Star cloth by Starscape
A fibre optic star cloth or star curtain is most commonly used as a stage backdrop in theatres, clubs, cruise ships and DJ consoles. Our fibre optic star cloths are made from theatre grade black wool Serge with a removable cotton casement lining. Up to 40 superior quality 1.0mm optical fibres are arranged in the star cloth in a random manor and secured to the rear with our own clutch system.
Starscape Star Cloth at the Black Swan Theatre.
We've supplied star cloths to some of the UK's most prestigious theatres, but also to local amateur dramatic/opera societies and at both ends of the market we aim to offer a friendly, professional service.
Irish book awarads star cloth.
Why use fibre optic-based star cloths, rather than cloths using individual LED "stars" or pea lights?
Well, with fibre optics and modern LED-based light sources you get the best of both worlds. Using fibre optics rather than hundreds of individual LED stars you greatly reduce the number of electrical components. So, there's just one electrical component rather than hundreds. There's only one failure point.
Illusions road show.
With an individual LED its characteristics are set at the moment of manufacture so your LED star cloth's capabilities are fixed. The red LEDs will always be red, and the blue LEDs always blue, and so on. By contrast, in a fibre optic star cloth you have the option of changing a single component and completely transforming the properties of the cloth.
LEDs have evolved considerably over the past few years and will doubtless continue to do so, so the LED light sources of the future will be brighter, more reliable, more economical to operate and offer more features than today's models. Since the light source represents perhaps just 15% of the value of the star cloth there's the option of replacing the light source at a future date and adding to the functionality of the cloth at very modest cost.
Or, if you have a collection of cloths of different shapes and sizes you can mix and match your light sources. If you have half a dozen star cloths but don't expect to ever use them all at the same time, you'd not actually need 6 light sources. You'd simply decide which of your light sources was the best fit for a particular cloth in a particular production. So, if you only need a basic white twinkle in one cloth, then just illuminate it with a simple, inexpensive light source, but if another cloth needs to show more dramatic effects then light it up with a fully-featured DMX light source. Changing from one light source to another is the work of seconds.
The Little Angel Theatre Islington ordered this 4 metre wide x 2.5 metre drop Blue Wool Serge Star Cloth with 30 stars per square metre for their Christmas production of “Me”
The stars were placed in the top half of the cloth only.
Two separate circuits with two independent MiniLED750DMX light sources powered the fibres.
Three fibre diameters: 0.75, 1.00 and 1.50 where used to give a three dimentional effect.
Photo courtesy of Ellie Kurttz.
We have a standard specification for our professional fibre optic star cloths, but many of the parameters can be changed to suit a customer's specific needs or preferences.
Cloth face: Black in Heavy Wool Serge (800gms per square metre) The Serge is fire rated at DFR - Durably Fire Resistant. The cloth retains its fire resistance after washing - not that it's practicable to wash a star cloth.
Lining: Detachable lightweight cotton casement which has a continuous Velcro fastening around the edge of the cloth. The casement is fire rated as NDFR - Non-Durable Fire Resistant. The lining will have to be re-proofed after washing.
Fibre: 1.00mm diameter Polymer Optical Fibre. The fibre has excellent light carrying qualities and flexibility.
Connection to light source: The hundreds of fibres converge at the edge of the cloth to form a "tail" linking it to the light source. This is normally around 60cm long, but longer tails are available if required.
Light source: Please consult the light source page for options. All our sources are economical LED-based machines and most can be controlled via DMX.
Star pattern: Most of our star cloths are made with a uniform distribution of stars - a pattern designed to simply add glamour and glitz to an event. However, from time to time we're asked to arrange the fibre optic "stars" in a more naturalistic pattern, to actually look more like the night sky (See the photo of the Black Swan Theatre production above).
Multi circuit: We can manufacture multi-circuit cloths with the fibres from each circuit evenly distributed. Some of our cruise ship consumers specify 40 star points per square metres over 3 circuits. This allows you to show different colours and effects simultaneously.
Mounting: Most of our cloths are supplied with webbing ties at the top, however, other systems are available:
Golf bag hooks
This is an interesting short video of the fibres that power a star cloth.
Email: email@example.com or call Peter, John or David on 01289 332900 for an informal chat and a price indication. A formal quotation will usually be turned around in a couple of hours.
Lead times can vary depending on time of year and workshop scheduling. The run–up to Christmas is usually busy with Pantomime cloths taking centre stage!! However, we would hope to turn most Star Cloths around in 2 weeks.