Different Types of Fabric Trade Show Displays

When choosing your Fabric Trade Show Backwalls, the options could see slightly daunting.  We’re here to help you with your choices.  What are your options for Fabric Trade Show Displays?  Pillowcase and Tension Fabric are the two main options for fabric.  Yes, the fabric is a bit different for both, and so is the frame beneath.

Fabric Trade Show Displays

Pillowcase Fabric Displays

To sum this up easily, the pillowcase display systems work is like a taught, stretchy pillowcase which is pulled over an aluminum frame.  The frame snaps together like a camping tent, with either an interior bungee holding individual poles together or a simple button lock mechanism.

A Pillowcase trade Show Frame

Sides and corners for your pillowcase frame

Once the frame is assembled, the pillowcase fabric can be pulled over top of the frame (either by lying the whole thing face-up on a clean surface, or standing up if you have three or more people, depending on the size of the particular stand).  These are usually pretty tight, especially at the bottom where you’ll have to pull a zipper to seal the bottom edge.  This is what the graphic is made for, and should stand, wrinkle free once in place.

The zipper will be snug

Now, with all of this in mind, pillowcase fabric trade show displays have a solid fabric back.  This mean it can be a double-sided graphic, and that the extra fabric will help to somewhat diffuse any bright lights behind your display.  Of course, this is dependent on the lights in question, but generally this is more diffused than a single-sided Tension fabric display.

A straight pillowcase fabric display

Curved Pillowcase displays can be freestanding, but you'll see in the pictures above that a straight display will include feet for a secure base.

Tension Fabric Displays

Straight Tension Fabric Display with Endcaps

In contrast to the Pillowcase system, Tension Fabric Trade Show Displays attach to the front of your frame.  Instead of wrapping around your frame, they have Velcro stitched onto the back of your graphic.  The frame itself is greatly different from the pillowcase designs, remaining as a single piece which is design to expand to the full 8’ or 10’ display from a compact accordion-style system.

Lie your frame down, so you can attach your fabric graphic.

To assemble, two people can expand the frame from the corners, making sure it is face up.  Then, starting at one side, attach one edge of the fabric graphic, pulling tight to ensure it reaches both sides of the frame.

Like the pillowcase displays, this should be fairly tight, it’s what the fabric is made for.  Attach the graphic by working both sides down the frame, reducing wrinkles by keeping the fabric taught as you go.

Now, to be honest, you can keep the fabric graphic attached to this style of frame.  It makes set up simpler, but please note that this method can cause visible folds, wrinkles, or creases which will need time (an a ironing) to remove.

A tension fabric display, from the back.

Unlike the pillowcase, there is no zipper, but neither is there a fabric back to reduce or diffuse the light which may be behind your trade show space.  Keep in mind this can affect different designs in different ways, as a graphic with a lot of white space or soft colours may shine brighter than dark or heavy saturated colours.

Straight, Curved, Serpentine

Both these options are available with either straight or curved frames.  The pillowcase displays have a third option called “serpentine”, which gives your display a curved wave.  They are also available in either horizontally or vertically curved options.

The tension fabrics, in comparison, can only curve horizontally, but all the tension frames have the option for a fabric endcap.  Tension fabric displays tend to have a greater amount of unique sizes, ranging from 2 ½’ to 12’ wide displays.

For more info on trade show display options, please call, or check out our post what-are-my-options-for-trade-show-displays.