Cotton muslin backdrops are a very popular option for many studio photographers and videographers. They are so easy to transport, store, and clean. One thing we all have a problem with are those pesky wrinkles. Now, you may want to keep the wrinkles in your background for texture or effect, but not the harsh lines that are caused by folding and storage. So, the question is how do we get rid of them without harming your beautiful backdrop? Read on to find out a few tips and tricks.
Hang it up
If you have a large space or studio, hang up your backdrop right away and let gravity do the work for you! Let it hang at least a few days before your next shoot to get the major wrinkles out. This is the ideal way to store and keep your backdrops clean, but we all do not have our own studio space to keep a 10 foot plus background so keep reading for more options.
Use a hand-held steamer
This tool will quickly become your best friend if you use it right. They are great for quick fixes during or right before a shoot. Allow more time if you are intending the entire muslin to be completely wrinkly free as this will take longer to perfect. Also, do not rub the steamer directly on to the fabric as this may cause color transfer. A steamer can be picked up at common household stores such as Target, Home Depot, etc. Filtered water is recommended to avoid any possible color changes.
Wash and Dry
If needed, wash your muslin using cold water and a mild fabric softener. Dry only half way and hang to dry for the rest on your background support system. Over drying may cause 10% shrinkage or more since muslin is 100% cotton.
Use a spray bottle
Spray the muslin with filtered water to loosen the wrinkles by hand and let dry before the shoot.
Although this may seem like the obvious choice, an iron may have residue and cause shiny marks on your fabric from the heat. Once applied, these shiny spots will not come out and will ruin your muslin.
- Leave hanging between shoots if possible to keep the backdrop clean and wrinkle free
- Instead of folding, roll the backdrop to reduce the amount of hard creases for more compact storage
- Use the backdrop support cross bar to roll the muslin around just like a roll of paper would be stored. Cover the muslin with some kind of plastic to ensure dust, water, and anything else do not stain it while stored. If you need to use the support cross bar in the mean time, go to a local hardware store and purchase or ask if they have any cardboard tubes of your muslin size to use to roll it up on.
Happy Shooting! Want more tips and tricks? Click here to Subscribe!