Stage design: fabric swooshes

Now that it is fall, it’s time for a new stage design! (We change out our designs quarterly.) Our last stage design was very geometric because we used lanterns. This time we went with something that was a big contrast to the previous design: soft fabric swooshes.

The fabric was simple white spandex, hung in pairs. It was lit from above using Fresnel lights and from below using PAR cans. The gels were various shades of blue and pink.

We used cinder blocks to hold down the bottom. (Our new sandbags came in today — hooray! They will replace the cinder blocks.) The tops are tied to poles (we call them booms) using griff clips and black rope.

You would think this looks so easy. Not so. After experimenting, I discovered that some of the fabric needed to be tied at an angle at the ceiling for it to hang right. Then we had to keep moving it around the floor to make it drape right. Then Peter had to go up in the lift to adjust the lights on the fabric. Then he had to put all the lights together on the stands for the floor. Then we had to go and do all the lights in the house because they were aimed too high and washing out all the fabric.

In all this job took more than 10 people-hours. I guess that’s quick for a stage design, but it still took longer than I thought it would.

Even so, it’s a nice change of pace from our previous design.


A Yee

Angela Yee is a professional designer (graphic design, stage design, interior design — and teaches leadership skills at

11 comments to “Stage design: fabric swooshes”

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  1. Jonathan - November 8, 2012

    Where did you come across enough spandex material? And how much did it cost? Are there other options besides spandex?



  2. Matt Ludik - November 10, 2012

    Great Job!
    I’ve worked with fabric like this on several sets – and it is ALWAYS much harder to get it looking right than I first imagined. With me it’s mostly hours of trial and error! Your final result is spectacular. Well done.

  3. A Yee

    A Yee - November 10, 2012

    Thanks so much! 🙂

  4. Brandi - March 5, 2013

    Hi Angela,
    Would you mind sharing exactly what fabric you used and where you purchased it? Thanks so much!!! Beautiful stage!

  5. A Yee

    A Yee - March 5, 2013

    Brandi, My friend bought it for me so I do not recall the exact type of spandex, but I know we ordered it from and it was made of nylon. Sorry I don’t have more details!

  6. Rita - November 10, 2013

    Where did you purchase the spandex and how much did it cost

  7. A Yee

    A Yee - November 16, 2013

    Sorry, Rita, please see my answer above your comment… I don’t recall how much it cost either!

  8. Josh - May 11, 2014

    Stretchy Screens offers a large selection of affordable Stretch Shapes, Tension Fabric Designs, and Scrim Stand Covers!
    If you are ever looking to use stretch fabric decor for your stage designs please feel free to reach out to me for a quote or visit us at

    Josh Dugan
    (989) 780-1624

  9. Melissa Clarke - March 2, 2017

    How much fabric per swooshes?

  10. A Yee

    A Yee - April 23, 2017

    It’s hard to say because the height of the ceiling may be different at your church. I would calculate 1.5x the length of the diagonal.

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