Sound is a very important consideration for theatrical performances, concerts and other events. While some events will need to have loud sound, others will need sound dampening. For those who need the very utmost in sound absorbency, there is no substitute for professional acoustic material installed by a specialist. If you need lighter sound dampening, draperies can be valuable tools. Of course, you’ll need to know a bit more about what to look for so you can specify exactly what you need.
One of the most important considerations when using a drapery for sound absorption is the weight of the material. Heavier materials will deaden sound better. For instance, a light muslin curtain will absorb almost no sound at all, but a curtain made from heavy velour or satin will dampen it considerably.
Fullness is another important consideration for sound absorption. A piece of fabric with 0% fullness will not absorb that much sound. One with 100% fullness will absorb much more. This is because there is more material to deaden and absorb sound waves. It makes sense if you think about it – a 20-foot drapery with 100% fullness actually has 40 feet of material, whereas the same size piece of material with 0% fullness will only be 20 feet.
Nap thickness is another important consideration for sound absorption. The thicker the nap, the more sound can be dampened. However, a fabric with no nap at all (sheer) will not offer much in the way of sound deadening.
You’ll find that hanging material to absorb sound requires you to consider appearance as well as performance. Obviously, you won’t want to hang ugly draperies, because while it might help to dampen sound, it will ruin the aesthetics of your room. Stage curtains can be of immense use here, because in addition to providing theatrical quality sound dampening, they also provide a beautiful theatrical appearance.
Professional Acoustic Materials
Of course, you always have the option of using professional acoustic materials to dampen sound. You’ll find these types of materials employed in recording studios around the world, as well as in TV/movie production facilities and in educational institutions where complete sound dampening is required. However, you should be aware that these options carry a hefty price tag with them, and they really need professional installation to achieve the best results. In addition, they are not usually aesthetically pleasing, so you would likely need to install something over the dampening materials to change the appearance.
Custom Theatrical Draperies
Perhaps the best option for those who need sound absorption in concert with a pleasing appearance is a custom theatrical drapery. These can be manufactured to provide excellent aesthetics, as well as sound dampening properties, and they can also be constructed from almost any material (or combination of materials) that you might want for appearance. Make sure that you specify the material type, weight, fullness and other considerations when ordering to ensure you get the right draperies, though.