Pipe and Draping 101: Tips You Should Know When You Decide To Cover Your Next Event Or Trade Show

As an event coordinator, you understand the importance of creating a visually appealing space that sets the right tone for your event or trade show. One simple and effective way to achieve this is by utilizing pipe and draping. In this blog post, we will delve into the world of pipe and draping and provide tips for choosing suitable materials for covering your next event or trade show.

Understanding Pipe and Draping

What is Pipe and Drape?

Pipe and drape refer to using upright pipes and drape supports to create partitions, backdrops, or booths in event spaces. This flexible system transforms any area into an elegant and functional space.

Types of Pipe

You have a few options when choosing the suitable pipe for your event. Aluminum and steel are the most common materials used for upright pipes. Aluminum pipes are lightweight and easy to transport, making them ideal for smaller events or requiring frequent setup and teardown. On the other hand, steel pipes are sturdier and often chosen for more significant events or permanent installations.


It’s essential to consider the height and weight capacity of the upright pipes when selecting them for your event. Higher pipes can create the illusion of a spacious venue, while lower pipes can provide a more intimate setting.

Types of Drapes

Choosing the perfect drapes for your pipe and drape setup is where your creativity can truly shine. Here are a few popular types of drapes used for pipe and drape:

  1. Banjo Cloth: Banjo cloth is a versatile and cost-effective fabric commonly used for pipe and drape. It is durable, wrinkle-resistant, and available in various colors, making it easy to match any event theme. Banjo cloth is often used for trade show booths or backdrops.
  2. Velour: If you’re looking for a more elegant and luxurious option, velour is the fabric. Velour drapes have a soft texture and a slight sheen, giving your event a touch of sophistication. They work well for formal occasions or red-carpet backdrops.
  3. Sheer Voile: For events that require a lighter and airy ambiance, sheer voile drapes are the perfect choice. These translucent drapes allow natural light to filter through while creating a sense of privacy. Sheer voile is popular for weddings, galas, and outdoor events.
  4. Commando Cloth: Commando cloth is a heavyweight fabric known for its light-blocking properties. It is often used to create blackout curtains or partitions in venues where control over lighting is crucial, such as theater productions or audio-visual presentations.

Popular Fabrics for Pipe and Drape

Now that you are familiar with the types of drapes, let’s explore some of the popular fabrics used in pipe and drape setups:

  1. Polyester: Polyester is a widely used fabric for pipe and drape due to its durability and affordability. It is available in various colors and finishes, making it a versatile choice for any event.
  2. Satin: Satin fabrics have a smooth and shiny surface that adds a touch of elegance to any event. Satin drapes are commonly used for wedding receptions or upscale corporate events.
  3. Chiffon: Chiffon is a lightweight, flowing fabric that creates a romantic and ethereal atmosphere. Its delicate appearance makes it popular for outdoor ceremonies or garden-themed events.
  4. Stretch Fabric: Stretch fabric drapes provide a sleek and modern look to pipe and drape setups. They are popular for trade shows or fashion events where a seamless and tailored appearance is desired.

When selecting fabrics, consider the overall theme and tone of your event, as well as the lighting conditions and desired level of privacy. Always aim for high-quality materials that are flame-retardant and easy to maintain.

Pipe and Draping from Canvas ETC

Now armed with an understanding of pipe and draping and the different types of pipes and drapes available, you are ready to transform your event or trade show space into a visually captivating experience! Remember to choose the suitable pipe and drape system for your needs and select fabrics that match the ambiance you want to create. And at Canvas ETC, we can help you with that. Contact one of our fabric experts today to learn more about our pipe and drape kits and panel drapes.