Opera Netting Alternatives

MHdesign

Member
I'm currently working on designs for the midwest high school premiere of The Little Mermaid. I've designed an underwater drop that works in conjunction with an upstage cyc and downstage portal. It has a center stage opening for actor entrances as well as large cut openings on both sides. My original plan was to use opera netting to fill in the holes, but the price per yard is killing me! Our scenic budget is massive by most high school standards, but I'd be looking at $700 just in opera netting, not including the muslin in the drop. My drop is 25' x 50'.

Does anyone have ideas for alternatives to opera netting? I've seen scrim scraps used before in small applications, but I am not thrilled with that look.

Thanks!
Matt
 

derekleffew

Resident Curmudgeon
Senior Team
Premium Member
So you're building a cut and net drop? I don't think I've ever used the official "opera netting," just the black plastic "landscape netting" aka "anti-bird netting" (30+ years ago). Might have issues with today's more stringent fire standards however.
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usetedaj

Member
I'm using Rosebrand's 13'-3" scenery netting to support some velour cut drops, and I'm curious if anyone knows whether it matters which way it's oriented. Check out the website here: http://www.rosebrand.com/product788/133-Scenery-Netting-IFR.aspx?tid=2&info=netting.

As it comes of the roll, it's 13'-3" wide. Parallel to the edges of the fabric, the netting is made of relatively robust strands. Across the 13'-3" dimension, it's only a few threads thick. My gut says that it would be better to run the thicker stuff vertically (to resist gravity), but I get way more out of the expensive material if I run it the other way. Does anyone have experience using this particular netting, and know whether it has any long-term consequences to use it with the thin strands running vertically? We're planning to keep these drops in stock for a long time, but I'm already up against the budget line and can't afford any more netting.
 

DRU

Active Member
I have made a cut drop a few years ago using this stuff. I don't remember if we changed the orientation or not. Ours was a small muslin drop, though.

I would call Rosebrand directly tomorrow and ask if orientation matters to strength. That would give you a definitive yes or no answer from the source.
 

usetedaj

Member
The more I felt the material, the more I'm convinced I need to rework my plans a bit and run it all vertically. I've called Rosebrand a lot through the process of ordering all my material, so I'm trying not to overstay my welcome on the phone. But I agree it's the right way to find out. The tough part is that I think I'm going to have to carefully sew some netting together to span some openings where I can't avoid a seam.
 

usetedaj

Member
I've proceeded with running the stronger lines vertically. And it's doing a nice job on the pieces we've already finished. The folks at Rosebrand said that in most cases, they usually have to tie the panels of netting together, and that small zip ties tend to work well. I'll probably try using black thread or black braided fishing line so it will be a little more discreet where the seams are in an opening.
 

DRU

Active Member
Upcoming production has a (4) cut drops designed to look like jungle foliage. Two legs 15'x23' and two borders 41'x20'. Couple questions for the hive mind:

1. What is the best way to attach the netting to the cut drop? Both my painter and I have done cut drops before, but differently. Painter stretched netting over the whole back of the drop and Elmer's glued the netting around the cut outs and around the perimeter of the drop, which put a bunch of netting behind the drop that is never seen. I have hot glued netting around cut sections of the drop, but not on the back of the whole drop, only the cut sections where needed. I ask because the cost of the scenic netting from Rosebrand put me over budget really quickly. I do plan to keep this for future use.

2. Besides the scenic netting from Rosebrand, is there a better/cheaper material to use? I've searched Amazon for netting and find pieces of netting used to keep animals out of gardens at a fair price for a 50'x50' piece, 1/2" openings, but diamond shaped, not square. Again, budget concerns.
 

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