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Getting the most out of fabric liners

Trend Watch | October 1, 2008 | By:

Clients who desire an extra dose of elegance or warmth for their tented event may opt for a fabric liner, if they can afford one. In addition to a softer look for tented events, liners effectively camouflage the tent’s less-attractive components. The latest look for liners is smooth fabric, perfect for lighting and projection, says Dennis Birdsall, Premier Party Rentals Inc., Stuart, Fla.

Steve Frost, of Stamford Tent & Event Services in Stamford, Conn., agrees that smooth white fabric is a must-have for today’s tented events. “Taut liners that follow the lines of the tent are popular, with all-white being the most requested, followed by cream,” Frost says.

Due to their cost, liners are generally an accessory for only the richest of clients—and they tend to be the first item to be cut when a budget is strained. Because liners are so expensive, Frost recommends pricing them appropriately. “Try to get your full purchase price in the first rental,” he says. “I have a shelf full of liners that have only been used once.”

To get additional use out of liners, it’s important to take care of the delicate fabric. “Liners are expensive and can easily get destroyed during the first use,” Birdsall says. The fabric can melt or burn from closely placed lighting, he says, or it can be damaged from holes or rips incurred during setup. “It is in your best interest to explain to each company involved on a project about protecting the liner,” Birdsall says. “Make sure you inspect the liner before taking it down to address any problems from other vendors. Take care of it on the job site and back at the shop: You can easily damage it during tear-down or from washing it. The best solution is educating your staff on how to properly work with liners.”

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