Movement Types

Traveller Drape

Also referred to as a Greek Opening Traveller, drapes move horizontally, typically by parting from the centre of the stage to stack in the offstage wings on a manual, corded or motorised track system. This is the most common movement type for front of house drapes, but can be used in varying upstage positions to alter the depth of the stage and allow for scene changes to happen during a performance.

Austrian Drape

An Austrian curtain is made up of multiple, evenly sized columns of swags and can either be static or raise and lower using a Festoon system. The swags are achieved by adding both horizontal and vertical fullness, which creates a unique and striking look. As the curtain rises, the swags naturally collect into a compact footprint making them an ideal solution in spaces with minimal or no flying height.

Tableau Drape

Tableau Drape is also known as Wagner, German or Butterfly.
A Tableau opening is created when the drape is pulled back into a swag by a lifting line which is threaded through D rings sewn from the lower onstage edge to the upper offstage edge. J&C Joel is able to plot the route of the D-rings to create a specific sized opening. This type of opening can be created using rope and pulleys or a mechanical system. It can also be combined with Traveller or Guillotine movements for venues requiring a more flexible opening system.


A Venetian curtain is created using traditional vertical pleats with the addition of multiple lift lines along the back that allow the base of the drape to be raised upwards. The header remains static as the lines cause the fabric to stack at the top of the drape. Each line can be operated in unison or individually, allowing the drape to be raised in different shape configurations. With a show control, the lift lines can be made to make the drape ‘dance’.


A Kabuki drape is typically made from a lightweight silk or similar material and is designed to create a dramatic reveal. The drape is suspended from a mechanism that allows the full header to be released, dropping to the drape to the ground. The kabuki mechanism can be a rotating bar with hooks that, when rotated releases the drape, or a series of magnetic clamps or solenoids, which are simultaneously fired to release the drape.

By adding a short piece of fabric or ‘bag’ sewn to the rear of the header, the kabuki effect can begin with the drape hidden from sight before being dropped in to view. At this point, the full header can be dropped; this is often known as a ‘double drop’.


Swags are used to add decoration to any space and can work at the header of a curtain or on their own. The look can be further enhanced with the addition of Tails, which sit either side of a swag or series of swags. There are three main types of swags, Scallop, Point to Point and Austrian, each with their own unique look:

Scallop Swag – a standard scallop has concentric arcs of pleats radiating from the central point at the top of the swag to its base.

Point to Point Swag – the pleats in a point-to-point swag fan out from each corner and meet in the centre at the bottom of the drape.

Austrian Swag – the pleats in an Austrian swag run vertically down the drapes, parallel to each other, in the style of an Austrian curtain.


Most often used with a cyclorama cloth, digitally printed or painted backdrops on stages without a fly tower. A wide diameter bottom bar is rotated by steel cables or bands, away from the face of the fabric. This action winds the base of the fabric onto the roller, at the same time raising the bar and the visible surface of the drape upwards and out of sight.