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How to Install Pipe and Drape: 10 Easy Steps

Posted by LO on 10/15/2018 to Pipe and Drape
church curtain

Pipe and drape can be used for so many things, from church curtains to theater drapes to wedding drapes and even changing rooms. Before you can start reaping the benefits of the versatility of pipe and drape, you first have to know how to put everything together.

1. Lay out the horizontals:
Start by laying out the drape support rods (horizontal crossbars). The most common length is a 6-to-10-foot adjustable horizontal, but there are many sizes available based on the needs of the space that you’ll be covering and/or the weight of the fabric you're going to hang. Once you have them laid out, ensuring that they’ll properly cover the area, take a look at where the hook ends of each crossbar are – this is where you’ll be placing your base plates and upright pipes. More on that step below.

2. Prep your bases and pins:
Next, select a base pin placement hole in the base that you’ll use for your Slip-Fit base pin. The center hole is always best for maximum stability, but you can place pins in any of the available holes that makes the most sense for that upright’s placement. If you end up using a non-center hole, and especially if you are going to be using heavy drapery, consider adding a Rubber Base Weight for additional weight to the base.

3. Base layout:
Using the horizontal crossbar layout from Step 1, place a base plate at each hook end of the horizontal, where the base pin lines up with the hook.

4. Slip on the uprights:
Now, slip the adjustable or fixed height upright over the base pin. If your upright is adjustable, and you do not have a ladder to use when hooking your horizontals into the top of each upright (see Step 6), keep it at its lowest position for safer setup. If you do have some ladders to use for Step 6, you can raise each adjustable upright to the final height now.

5. Sleeve on the drapes:
It's time for the drape! Locate a rod pocket on each drape panel and sleeve the drape on to the horizontal crossbar pipe. Be sure to use the appropriate number of drapes per horizontal, based on your preference for gathering / fullness in the fabric.

6. Hook on the horizontals:
Next, hook each end of the drape horizontal into a slot that is located at the top of the vertical upright pipe.

7. Quick-check that everything is on track:
Once all the horizontals are hooked into the uprights, and before adding any finishing touches, take a step back and make sure your pipe and drape run is going as planned.

8. Adjust your fullness:
As long as everything is looking great at this point, go on to adjust the drape fullness by positioning and gathering the drape pipe panels across the horizontal span.

9. If adjustable height, raise it up:
If your upright pipes are adjustable / telescoping in height, and you have not already done so, now is the time to raise them up. For best results, have one person on each upright and raise both pipes in even increments. For example, if your Uprights are adjustable from 6 feet to 10 feet tall, you wouldn’t want to raise one side to 10 feet, while the other side is still sitting at 6 feet. If you are setting it up your adjustable height pipe and drape system by yourself, raise each upright in small increments, such as 1 foot at a time.

10. Add the finishing touches:
Take a step back and see if there are any final adjustments to the gathering of your drapes that need to be made. And, if you're using any accessories, such as swags, signage, and floral décor, go ahead and add them now.


As stated previously, you can use pipe and drape for all sorts of events, like church curtains for a service, photography backdrops, stage & theatrical performances, masking construction, and so much more. So whether you need church curtains or conference backdrops, follow these easy steps for perfect pipe and drape installation every time.


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