chapter  12
30 Pages

Constructing Flats

The most common softcovered flat is a rectangular structure covered with fabric. The covering is usually muslin, an all-cotton fabric that can be purchased in quite large sizes from theatrical suppliers. (See the chapter on shop supplies.) The name “muslin” is quite an odd one that is difficult for many people to hear properly. It is helpful to remember that muslin is a fabric, whereas a Muslim is a devotee of Islam. Do not use muslin from a retail fabric store that may have synthetic fibers in it. This type will not shrink properly during the sizing process. Softcovered flats may be covered with scenic canvas instead when extreme durability is required. Sometimes duvetyn, velour, or some other type of specialty fabric may be used. Black duvetyn or velour can be used to make excellent masking flats. Even so, heavyweight muslin is the standard type of covering for a painted flat. Scenic muslin is usually made in Asia and can be purchased from one of many different supply houses.