Curtains are hung in either of a few ways. Flat or full are the most popular. Flat is simply hanging the cloth stretched across the pipe. Pulled tight it looks like a sheet on a clothes line.
Curtains hung “full” have a much, well, fuller look. Instead of stretching the cloth tight, it is partially bunched up on the pipe. In this photo, you can see the cloth is tied at the end and then tied again at the center of the cloth. But, it’s not stretched. It’s got a big sagging space in between.
Each time you tie another line up to the pipe, you find the center of the sag and tie it up to the pipe; in the middle of the open space. By the time you’re done, you’ll have a curtain with lots of little curves built in. You may have figured out that this full method takes a lot more cloth to cover the width of the pipe. At least twice as much cloth.
This is a tab curtain. Tab curtains can be made from either flat or full hung goods. This curtain is “full.” You can tell because of the waves.
When you pull on the line, the curtain opens from the center and pulls up at an angle.
You’ll need several sets of rings to make this work smoothly.
Each ring is caught by the tie line as it gets pulled.
We needed a grand window upstage center. But we needed it to come and go very quickly in a setting that was very simple. So, if you take a good look at the curtain, you’ll notice a window pattern projected onto these long drapes.
To bring them on and take them off stage quickly, we flew them up and down. The problem was that our theater has NO fly space. In other words, we have no space above the lighting pipes to fly things up-out of sight
As you can see, we ended up lifting the curtain from the bottom, using black tie line that was run through white rings sewn to the back of the curtain.
Here is a close-up of the weight (a very large cable clamp) picking up one of the rings. As the tie line is pulled up, the weight picks up each ring and “gathers” the cloth. When it hits the batten at the top, it will lift that out of sight lines as well.
These red curtains were rigged the same way as the white ones. These are a good example of a curtain hung “flat.”
This photo shows the curtain in it’s “out” position.