Rose Brand Know-How Blog

Entertainment & event production tips, news & stories

How to Choose Your Black Masking Fabric, a Handy Chart

Here’s a useful tool for choosing black masking whether you’re interested in a sewn curtain or just draping material. The fabrics below are ranked in descending order of price and described in terms of opacity, blackness, weight, width and use. Some of these fabrics are also rated for acoustic properties so click through to their product pages, and view the "Technical Info" tab on those pages to see more. Keep this chart handy for the next time you need masking by bookmarking this link. Rose Brand makes it easy. 


IFR SYNTHETICS, BLACK MASKING (in descending order of price)

Fabric Width Blackness Light Block / Opacity Comments
25 oz. Charisma 54" Best IFR Black 90% The most widely used IFR velour for permanent masking
22 oz. Encore 64" Good 99% The Standard for schools, durable and wrinkle resistant
20 oz. Crescent 54" Superior 90% Widely used for high end tours and permanent house masking
23 oz. Athena 60" Superior 95% Good for schools and arena reduction masking
14 oz. Magician 54" Superior 85% Very black light weight napped velour
13 oz. Apollo 54" Good 85% Most economical napped IFR velour
15 oz. Encore 62" Good 70% The standard for rental masking, durable and wrinkle resistant
16 oz. Athena 60" Superior 90% Great for arena reduction masking
12 oz. Brava 54" Standard 100% The most economical IFR light blocking masking
IFR 16 oz. Commando 62" Standard 99% The most economical 99% light blocking masking

FR NATURAL FIBER, BLACK MASKING (in descending order of price)

Fabric Width Blackness Light Block / Opacity Comments
25 oz. Wizard 54" Best 85% Super light absorbency
20 oz. Merlin 59" Superior 90% The blackest, most light absorbing
32 oz. Magic 54" Superior 99% Heavy weight deep pile for large venues
30 oz. Wool Serge 59" Good 99% No nap/pile direction. Most popular in Europe.
25 oz. Memorable 54" Superior 99% Most widely used cotton velour for permanent masking
21 oz. Marvel 54" Good 90% Widely used for show masking
16 oz. Commando 54" Standard 99% The most economical masking that is opaque
12 oz. Light Weight Commando 54" Standard 70% A good buy when opacity isn't necessary
8 oz. Duvetyn 54" Standard 50% The most economical masking for covering areas, but not for blocking light
Acoustical Test Reports available under the product's Technical Information tab.


Seamless Printed Digital Artwork at Montclair Art Museum

Ben Jones’s mural Envision Empower Embrace is based on selected imagery from his recent paintings which address events related to social justice, climate change, and environmental disasters. The central image of a fish framing renowned jazz singer and political activist Nina Simone harkens back to Ben Jones’s commemorative painting Nina Simone High Priestess of Soul (1972). As Jones has observed, “The fish image is used because throughout history many civilizations have used it to represent Life.” 

Product: Seamless Printed Digital Artwork on 6oz Poplin; Montclair Art Museum; Photo: Peter Jacobs More...

Arched Frame And Lighting Surface for Concert Tour

Working on the design for the Dispatch Summer tour, lighting designer Marc Janowitz asked the Rose Brand® design and technical teams to create a floating visual surface for the tour’s lighting design. Janowitz’s concept relied on several rings of triangular stretch shapes floating in an arc 30ft in diameter, onto which he would project colored and textured lighting. Since the tour locations were mostly outdoors, concerns for wind and the elements had to be taken into account, as well as the typical fast, easy, tool-free load-in required by music touring in general.

Product: White Tendo Stretch Shapes, Technical Design and Fabrication of Aluminum Touring Arch; Dispatch Summer Tour; Designer: Marc Janowitz at E26 Design; Photo: Michael Smith 


Rose Brand Inc. produced both the stretch shapes and the arched, modular frame to house them. Our frame design consisted of interlocking units held together with détente pins, which could be hung from truss or pipe in short order. Each subsequent frame stiffened the overall structure as it was assembled. The triangular stretch shapes shipped attached to each frame, to speed up load-ins, but could easily be replaced in case of dirt or damage. More...

Turnkey Solutions for Custom Needs: Sandusky State Theatre in Ohio

The Sandusky State Theatre, a historical landmark in Ohio wanted to transform the main stage of the 90-year-old theatre with new curtains designed to bring the space to life and capture the theatre’s rich heritage.

Inspired by photos of the theatre’s interior architecture, we designed a curtain that incorporated a prominent curvilinear architectural detail on the walls near the stage. More...

Digitally Printed Flooring, Ceiling & Backdrop Tiles for NBC Sports 2018 Olympics



Product: Printed Impact(TM) floor, gatorboard and SAV; NBC Sports 2018 Winter Olympics; Venue: International Broadcast Center, Pyeong Chang, South Korea; Designer: Bryan Higgason, HD Studio; Scene Shop: Black Walnut; Photo: Jacob Gendelman

We worked with our friends at Black Walnut to specify and build printed flooring, ceiling and backdrop tiles for the NBC Sports Winter Olympics studio. Concept and design planning begin years in advance of the Olympic games. The Olympic studio’s graphically intense scenic elements alone, resulted from months of brainstorming and product sampling. Black Walnut and NBC Sports selected our printed “Impact” floor for their studio because it installed much more quickly and provided greater flexibility than the tiles used in prior years. For example, it allowed Black Walnut to quickly adjust their design on-site in order to create the jagged rock reveals in the fabricated deck. More...

Converting A Gym Into A Multi-purpose Space for Both Elegant Events & Sports

The solution to creating a multi-purpose space was found in a unique application of curtain track and custom fabrication. Rose Brand’s client needed a quick and easy transformation from everyday gymnasium to elegant event space, lining the walls with gorgeous white silk drapes and flowing ceiling swags. And of course, protecting the delicate white softgoods during volleyball tournaments was an equal priority. A challenging request, and a surprisingly simple solution.

Working from sketches provided by the interior designer (Lois Moore, Periwinkle Designs), Rose Brand’s project managers devised a configuration of Triple E Two-Way Track which would line the walls of the gymnasium. The track carries snow white Tergalet silk drapes, allowing them to be deployed easily.  Each ceiling swag is attached to the top of a side curtain panel.   In storage, the swag folds down flat against the drapery panel on the track. To rig the ceiling swag, it is lifted up and connected to its matching swag across the hall and tied off to a ceiling point – no additional rigging or draping is required. With this unique track and swag configuration, the entire room can be draped in just 30 minutes!  More...

Rose Brand Inc. Wins Best Debuting Product for Nebula™ Net at 2017 LDI Show

Rose Brand won the award for best debuting product at this year’s LDI show in Las Vegas for  Nebula™ Net – a see-through projection surface that is virtually undetectable to the audience.

The new 26-foot darknet projection fabric made its debut at the Rose Brand LDI booth at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Nebula Net can be used to achieve  stunning, magical projections – making objects appear to float on air or appear out of nowhere.More...