With its roots in theater, and later film, fabric and lighting techniques lend versatility to a wide variety of fabric applications. More recently, light emitting diode (LED) lighting, developed as an architectural fixture, has been adopted by the entertainment industry and is quickly spreading to exhibits, advertising and other markets.
The fabric and lighting exhibit that accompanied Dazian Fabrics’ presentation on the topic at IFAI Expo’s Innovation Theater illustrated how effective use of both traditional theater lighting instruments and techniques, and new LED lighting can offer spectacular design opportunities in fabric display applications. Using fabrics ranging from sheers to solids, metallics to masking fabrics, and creatively applying cut-outs and burn-outs, techniques from backlighting to uplighting with LED banks on the floor demonstrated how lighting creates dramatic changes in the look of the fabric.
Future trends suggest more complex LED offerings and broad color versatility, made possible by various combinations of the original blue, red and green and, additionally, the new amber and white. LED lighting also uses less power, produces less heat and offers more design flexibility than traditional lighting, but it has yet to provide a focused beam of light as theater lighting instruments can do.