Fabric has long been used in in exhibits and other promotions – typically as hanging signs.
However, if you think fabric is limited to only flapping in the breeze, you are missing the beauty and majesty that fabric displays have to offer.
Today fabric can deliver architectural displays that curve and flow in organic forms to create illustrious spectacles. There’s almost no limit to the show-stopping displays that can be created. Plus, given the advancements in digital-printing equipment and technology, it is possible to provide an amazing spectrum of colors in fade-resistant inks. There are few limits as to what a fabric display can offer.
For the most part, fabric can be attached to architectural systems using simple fasteners such as hook-and-loop tape and fabric-attached gaskets, meaning you may not need a single tool to assemble your entire exhibit. This means installation and dismantle tends to easier than hard-surface booth components. In addition, the average install and dismantle time for fabric displays is less than solid panels, keeping I&D costs down.
Common methods for attaching fabric include:
- Pillowcase – these fabrics encase an entire structural frame to give the display a solid look.
- Rubber gussets – which are sewn directly into the fabric. These are easily pressed into an exhibit’s aluminum support to create long spans of seamless, graphic areas.
- Pole pockets – the fabric slides over poles that are straight or curved to create a wrinkle-free display.
Fabric is lightweight and folds tightly. A display that once took several crates now takes only a few – greatly reducing shipping and drayage fees compared to traditional materials. Storage space and costs are also lessened.
Fabrics’ ability to fold also facilitates packing by utilizing small and tight spaces that are usually wasted. This folded fabric can also be employed to carefully create a soft barrier or padding between other components. In addition, should any unfortunate incidents occur during shipping or mishaps with a forklift during loading or unloading, fabric is much less brittle that traditional components.
It’s relatively easy to take care of a fabric display. Exhibit fabric is resistant to wrinkles and, with the proper tools and detergents, simple to keep clean. Some are even machine washable, meaning you can spend less time and money maintenance.
Here are a few fabric care tips:
- Wash hands or wear gloves when handling exhibit fabric.
- Get approval from your fabric supplier before steaming, ironing, or washing fabric. Most fabrics will be fine, but not all – so make sure you know!
- If you do machine wash your fabric, be certain that it is completely dry before you store it. If not, it could get moldy.
- Avoid machine drying your fabric (unless your supplier gives the ok).
- Wrinkles from packing usually disappear within a few hours after the fabric is hung or they can be steamed away. If you need to iron the fabric, use a permanent-press setting and place a clean sheet of paper between the iron and fabric. Keep the iron moving or you risk damaging the fabric, and avoid any silicone materials that could melt.
- Fold fabrics so the graphics face inward. This way, any mishaps that occur will impact the non-display side.
- Inspect your fabrics before dismantle and storing, and be sure to clean all blemishes. This ensures your display is ready for the next show, and any stains won’t further damage the fabric while it is stored.
- Avoid extreme temperatures when storing. The ideal storage temp is between 40 and 80 degrees.
If you are interested in fabric displays and wonder if one would be right for you, call The Trade Group at 800-343-2005.