Top Tips for Creating a Printed Theatrical Backdrop on Fabric

Top Tips for Creating a Printed Theatrical Backdrop on Fabric

The world of theatre is a realm of imagination, where every element, from the actors to the props, contributes to the narrative. Among these elements, a printed theatrical backdrop on fabric can serve as a canvas that paints the world of the story.

The advantages of printing on fabric include flexibility, vibrancy, and ease of transportation. Here's how you can create a stunning printed fabric backdrop for your next theatrical production:

1. Select the Right Fabric

The choice of fabric can influence the vibrancy and clarity of the print. Materials like polyester, muslin, or cotton can offer a smooth surface suitable for detailed prints. If you're looking for translucency, voile or scrim might be your best bet.

2. High-Resolution Artwork

To ensure clarity and detail in your printed backdrop, always use high-resolution images or artwork. Remember, what looks good on a computer screen might not translate well to a large fabric print. Though viewing distance also is an important factor.

3. Understand Scale and Proportions

The design might need to be adjusted based on the size of the stage and the viewing distance of the audience. Ensure that the key elements of your design are visible even from the last row.

4. Play with Colors

Digital printing allows for a wide range of colors. However, remember that colors might appear differently on fabric than they do on screen. It's always a good idea to run a small test print to ensure color accuracy.

5. Incorporate Textures

While the fabric itself has a texture, the design can include elements that mimic other materials, like wood, stone, or grand marble walls. This adds depth and richness to the backdrop depending on the production.

6. Seamless Design

Given the expanse of the stage, or the width of the chosen fabric, the fabric might need to be sewn together. Plan your design in a way that either hides the seams or a fabric wide enough to exclude seams. For grand stage designs requiring seamless images, Big Image offers premium printing capabilities that can produce single-piece prints as large as 12x50 meters on cotton fabrics.

7. Consider Lighting

A printed backdrop interacts dynamically with stage lighting. Collaborate with the lighting team to see how different lights will play on the fabric, influencing mood and visibility.

8. Maintenance and Storage

A design might have to be transported to other productions around the World, or after the production, the backdrop can be used again if stored properly. There are options for wrinkle-resistant fabrics, like for example cotton fabrics, and always roll the backdrop depending on fabric and recommendations from the printing company (rather than folding) to avoid creases. Store in a cool, dry place.

9. Stay Environmentally Conscious

Use eco-friendly inks, water-based inks and sustainable fabrics. Not only is this better for the planet, but it also resonates well with audiences who are becoming increasingly environmentally conscious.

10. Seek Expertise

Collaborating with a professional printing company can offer insights into the latest technologies, fabrics & materials, and design techniques. Their expertise can guide you in bringing your vision to life with precision.


In the realm of theatrical productions, the backdrop plays an important role, setting the stage and mood for the entire performance. If you're looking to transform your creative vision into reality, consider partnering with Big Image.

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