This topic has 3 replies, 4 voices, and was last updated 5 years, 10 months ago by LDavi.

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  • #14856
      • Experience: 15-20 years
      • Scenic Status: Full Time Regular

      Maybe plenty of people do this, but I have not seen it yet, so I’m sharing!

      We once had to do a show with numerous pieces of soft goods. Lots of drops going down and lots of pulling staples to pull the drops up. Our fingers hurt before we even started. Why, oh, why can’t all the sides of a drop be as easy as the top with the grommets is? Why actually it can! What makes that top so easy to pull up? Jute! Jute is cheap and can change your world!

      So here’s the step by step. I’m going to try to add pictures.

      1. Order jute. If you have some from old drops, you could use that, but you have to deal with all the grommets. We just bought a bunch and cut into 30-40 ft lengths. When we bought it, I think it was 26 cents a foot. Keep it in rolls

      2. Layout your square as usual. Roll your jute just inside the square. You can put a few staples just in the jute to hold it in place, but it’s really not necessary. Do put a few staples in your end, which should extend just past your square.

      3. Staple down your drop as usual. Align the jute with the square and the goods. If you are using a bridge, lay the jute across the bridge.

      4. When you reach a corner, you have two choices. You can turn the corner (see picture below) or just roll the excess past your square and staple at the corner using a new run of jute to do the next side.

      5. When you are finished stapling all the edges with the jute, paint your drop.

      6. When it’s time to pull up the drop, tug on the jute from whatever end to pop the staples out of the floor. The staples can then be removed from the fabric and jute by hand. One method is to take the staple and push the ends into the floor which pushes the top of the staple up and easy to grab.

      There is no digging into the drop with a puller. The jute takes the brunt of the work. It cuts down on staple pulling time by an easy half. You can also run jute across the top to protect the ties from paint if you wish to keep them tidy

      A couple of tools that make drop work quicker are the hammer tacker. Most of you use those already, but it’s worth mentioning. We also have knee blades which are knee pads on wheels. They are expensive upfront, but worth it and they last ages. Look up knee blades on Amazon.

      I hope some folks will find this very helpful in their drop work. We’ve used it for scrim and translucencies. I have yet to have a problem. May the jute be with you!

       Anne Clark
        • Experience: 20+ years
        • Scenic Status: Full Time Regular

        Partner Member

        Thank you for sharing! I can not wait to try this!!


        Great idea! Before you order your jute, check with the electrics department. some folks mark feet on the jute, and then roll it out during focus sessions, to provide a temporary X and Y coordinates, in order to record the focus of all the light beams. They may have some already left over from their last order, or they may be willing to contribute to your costs to get some fresh jute for themselves. again, great idea!

        best, Steve [your lighting lurker]


          Member Member

          Love this idea! Thanks for all the pictures too!

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