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.



5 lb. vs. 10 lb.

5 lb. vs 10 lb.

As follow-up to our May 15, 2012 post entitled “It’s All About the Magnets”, we discussed the role the magnet plays in the ceiling draping installation.  We offer two different magnets; the regular ring magnet or the super ring magnet.  The former will hold up to 5 pounds while the later will hold up to 10 pounds.  What does that mean?

The answer is fairly clear if you are hanging lanterns, signage or other decor items.  Determine its weight from the packaging that contained the purchased item.  The product package will typically disclose the weight of the product.  With fabric it may be a little more difficult to know the fabric weight without weighing the cut fabric panel.  We are not advocating you do that, however use this rule of thumb when determining which magnet to order.  When hanging a light to mid-weight fabric such as Nylon Sheer, Tulle and Chiffon use the regular magnet ring.  If you are hanging heavier fabrics such as Satin use the super ring magnet.  With Poly Silk, typically the regular ring magnets will hold the Poly Silk fabric weight however if your cut panel lengths extend beyond 35 ft. we advise you order the super ring magnets.

Of course be aware actual magnet strength depends on the type and surface treatment of the ceiling metal. If the ceiling is rough or covered with layers of paint, the magnetic attraction will be reduced.  Always test the surface in advance.

It’s All About the Magnets

metal ceiling panel grid

Fabric Draper.com’s 3-step ceiling fabric draping system is based on attaching the fabric drape to the ceiling with magnets.  As you see in the instructional video on Fabric Draper’s website home page, the magnets are attached to the fabric by tying the corner of the fabric to the magnet.  The fabric-tied magnets then can be attached to any metal object that is embedded in the ceiling.  Examples include the ceiling grids that suspend drop ceilings. Drop ceilings are common in hotel ballrooms, banquet and conference centers and a variety of other venues.  In addition, HVAC ducts and metal framing for ceiling speakers and HVAC registers are other examples  as well as lighting fixtures.  Prior to preparation of our design plan we always survey the venue room where the event is to be held to ensure there are attachments points and their location.  With that information we are able to diagram the ceiling fabric draping layout.  Over the course of the past ten years it has been rare that we have not located adequate attachment points to hang the ceiling fabric draping.One word of caution however, ensure that the attachment points you have located in the ceiling are not aluminum.  Aluminum is not magnetic.  Of course we have the hardware (i.e. magnet, magnet holder and pole) to test the metal fixtures however, you can also ask venue personnel.