Tent Draping

For those of us living in the cold climates of the world there are still a couple of months to Tent Drapingenjoy outdoor tent events. Whether the event is a wedding reception, a commercial event or a social gathering of friends and family tent draping can play a big role in creating the desired ambiance for the festivities.

Depending how much draping you are installing, the installation process can be very labor intensive. Using our magnet based system certainly can be a time saver however the framework of the tent has to be made of galvanized steel in order for there to be attachment points for the magnets. Today, aluminum is used for much of the tent framework however aluminum is not magnetized.

Last month we announced we are now carrying floral wire and zip ties as a convenience to our customers. These resources are a draping installer’s best friends when comes to draping a tent that has an aluminum frame. You have probably used zip ties in a number of applications. They are a great for attaching draping to tent framework, however floral wire is even better because you are able to poke the thin wire through the fabric and tie the wire onto the tent framework. The floral wire is a more secure attachment than zip ties in that it will not slip. Floral wire, also known as paddle wire, is lightweight, thin but very strong. We featured it in our blog entitled, “Attaching Magnets Along Edge of Ceiling Fabric Panel”. You can find floral wire and zip ties on our website.

Where Do You Start? – Step 4 of 4


In our previous posts we discussed the first three steps of our four-part series addressing the installation of fabric ceiling draping.  To summarize, in our first post we reviewed the assessment of the venue room where your event will be held.  Is the room installation friendly for ceiling fabric draping installation with plenty of attachments points (metal if you are using Fabric Draper.com’s  (magnetic system)?  In the second post we discussed developing your design plan.  In the last post, Step #3, we reviewed fabric measurement.  In this final post, Step 4 of 4, we will cover the preparation, installation and evaluation of the hung ceiling fabric.

Once you receive your fabric and hardware order make sure you check it immediately for correctness.  Typically you will have a limited period in which to notify the vendor of any order errors or damage to your order.  With Fabric Draper.com, you have 72 hours to notify us of any issues with your order.  Assuming your order is correct and damage free, the first step is to arrange a time with the venue for your ceiling fabric draping installation.   In fact, we suggest you arrange an installation time even before you place your order to make sure there is adequate time for the your installation.  Often times the venue may have booked use of the room prior to your event which may limit your available installation times.  It is also advisable to plan the installation before the room set-up begins to allow you to move freely in the area of the room where the ceiling draping will be installed.  It is difficult to provide time guidelines for installation due to the  variety of design styles and the amount of ceiling draping being installed but ideally give yourself a half to full day for installation.

Once you are on site cut your fabric to the lengths according to your design plan.  If you are using Fabric Draper.com’s magnetic system follow the tutorial video on our home page for instruction on attaching the fabric attached magnets to the ceiling using your pole and attached magnet holder.  As you install each panel or two, step back and evaluate whether the installation is taking shape as you envisioned it.  One nice feature of the Fabric Draper.com’s magnet based system is you can easily take down the installed panel and hang the fabric, for example, with a more gathered appearance or spread style.  As you install the panels you will see your design come to life and notice the impact your ceiling draping design has on the room.

Following these steps will increase your chances of success in transforming sparse venue space into an intimate and elegant setting:

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1) – Survey the venue space to determine if it is ceiling draping friendly.             Step #1

2) – Develop a ceiling draping design plan.                                                         Step #2

3) – Obtain a diagram of the space where the ceiling draping will be installed     Step #3

and calculate your measurements for the fabric.

4) – Arrange with the venue for adequate installation time.                                 Step #4

5) – Inspect your order, cut fabric and install.                                                     Step #4



Where Do You Start? – Step 3

Step #3 in our 4 step blog series “Where Do You Start?”, addresses calculating the amount of fabric you need for your draping installation.  In Step #1 we discussed assessing the venue room for installation.  In step #2 we discussed selecting a draping design.

Once you have your design plan visualized, its time to determine how much fabric you need.  You will need the width and length measurements of the area where the ceiling draping will be installed.  If the ceiling draping will be hung over a dance floor then you need to know the dimensions of the  dance floor.  If you are hanging the ceiling draping over the entire ceiling area of the venue room then you will need the width and length of the room.  It’s helpful to request a diagram of the room, in scale, from the venue staff to verify those measurements.  Once you have the measurements of the area where you will hang the drape then use our computation guides on our web page, “Measurements” to determine how much fabric will be required.  Keep in mind you will need to increase the amount of your fabric needs for the draping swag.  Generally an additional 25% to 30% of fabric will be adequate for ceilings under 20 feet however the higher your ceiling the more fabric you will need as you may want to increase the amount of swag.

Step #4, and our final blog in the series “Where Do You Start?” we will discuss the actual installation process.



Where Do You Start? – Step 1

So you’ve made a decision to at least investigate installing fabric draping yourself.  Naturally you want to know what this project is going to cost you, how challenging is the task going to be and what is your fabric draping design going to look like when you have finished.  Where do I start?hilton-desoto-hotel-madison-ballroom-7

Over the next few blog posts we will review the four steps in getting you started towards adding high style to your other wise sparse space, pun intended. The four steps will cover: (1) – assessment, (2) – design  (3) – measurement, and (4) evaluation.  In this post we will cover step #1, the assessment.

If you have not selected a venue, and you envision ceiling fabric draping being part of your decor, consider how installation friendly the venue reception room is for ceiling fabric draping.  If you plan on using Fabric Draper.com’s magnet based ceiling fabric draping system then you will want to examine the room ceiling for metal attachment points.  If you have already contracted with a venue you still need to be aware of how the ceiling fabric draping will be installed in the room.  You may just have fewer installation alternatives if, for example, there are no metal attachment points.  You most likely will have to install the ceiling fabric draping using a ladder and/or mechanical lift.

Also be aware of any ceiling obstacles, like larger normal HVAC duct work that may impede the flow of the fabric draping.  If you are going to run your fabric panels from the center of the room ensure that there is an attachment point in the center of the room.  Of course if your ceiling area has a suspended ceiling with a metal grid in the ceiling panels reside you are home free since you will be able to attach the fabric-tied magnets to the ceiling grid.

Determine the height of the ceilings.  If you intend to use Fabric Draper.com’s magnet based ceiling fabric draping system you will need a extension hanging pole for draping installation.  For ceiling heights 18′ and under you can purchase a painter’s pole at your local hardware store or big box store.  For ceiling heights in excess of 18′ you may want purchase a pole similar to the one Fabric Draper.com offers as the extended pole can reach ceiling heights up to 24′.

Finally be aware of any fire codes that may apply to hanging fabric draping form the ceiling.  All our fabrics we offer for sale, with the exception of the poly chiffon, are fire retardant materials. (See our blog post Is Your Ceiling Fabric Fire Protected?)

Stay tuned we will cover ceiling draping design in our next blog post this week.