The curtain constitutes one of the more important decorative elements of a theater. Selecting the right theater curtain is not as easy as it may seem. We have to take into consideration not only the esthetic values but also acoustic and technical ones, including architectonic properties. So how to properly select a theater curtain? What parameters we should especially focus on?
What requirements have to be met by theater curtains?
A theater, as a public utility facility, must meet certain fire safety regulations. They refer also to all of the materials used inside the building.
In accordance with the Regulation of the Minister of Infrastructure concerning the technical conditions which buildings and their locations should meet, fire retardant fabrics must be used in all public utility facilities.
Fire retardant fabrics should meet the DIN 4102 norm. A material’s flammability level is determined with the use of three basic categories: B1, B2, and B3.
B1 means fire retardant fabrics, B2 normally flammable fabrics, while B3 stands for easily flammable fabrics.
That is why we should definitely install a theater curtain which meets the B1 norm as only this guarantees safety.
It’s worth to know that fire retardant fabrics do not burn but melt. Furthermore, they do not produce toxic fumes.
Thanks to this they limit the possibility of the fire spreading and reduce possible material losses.
They also allow for a more efficient rescue operation and evacuation from the place of danger.
Types of theater curtains
Depending on the mode of revealing the scene, curtains may be divided into:
- Swag curtains (lifted diagonally),
- Venetian curtains (formed into folds when lifted),
- Tableau curtains (lifted vertically and diagonally towards the corners of the stage opening),
- Traveler curtain (opened sliding to the sides).
What fabric for a theater curtain?
The fabrics most often used for theater curtains include: plush, molton, and trevira.
Plush – a breathable fabric made from cotton. It perfectly mutes noise and reverb, at the same time almost completely eliminating echo. It lays out perfectly and is very durable. Will work perfectly primarily with large stages.
Trevira – it’s an esthetic fire retardant fabric. Easy to maintain with the use of traditional cleaning methods. It easily withstands heavy use. Abrasion resistant, does not wrinkle, and maintains its initial shape for long.
Molton – it’s a non-transparent, fire retardant, cotton fabric. It perfectly absorbs light and mutes noise. It does not wrinkle and is easy to maintain. It is a truly long-lasting fabric with an opaque surface.
Why are theater curtains red?
Theaters most often include red curtains. This results from history and practical reasons.
In the past theaters constituted meeting places for aristocrats and the elites. And red was always associated with wealth, luxury, and prosperity. This tradition is cultivated up to this day and theater is still viewed as something unique and ceremonial.
And what about the practical reasons? Well, after turning the light on red is the first color which our eyes cease to notice. Used in a theater it allows us to focus exclusively on the play and does not distract our vision.
When selecting a theater curtain one must take into consideration the technical parameters which it has to meet, as well as the sole cubic capacity of the building, and the fabric from which it will be made.
A theater curtain must be made from a fire retardant fabric, properly mute noises, and be resistant to heavy use. It is important for it to be easy to take care of and maintain.
The best fabrics for window curtains include primarily plush, molton, and trevira.