Tag Archives: muslin backdrops

Cloth Backdrops – Everything To Know About Them

Freeing background from unnecessary clutter is like second nature to any photographer. And Cloth Backdrops are the most essential tools in this exercise. The increasing importance of digital advertising and social media-based entrepreneurship has increased the demand for cloth backdrops. So, an understanding of these backdrops is vital to make your photography stand out. It is what separates professionals from amateurs.

If you want to target the precise mood of the photoshoot. And address the ever-rising demand of clients for ‘uniqueness. And take your portrait from basic level to inspirational – then cloth backdrops are the way to go! After all, what’s behind the subject is as important as what’s in front of it. 

What are Cloth Backdrops?

Simply put, cloth backdrops are the fabric-based screen or background that separates your main subject from the overall image. Their main purpose is to add a depth effect to the subject. Photographers prefer them in areas of portrait photography, fashion photography, and baby photography. They play a role in controlling the light conditions and adding a surrounding effect. And that makes them useful for product photography and shooting videos too. The diverse varieties of colours, styles, and textures that they offer, make them very versatile. They can build an extra appeal to the photo’s subject, aiding better communication with the viewers. This instantly makes them professionals’ favourites!

Types of Backdrops 

When it comes to varieties of cloth backdrops, the sky is the limit! Hence, sorting through the choices and finding the best-suited cloth backdrop for your shoot can give you an edge. The three most popular variants of fabric to choose from are Canvas, Muslin, and Polyester.

Canvas Backdrops

Canvas backdrops are a classy variety that offers a wide range of subtle and dramatic patterns. They provide an interesting background to a portrait without competing with the main subject for attention. The canvas backdrops that we offer are all minimum 250gsm (gram per square meter) fabric, offering a firm background to the image. Within this material, we offer two kinds of backdrops – Solid and Handpainted. The handpainted category offers unique designs and patterns all created by a team of experienced artists. Abstract and Airbrushed designs provided by us are especially preferred for highlighting the subject in depth, as you can see here. With Scenic and Patterned backdrops, we provide vibrant sceneries and elaborate designs that frees you from the hassle of creating a set. In fact, these backdrops have an exceptional appeal to viewers’ emotions, making them want to stop and look at your creation! 

Muslin Backdrops

Muslin backdrops are much lighter and thinner, as they are constructed from cotton. Our muslin backdrop thickness starts from 165gsm. We provide two main types here – Mottled Muslin and Single Colour Muslin. The Mottled variety in turn offers splendid versatility such as 3D, Crush Dyed, Handpainted, Solid, Washed, and Reversible. They offer a solid-looking background when hung flat and can also be draped over different surfaces to transform the look of a picture.

By manipulating how it hangs these backdrops can be used to utilize the studio space in the most effective way! With the Single Color variant, you can experiment and explore the different background lighting techniques to give the portrait a neutral or dramatic touch. These backdrops are particularly in demand for their price reasonability. They are also conveniently portable and do not wrinkle very easily- earning them a dominant position in the market.

Polyester Backdrops

Another type of fabric backdrop that is gaining prominence is Polyester, particularly because they are free from shrinkage and wrinkles. They are washable, very convenient to store, and offer high resistance to wear and tears, hence very long-lasting as well. Another unique advantage of using polyester fabric is the fact that they absorb light rather than reflect it, aiding in glare-free shots.

The film industry prefers cloth backdrops because they are very convenient in shooting a scene inside the studio. You can easily artificially edit them (like the green screen editing) and replace with the required natural environment like a beach, forest, etc. 

The pros of using cloth backdrops

The market for photography backdrops has expanded exponentially in the last few years. A wide variety of materials are available today. And yet cloth backdrop is a preferred choice for professionals worldwide for several reasons.

  • Durability: Cloth backdrops are called ‘legacy’ purchases for their durability factor. Canvas backdrops are a long-term investment. Muslin and Polyester are easily reusable. They also withstand normal wear and tear.
  • Storage and Transportation: Backdrops often become damaged or unusable if not stored properly. But with muslin backdrops, you can just stuff them in the bag when done. Canvas backdrops require some caution and are stored in shipping tubes for ease.
  • Appearance: Canvas provides a formal look with very refined and finished results loved by the best photographers worldwide.  The visual advantage of Muslin is that it holds dye better than any other fabric so the colours on backdrops appear very vivid and saturated. 
  • Non-Reflective Surface: The flash of a camera or shine of the spotlight when it gets reflected by the backdrop, creates a distraction from the main subject. To avoid this, we offer high-quality absorbent fabric that absorbs light instead of reflecting it. 
  • Price reasonability: For backdrops, some people go for cheaper alternatives but a higher cost is inflicted due to the time spent on trying to fix it. The wise can well assess that time is money! 

Hence, from the age of hand-painted scenery hung at the back of a stage theatre to the era of digitally designed backdrops, the relevance of cloth backdrops has remained consistent and evolving. No wonder, some of the world’s most famous artistic photographers attribute their stunning portraiture to their selection of cloth backdrops. They are truly the very keystone for bringing the subject of a photo to life-which indeed is the ultimate purpose of photography!

Muslin Backdrops – The Dos and Don’ts

A versatile and long-lasting product, muslin backdrops are used in theatre production, studio photography, video production, and more. Muslin backdrops have a very long and rich history and both professionals and novices use them.  And we are sure you must have come across several versions of these cloth backdrops in your photography career. The heavy-duty curtains they use in school and college theatres? They are all made of muslin.

Here is a comprehensive guide to muslin backdrops. It has everything you need to know before buying the photography backdrop and how to do proper maintenance afterwards.

What are Muslin Backdrops?

Muslin backdrops are made of 100% cotton fabric and coloured with dyes. The solid material is lightweight, easy to set up and use, and remains the same colour even after years of usage.

Our muslin backdrops are made with a cotton fabric that is resistant to wear and tear. We work with the best textile manufacturers in India to stay up to date with industry standards and give you better quality time after time. The fabric we use is 100% Indian cotton and ranges from 165gsm to 350gsm.

We offer you several different kinds of Muslin Backdrops – Mottled Muslin, Single Colour Muslin, and Portable Backdrops. The difference between the three categories is the painting and dyeing techniques used to create the patterns and designs as well as their utilities.

Mottled Muslin backdrops are one seamless piece of cotton fabric. We create them with creative dyeing techniques, some of which are our in-house speciality. And the best feature is that they help you get better lighting as the backdrop removes any extra reflection from the image. 

Single Colour Muslin backdrops are also made with one piece of seamless cotton. As the name suggests, they are coloured in one solid colour and give you the option of selecting garments and models to create a unique shoot. 

The Portable Backdrops come with their own collapsible steel frames. It gives you a very smooth surface that ensures you don’t get inconsistent lighting. And you can prop it against a wall or a pole without any extra help, making it very easy to set up in any given location. 

Can Muslin Backdrops improve your content?

A good backdrop shifts the focus of the audience to the subject of photography. Muslin backdrops help you achieve this in various ways. The natural folds and creases add extra depth and texture.

If you love a certain location and want to design a set around it, then our muslin backdrops are pretty useful. As they are extremely portable and lightweight, you can carry them around easily. You can drape them across a stable surface, lay them out on the floor, or hang them on a wire or rod. If you get one of our X-Frame backdrops, you will get a ready-made frame that you can prop up without any help. 

Image Credits: Kalyani Ambike(Left) & Ashwin Fernandes (Right)

Creating full-length fashion photographs, videos, and reels becomes a hassle-free process with a backdrop that is hanging in one place. You can walk around on it or dance on it without worrying that the backdrop might tear, as the sturdy cotton fabric is very durable. And you can use it for topdown shots or videos.

The versatility of muslin also extends to product photography and food photography. They are easy to style and you can mould them around the product you want to highlight. There is no limit to how creative you can get with a backdrop like this.

How to take care of Muslin Backdrops?

Muslin backdrops are very lightweight and you can easily pack them up and take them to any location. To ensure that you get maximum use out of one backdrop you can follow some simple tips and tricks.  

The cotton fabric gets natural wrinkles the more you use it or if you store it for a long time. Get rid of these wrinkles easily by using a steam iron, flat clothes iron or a water spray. If you are using an iron to remove the crease, then make sure it is on low heat. It will keep the dye from reacting and/or changing colours and looking odd on camera. But a steam iron is the safer option because it preserves the colours and is also easy to use. A water spray is the safest way to preserve the colours and the fabric. Spray the backdrop and let it hang freely so the wrinkle disappears on its own. 

And if you don’t have the time to get the creases out, there is a simple way to make sure they don’t appear in your photos. You will have to shoot with a larger aperture and get your subject to pose at a distance from the backdrop. This gets rid of all obvious wrinkles. 

After your shoot is over, fold up the backdrop and store it in the packet. Ideally, store it in the same packet we deliver it in. Keep it in a wardrobe, cupboard, or even a utility closet. The main thing to remember is that it is safe from both direct sunlight and humidity. Add silica gel packets to remove moisture around it.

We do not recommend washing the backdrops in a washing machine as it removes the vibrant dyes of the backdrop and adds extra creases. If the backdrop has dirt then use a sponge and non-abrasive detergent to remove it from the spot.

We hope this guide helps you make a more guided decision with muslin backdrops. 

What Backdrop to choose? Paper or Muslin?

Great Backdrops Make your Images Shine

Photographers always tend to see beyond the model when studying images that they like. One thing that always catches their interest is the background of the image. A good backdrop choice must always compliment both the model and the garments. However, the intent of the photographer is always to pick a backdrop that doesn’t stand out to a layman noticing the image.

Depending on the type of photography, whether it is a portrait session, product shoot, or a reel video, different types of backdrops are suited to each. There are two main types of backdrops normally used by photographers, Muslin Backdrops and Seamless Paper Backdrops. Both these types of backdrops have existed for decades and are immensely popular.

Muslin vs. Seamless Paper Backdrops

We stock 3 different brands of Seamless Paper Backdrops, Superior Seamless, Savage, and Trulite. All 3 of them are Made in the USA and are made to be really easy to use and give you consistently good results.

Both Superior Seamless and Savage Seamless Paper Backdrops have a thickness of 145 gsm and are available in 3 different sizes:- 4.5ft x 36ft, 7ft x 36ft, and 9ft x 36.

Trulite Seamless Paper Backdrops have a thickness of 125 gsm but most people can’t even tell the difference between 145gsm and 125gsm. Trulite Seamless Paper Backdrops are available in 4 different sizes:- 4.5ft x 18ft, 7ft x 18ft, 9ft x 18ft & 9ft x 32ft.

We stock over 120 different colors in Seamless Paper Rolls so that you can choose the color that you like and best fits your images. Seamless Paper Rolls are a product all studio photographers swear by, 4.5ft rolls are perfect for on-location portraits, and 7ft rolls are perfect car-sized backdrops.

Muslin Backdrops are made from premium 100% cotton and are dyed to make single color backdrops or textured muslin backdrops. Single Color Muslin backdrops are available in 3 different thicknesses of cotton and 1 wrinkle-resistant variety made from a cotton-poly blend. The 3 thicknesses are 165gsm(Solid), 190gsm(Deluxe), and 210gsm(Canvas). The Textured Muslin Backdrops are created by dyeing and processing them by different techniques. The main types of textured muslin backdrops are Handpainted Mottled, Crush Dyed Mottled, 3D Mottled, Washed Mottled, Solid Mottled, and Reversible Mottled.

Advantages of Muslin Backdrops

Both types of backdrops have a variety of advantages over each other. The primary advantage with muslin backdrops is that they are extremely portable and are hence perfect for on-location shoots and carrying around for those spur-of-the-moment portrait ideas. Muslin backdrops are also very rugged and take a whole lot of abuse before becoming unfit for use. While we don’t recommend washing these backdrops, you can easily spot clean dirt with a sponge and neutral non-abrasive detergent.

Due to the nature of the cotton fabric, it develops natural wrinkles. While a lot of photographers prefer shooting muslin backdrops with these wrinkles as it adds depth to the image, you can easily get rid of them with a steam iron. Alternatively, you can hang them overnight and spray some water on the wrinkles and gravity does the rest. All of our backdrops are made to strict international quality standards and with some tender love and care, they can almost last a lifetime.

Advantages of Paper Backdrops

Seamless paper isn’t as portable as muslin backdrops due to the size of the rolls and the need for a stand, but seamless is the backdrop most photographers use when shooting high-key lighting. The clean, smooth look that seamless paper provides makes it easy to white out a background for that immaculate appearance that is currently all the rage in advertising imagery.

Some clients want a crisp photo background in their commercial portraiture; for this look, seamless paper is the way to go. There’s no need to iron wrinkles as with muslin. When seamless paper gets dirty or creased, you simply tear off the soiled portion and unroll more for a perfectly clean background. If a particular color is needed beyond the basics, Savage’s Widetone paper comes in dozens of shades from Tulip pink to Sky Blue, making seamless a great choice for achieving an exact color. It really just depends on what you’re shooting. Both muslin and seamless paper have their strengths and weaknesses, but either will give great results when used properly. I enjoy using both in order to have the utmost versatility.