Stage Decoration & Supplies, Inc.

Construction of Stage Drapery

Just as there are many types of fabrics, there are many options when putting together a stage curtain. Most curtains require that fabric be seamed together to create a large enough piece. The number of seams depends on the size of the fabric and the finished size of the curtain (including hems and turnbacks). The fabric size, also called bolt width, varies from fabric to fabric. Fabrics can range from 48” to 68” but there are some that are available in larger sizes. For velour drapery and others with similar fabric, seams usually run vertically. Seamed drops and cycloramas usually run horizontal. Seamless construction is available for scrims and muslin drops and cycloramas, up to certain heights.


Pleating is an excellent way to enhance the drapery appearance by increasing the amount of fabric in the curtain. This is referred to as fullness and is measured by percentage of additional fabric included. Typically, pleats for stage curtains are “box” style like the illustrations to the right. They are usually placed every foot or 12” O.C. (on center).

Thus a curtain with 50% fullness includes 50% more fabric or, in other words, for every 12” of curtain width there is 18” inches of fabric.  The additional 6” inches of fabric are folded into a pleat which finishes 3” wide. Pleats would be 4” for 75% fullness and 6” for 100%.
Box Pleats

Typical Pleating Options:

Top Finish

Typically, stage curtains are finished along the top back with a 3 1/2" piece of webbing, either jute or synthetic. Webbing helps strengthen the top of the curtain which is where all of the weight is when it is hung. For tie line or hanging hardware, grommets are punched into the webbing, 12" O.C., but there are other options. We will be happy to help you decide on the appropriate finish for your space.

Below are some examples:

Tie Line: Braided tie line is used to hang curtains from battens or other pipe. They can be hidden by using a second grommet. An alternate tie method is tie tape.


Curtains used with: Valances, Borders, Legs, Scrim, & Cycloramas

Tie Line  |  Hidden Ties (1)(2)  |  Tie Tape

CCF Hooks: Used primarily for drapery that will be on tracks.


Curtains used with: Travelers, Legs, Studio Curtains, & Cycloramas

CCF-1  |  CCF-2  |  CCF-3

Sewn Snap Hooks: Like the CCF hooks, these are used with curtains on tracks. The difference is that these are attached permanently by stitching them to the webbing with 1" poly strapping.


Curtains used with: Travelers, Legs, Studio Curtains, & Cycloramas

 Snap Above (front view) / (rear view) |  Flush Snap 

Bottom Finish

Hem Only: Standard hem sewn into the bottom of the curtain. Our typical size is 4".


Curtains used with: Valances, Borders & Window Dressing

Pipe Pocket: A muslin or canvas pocket is sewn into or behind the bottom hem of the curtain. A pipe can be slid into the pocket to provide both weight and rigidity. Our typical hem for a pipe pocket is 6".


Curtains used with: Cycloramas, Drops & Scrims

     Pipe Pocket     |    Pipe Flap    Suspended  Pocket

Chain Pocket: A muslin or canvas pocket is sewn into the bottom hem of the curtain. We insert a chain the entire width of the bottom hem. The chain is affixed on both ends and the pocket is tacked closed. This provides additional weight to the curtain and allows it to hang straighter. Our typical hem for a chain pocket is 6".

Lead tape is sometimes substituted for chain. We do NOT recommend this as lead is a toxic substance and can be harmful to people, especially children and older adults.

Curtains used with: Front Curtains, Legs, Borders, Cycloramas, Drops & Scrims

Chain Pocket  |  Lead Tape**


** Lead is a Toxic Substance, we do not recommend its use **
Other Finishes: There are other finishes available, such as webbing, grommets and ties in lieu of a pipe pocket. Just ask and we can accomodate your special requests.

Jump To:

Stage Curtain Types Construction Fabric / Colors Rigging / tracks
Example of Drapery Specification Stage Drapery Quick Reference
Stage Decoration & Supplies, Inc.
3519 Associate Drive - Greensboro, NC - 27405
336.621.5454 - 888.220.3174 - fax 336.621.5484