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Ceiling Fabric Draping

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Ceiling Fabric Draping

What is ceiling fabric draping? Ceiling fabric draping is the decorating of a room or venue’s ceiling with lightweight and sheer fabric material to add a very special ambiance, mood, feel, design and tone to the space and event. They are an easy and relatively inexpensive way of transforming an old, monochromatic space into a gorgeous, magical, and perhaps even a fairy-tale type scene that creates a lasting and most memorable event. They can even either soften or radiate room lighting to add an unduplicated glow to the event.

Backdrops and wall coverings (even floor cloths and table runners) can substantially elevate the look and feel of a room, and add tremendous design appeal. But the space in the room often overlooked and undressed are the ceilings! Wedding planners, event planners, designers and decorators are certain to know that an easy way to showcase an event and add a layer of unrivaled texture is to utilize ceiling fabric draping as they add a visual appeal and focal point to a plain ceiling and really go far in “dressing up” the room for the big event and celebration!

And best of all, decorating with fabric is so easy and affordable. There are many options to consider for the event and venue’s ceilings. At CanvasEtc.com, we know textiles, and have a near limitless stocked supply of ceiling fabric draping! For this feature, however, we will focus our attention to our inherently fire retardant banjo cloth fabric. You will soon know exactly how to really spruce up your event ceilings, and not to mention the floors, walls, chairs, and tables as well. By the time that you are done reading this, you will know exactly how to transform your dull room from drab to fab(ulous)!

Ceiling fabric draping
Ceiling fabric draping

Consider the many options!

Most notable, the ceiling fabric draping material should be lightweight, so as not to put too much downward pressure from the hanging mechanism and hardware, which in the event that it were to fall, would damage the ceiling drywall or plaster. Additionally, a heavier fabric (like a #1/ 30 ounce per square yard cotton duck canvas) could prove difficult to hang and could pull down the ceiling tiles or the grid tiles.  Also, the lightweight material will be sheer to allow for the light to pass through, and its transparency is ideal for this effect and purpose.

Our recommendation would be our IFR Banjo cloth fabric due to the fact that it is extremely sheer, light and airy, and simply flows delicately. In fact, at a mere 4 ounces per square yard, we don’t know of another material that is as lightweight as our banjo cloth. This beautiful and translucent synthetic polyester material is ideal when in the presence of lights (especially LED lighting). It actually has a radiant sparkle to its characteristics, and can cast and reflect ambient light for an even more majestic effect.

While color options such as Red, Navy Blue, Royal Blue and Black are certainly nice options, it is our suggestion to use our Snow White, Off White and Champagne colored banjo fabric. As mentioned, as lighting plays a key role in how the ambiance is set for the venue, and how the light passes through the material, the Snow White and Champagne colors are neutral and can really enhance the lighting exceptionally well. The Snow White, Off White and the Champagne are also perfect for all different types of events, from a wedding to a fancy fundraiser and gala. Also, as the ceiling fabric draping is meant to accent and enhance the room and not detract from it, these colors will certainly compliment all of the other colors in the room and blend in with them seamlessly.

The choice is certainly yours, and our many other color options are certainly great and viable options, though, and depending on your specific event and the type of event it may be (wedding, graduation, fundraiser, awards banquet, club meeting, etc…), perhaps red or different blues would be worthwhile to consider. One very important point to stress is that all of our Banjo fabric is inherently fire retardant, which is critical if this event is taking place at a public venue . . . it’s even required by code and law that it be IFR to keep from igniting and turning into a blaze. Better to buy once and use twice (or more), so it would be wise and cost-effective to buy the inherently flame retardant fabric at the outset, and to ensure that you won’t have to buy it again. All of our banjo fabric passes the NFPA-701 fire code test, and we have the credentials on file in the event that you need proof of them.

Ceiling fabric draping in snow white banjo cloth
Ceiling fabric draping in snow white banjo cloth

There are many different things and variables to consider when you are designing your ceiling fabric draping display. Not least of which is the room size (which will determine the amount of fabric that you will require), but also the ceiling itself. Shape, slope, height and other factors should be defined carefully. Tent ceilings, wave ceilings, and hanging ceilings are all 3 common, and your design should be in unison with the room and event venue’s ceiling structure.

Tent ceiling
Tent ceiling

Measure and Map It Out!

When designing the ceiling draping fabric display, it is imperative that you first get a sense for how much fabric material will be required. A good visual map is important in your pre-planning of the event venue, taking notice as to where table/ flower arrangements, buffets and carts are, etc… Start by simply walking the floor of the room and taking notes for the length and width of the space (square footage). This will then give you a sense of the amount of ceiling draping fabric necessary to execute your design.

The “swag” should also be considered. Most ceiling drapes have a degree of “swag” to them. Swag is simply the amount of fabric that droops downwards from the ceiling and toward the floor. Note: higher 20+ foot ceiling can and should have a larger droop/ swag than shorter ceilings. Whatever quantity of fabric you have calculated, it is a good rule of thumb to order 30% more to account for this swag (otherwise, the fabric will be taut against the ceiling and this would negate the effects and design itself).

Hanging your event ceiling draping fabric
Hanging your event ceiling draping fabric

Now The Fun Part – Hanging the Ceiling Draping Fabric!

After carefully and accurately measuring the area and event venue’s ceiling square footage, and accounting for an extra 30% of fabric material, we are but one final step in bringing this design to its majestic reality – safely and securely hanging them up!

One of the easiest ways to hang this fabric is with a ceiling ring/ hoop, rods and positioning pins, 4” C hooks and hinged ceiling clips. Full kits can be ordered online, and come complete with everything that you will require.

Lay the Hoop Ring on the floor directly underneath the starting point for your swooping/ swagging fabric. Most often, this is done at the center of the room though you could have multiple focal points. This will depend on your designs and where you have chosen the starting point for the ceiling draping. If you are not using a hoop hardware kit, and are simply securing the drapes to a chandelier or other hardware already mounted to the ceiling, ensure that you have your vision and design in place well before the day of the event, to account for any last minute changes of designs and installation. In the absence of a hoop hardware kit, we know that some designers have pulled off flawless designs with their ceiling draping using tension wires, fishing wire, and other components to get the job done.

We recommend and urge you to make all efforts to get the basic hanging components in place before your event is set up. Being able to freely move about the area is critical, as once the tables, chairs, seating arrangements, buffets and serving tables have been positioned, this will prove challenging to your final process of installation and fabric hanging!

If you will only have a brief time frame for installation, try your best to get your ceiling drapes set-up before the room is reset for your event — it’s much easier to move around before the room is filled with tables and chairs.

Event draping
Event draping

So there you have it! Good information and ideas about how to add significant class, elegance and upscale design ambiance to any event venue using inexpensive and high quality lightweight fabric material. Have fun, and enjoy this process of transforming the event into a majestic and dreamy occasion! You are going to love the final look, and so will all of those attendees!

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