The right backdrop fabric makes all the difference in the quality of your product photography. The most important quality to look for is color. Many fabrics will look the same at first glance, but once you put them up next to a product, the color differences can be obvious.
The appearance of the fabric itself is also important. Look for fabrics that are wrinkle-resistant and have a smooth surface. You’ll want to focus on the products, not any blemishes in the fabric.
Choosing the right backdrop fabric for photography can be a game changer. Using the appropriate material can make your job much easier, and make your photos look better.
There are two main categories of backdrops that you’ll find at most stores: paper and fabric.
Paper backdrops are extremely popular because they’re inexpensive, they come in a ton of different colors, and they’re easy to dispose of. They typically have an inner core and an outer sheet, with a thin backing in between to keep them from sticking together.
Unfortunately, paper backdrops have some serious limitations. When you set up a paper backdrop, you have to tape it down on all sides or it will shift around when you touch it. The thin backing also makes it necessary to iron out any creases before each shoot (which can put unwanted wrinkles in), or else risk having distracting lines on your final photo.
In addition, because the outer sheet is only about 1/16″ thick, it doesn’t take long for them to wear out from repeated use. This can ruin photos taken with a flash, because the light will shine through any small holes and create splotchy spots on your subject!
One of the most common fabrics used in photography, muslin is incredibly versatile. When you think of the classic plain white studio background it’s very likely that it was a muslin fabric. Muslin is woven cotton, making it strong but also soft and non-reflective so that it doesn’t give off any glare when shooting with flash or reflective light.
Muslin backgrounds are available in a wide range of colors and sizes with seamless options in widths ranging from 3 to 20 ft and lengths from 10 to 30 ft!
Cotton Duck Fabric
A step up from basic cotton muslin is cotton duck fabric. This type of fabric has a tighter weave and often includes more thread per square inch than traditional muslins as well as being slightly heavier in weight.
This type of muslin typically costs more than standard cotton or canvas materials but will likely last longer and provide better images during sessions.