Trying to make a long veil to hang as a backdrop outside

Hey folks, new here so I hope I’m in the right place (or in a place where people would know where to point me!).

I live in the Colorado front range, and I’m planning to propose to my girlfriend this summer. I’m hoping to make the proposal at the base of a rock called “The Maiden” and I want friends to drop a long piece of fabric (like a veil) from the summit during the proposal. The veil would hang down from the summit where the thin white rectangle is in this photo. My partner and I would be where the purple circle is.

I bought 100ft of tulle on Amazon, but after some testing, it doesn’t really work as an elegant “flowy” backdrop. Silk is a little pricey ($40/ft at the local fabric store) but may be my best bet? Also, it can get a little breezy up there, so the fabric lady said to consider sewing fishing lead into the bottom but I’m not sure if this is doable.

Looking for advice here, or pointers on whom I should talk to. Any/all advice appreciated!



You could try a polyester version of the silk fabric you were looking at to save quite a bit. For your purposes the differences between it and silk shouldn’t matter. Even a smooth lining fabric in poly could work and be even less than a silk satin or whatever you were looking at.

It’s totally doable to sew fishing led or some other form of weight into a simple hem on one end of the fabric. People often use ball chain to weight curtains, but to keep the flowy look.


This does work well as a silk replacement. We used polyester for our flags in color guard. You can get very silky looking polyester.


You could also use the tulle with the polyester fabric, give it a little more dimension and fun.


Thanks to each of you for the replies! I found bulk white polyester at about $5/yd (which is vastly cheaper than silk!), so I’m thinking I’ll buy a few yards and see how it feels. I’m struggling to think of ways to test the “unfurling” and “flow” of a large piece of fabric dropped from a height without buying a large piece of fabric and trying it (which is of course an expensive test if it fails).

But that’s the plan: buy a few yards of polyester, see if it seems to have the properties I want, then just take the plunge and get 30-40 yards and try it out! Unfortunately a lot of this depends on wind, which is obviously out of my control, and knowing whether I need to use lead or ball chain to weight it down really depends on the wind.

Finally, I have rock climber friends who need to haul the veil to the top in order to drop it, and so weight is a consideration.

Thanks again to all who responded! <3

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Good luck! And we’d love to see any pics of the “final project” if you get them!

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Well, some updates. I bought some white polyester fabric from Amazon (well, from reseller on Amazon) and it arrived. 5 yds weighs something like 4lbs (it’s quite thick!), so 30 yds would weigh 25lbs or so and would be pretty difficult to haul up there (in addition too all the other gear you need while climbing).

So I ordered something called Polyester Chiffon from a fabric wholesale place and it just arrived. It’s much thinner (partly see through) and lighter, with still some “flowiness” to it, so I’m hoping this will work. The edges are unhemmed and there are random threads hanging off everywhere, but I’m not sure this is a big deal. I don’t have a sewing machine and I don’t know how to use a sewing machine and I doubt most sewing machines are built for sewing a hem that’s 80 ft long?!

Am I doing this right? Is there another type of polyester I should be looking at? Do I need to hem the edge?

Thanks all!!

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The sides don’t need hemming, that’s called the selvage & it doesn’t unravel. The shorter cut ends can be very quickly & carefully flashed with a lighter to ever so slightly melt the edge & prevent any unraveling. Do NOT light it on fire, for the love of Maude. Just barely show it to the flame.


Or you can use something called Fray Check. It’s a clear glue that keeps edges from fraying, and is safer than setting anything on fire. :kissing_heart: It’s about $5, and can be found at Joann’s.


I have used a soldering iron or wood burning tool to cut manmade fibers to keep them from unraveling, if you have such things you could finish then ends that way as well.

As mentioned, there’s no need to sew the long edges, but rest assured that a home sewing machine could sew 80’ so long as there was somewhere for the fabric to land! Even a not-large quilt probably has more than 80’ of stitching in it. :smiley: