop in the center of your draping area to create a symmetrical ceiling draping design. You can purchase these hoops however we use a couple of alternative ways to create the symmetrical design and save a few dollars.

Assuming your ceiling draping installation includes installing the fabric panels from the center of the draping area (i.e. center of the room) out to the perimeter of the draping area, we like to bundle the fabric panel ends together in the center area with paddle wire. Also know as floral wire, it’s a strong, thin and lightweight wire florists use in tying wedding floral bouquets. We will wrap the bundled ends a couple of times to ensure they are held together securely. We will then cut two pieces of monofilament (fishing line), and tie the line to the paddle wire, making sure you space the line evenly around the paddle wire. We will then tie the other end of the line to a super ring magnet, and then, (you guessed it) attach the magnets to the metal attachment points in the ceiling. Of course, you can do this without ever climbing a ladder. Just use your pole, magnet holder and super ring magnets.

When our design plan includes using a hoop we will use 1/2″ diameter pvc pipe. You can control the size of the hoop based on the length of pvc you are using. You can purchase the pvc along with connectors at your local hardware store, or chain stores. Hoola hoops also work great. We attach our fabric to the hoop using paddle wire as described above. We simply punch the wire through the fabric and tie it off to the hoop. Because the paddle wire is so thin it will not damage the fabric. The hoop can be secured to the ceiling attachment point using monofilament and super ring magnets without ever climbing a ladder.

What Is NFPA 701 And Why Should I Care About It?

If you’re installing fabric on your ceiling, walls or using it as a backdrop at your event you fabricfiretestimageneed to be aware that fabric used in most public spaces (i.e. schools, churches, auditoriums, theatres) is required by law in many states and cities to be certified as flame retardant. The standards by which fabric is determined to be flame retardant is National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 701: Standard Methods of Fire Tests for Flame Propagation of Textiles and Films. NFPA 701 requires a lab test and the limits the amount of allowable burning of the fabric.

The lab test measures the flame resistance of a fabric after it is exposed to a flame for 12 seconds. The flame, char length, and flaming residue are recorded.  The fabric will pass the test if all samples meet the following criteria:

  • An after flame of less than 2.0 seconds
  • A char length of less than 6.5”
  • The fabric specimen does not continue to flame after reaching the floor

Fabric certified as flame retardant is certified to have been tested and meets NFPA 701.

Fabric is fire protected when it is inherently flame resistant or it has been treated with a flame-retardant chemical.  Inherently flame resistant fibers are materials that have flame resistance built into their chemical structures.  The actual structure of the fiber itself is not flammable.  With fabric that is not inherently flame resistant, a flame-retardant chemical can be applied to meet fire safety standards.  In the case of fabric chemically treated the flame retardancy may only be temporary as any washing or wetting of the fabric will likely remove all or portions of the chemical from the fabric.  Inherently resistant fabric remain flame retardant for their lifetime, even after repeated washings.

We have identified on our website those inherently flame resistant fabrics with the label “Inherently Fire Resistant Fabric“.

Before you buy fabric make sure the product you are buying is fire protected.  If the product description does not disclose that it is fire protected, be sure to ask before you buy.

A Word About Magnets for Fabric Ceiling Draping

We often receive inquiries about the magnets for fabric ceiling draping installation.  Will they attach Magnetsto the ceiling that I intend to install fabric draping?  Will they hold the fabric?  How many magnets do I need for fabric draping installation?

First of all, the magnets we offer for sale on our site are neodymium magnets that attach to any metal that contains iron. They are perfect for attaching to the metal ceiling grid of most suspended ceilings (see our installation video on our website home page), to the girders of industrial ceilings, or to the metal light housing or HVAC registers.  A neodymium magnet is the most widely used type of rare-earth magnet, and are the strongest type of permanent magnet commercially available.  We have been using the neodymium magnets in our draping installations over the 15 years and we have never had a neodymium magnet drop off the ceiling.  We suggest if you are uncertain whether a ceiling attachment point is magnetized, test the attachment point to see if a magnet will attach.  If you do not have a neodymium magnet available use a less powerful magnet  just to determine if the metal in the ceiling is magnetized.  If you determine that it is, then decide whether the configuration of the ceiling attachment points allow for the installation of your design plan.  The metal ceiling grid provides the greatest flexibility, while the position of light housings or HVAC registers may be too restrictive for your design plan.

The magnets we sell are offered in two sizes, regular ring magnets, or 5 lb. magnets, and super ring magnets, or 10 lb. magnets.  The 5 lb. and 10 lb. descriptions refer to the recommended maximum weight each magnet will hold.  Keep in mind each draping panel you will install will have multiple attachment points requiring multiple magnets and thereby dispersing the weight of the fabric over the multiple magnets.  We do suggest if your panels are going to exceed 27 ft. with only one swag, then you should use the super ring magnets to reduce the possibility of magnets slipping out of place as a result of greater gravity pull on the swag.  All the fabrics we sell we use in our own draping installations.  They are light weight and work beautifully with the neodymium magnets.  We do not use heavier fabrics like Satin, Poplin or Knits, to name a few, in ceiling installations.  Even a powerful neodymium may not hold these types of fabrics in place.

Finally, the number of magnets required for an installation depends on your design plan.  We go into our own installations with a prepared design plan which identifies the layout of the fabric ceiling panels and their attachment points.  Knowing the attachment points tells us how many magnets we will need.  Based upon our past experiences we include 20 magnets in our draping kits for each 50 yard bolt of fabric in the kit.  Your design plan however may call for more than 20 attachment points for your panels in which case 20 magnets will be inadequate.

Hope this helps in understanding neodymium magnets and their application in ceiling draping installations.  Let us know if you have questions.



Measuring Fabric for Ceiling Draping

measuring fabric for ceiling drapingYou are not alone if you are uncomfortable in determining how much fabric you need to transform your ordinary room to an extraordinary one. Determining your fabric quantity needs can be challenging and it is easy to get lost in the calculation. We receive many requests for assistance. We are happy to provide help with your measurements however we encourage to give it a go first using our measurement guide. If you don’t feel comfortable with your calculations using the guide, do not hesitate to give us a call or contact us at customerservice@fabricdraper.com. Whether you are using the measurement guide or contacting us for assistance you will need to have three pieces of information: (1) – the dimensions of the area where you will be installing the draping (width, length and height), (2) – your ceiling draping design (e.g. covering the entire ceiling, partial ceiling coverage using a star pattern or some other pattern, banner style) and (3) – the fabric type (e.g. poly silk, voile, pongee).

We do receive a large number of requests and we try to respond within 24 hours so please be patient. Some calculations can be very involved if there are several rooms being draped or a variety of draping installed in a single room. In receiving multiple requests we end up spending considerable time making the calculations. We do not charge for this service, however we do ask that you make your request with the understanding you are seriously considering FabricDraper.com as a source for your fabric needs.

Happy measuring!