Muslin is a type of fabric made of cotton that is perfect to be used as backdrops. Muslin backdrops can be used in theater plays, movie production, as well as studio photography. In fact, most theater backdrops are made of muslin. The fabric is normally painted with various colors and patterns before used as backdrops. Although it tends to shrink after it is colored, the solid material holds dyes really well and it does not wrinkle easily. It is also cheaper than vinyl or canvas. Several backdrops with different colors and patterns are commonly used in a theatre production, as different scenes require different moods and settings. For instance, a gloomy scene requires a dark backdrop and a happy scene requires a colorful and festive one. On the other hand, in movie production, muslin is usually used as greenscreen or bluescreen to create visual effects. Surprisingly, the fabric can also be used to make good dresses and it plays an important role in the fashion industry as many designers have used it to make their best clothes. The fabric is perfect for hot, dry climates because it is very light and airy.
Generally, muslin backdrops do not last long and lifespan depends on how and where they are used. However, they are very easy to maintain. Not all of them can be washed and those that can be washed are usually the ones that are dyed and come with solid background. Wash the backdrops regularly but not too frequently otherwise you will damage them. Some of them are the machine washable, and to clean them, you must choose a mild detergent and set your washing machine to delicate or gentle cycle. If the ones you have are not machine washable, use a soft scrub brush to clean them. If there are particular spots that might be dirtier than the rest of the backdrop, apply lukewarm water mixed with mild detergent to clean those spots. Never use harsh detergent as it can damage the fabric. Since most cotton fabrics tend to wrinkle easily, do not dry the muslin backdrops using a dryer. Instead, hang them on a line as this will allow the wrinkles to fall out. Once they are dry, do not roll or fold the backdrop otherwise it will wrinkle even more.
As mentioned earlier, muslin can also be used for photography backdrops. Although it is more expensive than paper, muslin is also light weight and even more durable. Photography backdrops are a very essential component of photography as they can turn ordinary snapshots into amazing photographs. Thus, they should have features that will make the photographs stand out. Backdrops should also provide a solid background to a photograph, yet at the same time give color, dimension and unique elements to the picture. As a matter of fact, muslin photography backdrops have more dimensions than backdrops made of other materials such as paper, especially the ones that come with marbled colors. The backdrops are therefore very common to be found in any photo studio and they serve various purposes. Photo studios normally have several muslin backdrops of various colors and patterns, and you can choose the background that suits your style and need. Photographers will normally help people in choosing the appropriate background that goes with their clothes or their purpose. For instance, if you wear dark clothes, the background should have bright or soft colors. Passport photographs, on the other hand, should have neutral solid color such as white or off-white. Although muslin backdrops might have small wrinkles here and there, they will be digitally removed so that they will not appear in your photographs.