Draping Guide: How Many Drape Panels You Need For The Perfect Backdrop
Drapes have become an essential part of most weddings, and they’ve made it into a lot of our homes, but a couple of years ago, that wasn’t the case. Drapes haven’t always been popular because designers didn’t understand how to make use of this critical interior design item effectively. Nowadays, drapes have become the standard for wedding backdrops across America because more and more interior designers and wedding planners are improving their knowledge about drapes.
Congratulations, the fact that you’re here today means that you’re interested in taking your wedding drape game to the next level. Throughout this article, we’ll share a few tips on how you can make the most of your drapes. We’ll look into everything from styling, the math behind drape fullness, design, color coordination, mistakes to avoid, and how to make your drapes stand out without being obnoxious.
By the time you get to the end of this piece, your knowledge of the intricacies associated with wedding drapes will surely increase. Drapes are lovely, and they have the ability to make your wedding even more spectacular. Without much ado, here are a few tips on wedding drapes.
Drape Fullness 101
More often than not, we get asked the same question by multiple interior decorators, how much drape do I need to achieve a certain degree of fullness? First and foremost, it’s essential to understand that pipe and drape backdrop panels are never pre-pleated as they are always sewn flat. For you to achieve the degree of fullness, you require you, and your team will need to put in a few hours researching and refining your skills.
When it comes to the degree of drapes, there are numerous degrees to choose from, but for the sake of time and clarity, we’ll go over some of the most commonly used levels of fullness; 0%, 50%, and 100%.
This is the simplest way of draping; it involves leaving your drapes flat with no fullness. Also referred to as taut drapes, they require no pleating and lack the bunched-up look associated with higher degrees of draping. Although they are the purest form of draping and have stood the test of time, they are rarely used in wedding decorations except in cases where the client wants a minimalist design. More often than not, you’re going to make use of higher drape degrees.
When you need to cover a 20-foot wide area, and you have 10 foot wide drapes, you’ll need two 10 foot wide drapes of 0% fullness. You can also multiply the total area you’re trying to cover by 1 to get your value.
This is a beautiful pleated look popular among wedding planners; this degree gives your drape a well-gathered appearance while allowing just enough light through. When you’re trying to cover a 20-foot wide area with 10 foot wide drapes, you’ll need three 10 foot wide drapes to cover the total area at 50% fullness. You can also multiply the entire area you’re trying to cover by 1.5 to get your value.
This degree of fullness provides even more gathering, and its ideal for a lot of non-sheer, solid fabrics. When you use this degree of fullness for light, transparent fabrics, you automatically reduce the materials level of transparency. In the case that you’re trying to cover a 20-foot wide area with 10 foot wide drapes, you’ll need four 10 foot wide drapes to cover a 20-foot wide area at 100% fullness. You can also multiply the total area you’re trying to cover by 2 to get your value.
You can use the “formula” we’ve shared to figure out how much fabric you’ll need for different levels of drape fullness. It doesn’t matter if it’s 30%, 75%, or even 200%, now you know what to do. We even have a drape calculator you can use here, to make this process even easier!
How to set Your Drapes Apart From the Competition
Achieving a drape design that’ll leave a lasting impression on wedding attendees isn’t overly hard to do, most drapes fail to stand out not because they’re ugly or the interior decorators are unskilled. It is because the majority of us don’t take the little extra steps needed to make a huge impact. Always purchase fire retardant fabric for your drapes. Fire retardant fabrics are those that have been treated with a specific chemical that makes it harder for the material to go up in flames in the event of a fire. By purchasing fire retardant fabric, you’re making sure that your drapes are as safe as possible.
Every single wedding planner should always have white sheer voile in their arsenal of drapes; they are very dynamic and can be easily incorporated into almost every design. You can also use LED lights to project-specific colors unto white drapes. For example, if you’re decorating a wedding and your bride wants a purple themed wedding hall, you can project purple LED lights on white drapes to satisfy your client. You can even put our LED light curtain behind your sheer drapes for a dazzling light backdrop display!
On your quest to ensuring that your drapes stand out, you want to make sure that you’re making use of timeless colors that go perfectly with everything. A few of these colors include but aren’t limited to ivory, gold, black, and blush. You also have to remember that your drapes are not the stars of the show; they’re there to improve the entire design not to stand out like a sore thumb.
Common Drape Mistakes
We can’t tell you how many times we’ve seen wedding planners make easily avoidable draping mistakes; it’s with that in mind that we compiled a few of the most commonly made drape mistakes. Making use of non-Fire Retardant fabric is one of the most popular mistakes made by interior decorators. Not only are they a safety risk, but they might also cost you money when you have to decorate an event hall or space that only allows fire retardant fabrics.
Hanging Drapes Improperly During Weddings
Drapes are one of the most visible aspects of your design, and they take up a considerable amount of real estate, so it’s essential to get it right. You don’t want your drapes to hang too high from the ground; neither do you want your drapes to drag on the floor. You want them to make minimal contact with the ground; they should hover around ½ inches to ¼ inch above the ground.
Another mistake wedding decorators and brides tend to make is using improperly colored drapes. This can be using a color that’s different from the wedding colors or too many colors to create your drape design. This can end up making your drapes stand out for all the wrong reasons. It’s effortless to get lost in the process of planning an entire wedding that we might end up overlooking drapes leading to mistakes that can cost us a lot down the road.
Ideal Fabrics for Wedding Drapes
There have never been this many types of fabrics to choose from, and as a wedding decorator, you and your clients are spoiled with choice. From the simple through the bold all the way down to the outlandish, there’s a fabric for every occasion.
If you're looking to WOW your guests with a breathtaking drape design, look no further. Our premium glitz sequin drapes are made up of thousands of glimmering sequins on a high-quality taffeta backing for a glamorous attention-grabbing backdrop design.
This is one of the most versatile materials available; it’s a matte opaque material that’s sure to add an extra layer of class to your wedding. Poly Premier is fire retardant and perfect for any event, whether you're planning a discreet or elaborate backdrop design!
This is a very lightweight and sheer material, real voile is made from cotton, and they usually have a very organic and natural feeling. They are an excellent choice for professional decorators as well as DIY decorators.
Velvet drapes stylishly serves as a luxe setting that brings an upscale atmosphere to your special day! Its opulent soft texture brings about a whole new level of elegance to your wedding decor scheme. It's warm and soft sheen helps create intimate vibes when paired with candlelight and blooming florals. You can't go wrong by adding this drapery panel as a ceremony backdrop, or even as a fun party photo booth backdrop.
There is no limit to how creative you can get when creating your drape backdrop. We have a wide selection of drapes in sizes from 8 to 14 feet in many different fabrics such as large payette sequin, mermaid scale sequin, accordion crinkle taffeta and more! You can even use table runners and fabric rolls as draping accents for intricate criss-cross designs. If you don't have one already, browse our collection of drape backdrop kits. Create multiple layers of draping with our valance hangers and extra crossbars! You can elevate your backdrop even further with balloon garlands, floral wall panels, and crystals. The possibilities are endless!
After all, is said and done, drapes are a must-have for your next wedding design. They are an iconic piece, and you are guaranteed to get the most out of your drapes when decorating. Few design pieces come close to impacting the entire look and feel of weddings as much as drapes do, as long as you follow the steps we just shared with you, your drapes are going to be astounding.
Are you a Visual Learner?
Watch our video on how to recreate a a beautiful backdrop and more draping tips!
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