Are tension stands the same as fabric tube stands, EZ Tube displays, or stretch stands? What about tension pop ups? And tension displays?
There are a plethora of different names and variations for displays using a stretch or elastic fabric, including fabric tube stands, EZ Tube displays, and stretch stands. While we call it a tension fabric stand, all of these terms are typically interchangeable. In the end, you’re getting a display stand featuring stretch fabric that is extremely portable and most often used for presentations, conferences and events of a similar temporary nature. The sign name that most often indicates a different type of sign is a pop up display. Pop up displays, as offered and called on our website, do not come with a pole frame but are an actual sign that literally pops up and uses a stretch fabric with Velcro to adhere to the display unit that collapses for safe travel. These are commonly used as backdrops and are significantly bigger and more expensive than our fabric tension stands as outlined on this page. Lastly, tension displays are similar to our tension fabric stands in both frame assembly and stretch fabric, but similar to pop up displays are much wider and more commonly used as backdrops at events and tradeshows. Due to the much bigger size of these displays they are more expensive than the smaller tension stands detailed on this page. So while the alphabet soup of terms may be confusing, we offer a wide variety of event and tradeshow signage and are happy to both answer your questions and help design your sign or display for free!
Do your tension stands have the ability to stretch?
The fabric used is an elastic polyester which has the ability to stretch over the frame of the tension stand. This fabric differs from our regular fabric and vinyl banners, which use non-elastic polyester and vinyl respectively.
What material is the display made of? Are there any other materials available for tension fabric displays?
The display is made from an 8.8 oz. elastic polyester, giving the material a stretchable quality while maintaining exceptional durability and image quality.
What are the differences between the tension stand and your tension fabric display?
The tension stand and tension fabric display both use the elastic fabric material in their displays; the material is fitted over a lightweight aluminum frame for the completed display. One of the significant differences is the size disparity between these two products. The tension stand measures at 36”x90” or 48”x90”, whereas the tension fabric display comes in 8’x8’ and 10’x10’ variations. Another difference is the stands used in stabilizing the display. The tension stand uses a single metal base that in contrast to the tension fabric display using two metal feet to support it. The final difference is cost. The bigger tension display, primarily used as a backdrop, costs much more than the smaller fabric tension stand that is part of a tradeshow booth or event set up.
How do I ensure that my letters or design will not be cut off when printed onto the tension fabric?
When designing your display, we recommend placing all text and images within an area of 31”x84” (for the 36”x90” tension stand) or 43.5”x84” (for the 48”x90” tension stand).If you upload your own design file for printing, please upload files that are 38”x91” (36”x90”) and 50.5”x91” (48”x90”) respectively. This will account for the bleed required to print your tension stand. Files at this size and following the safe zone recommendations above will results in a properly printed tension stand!
What are the differences in the materials that you offer for your various displays? Tension fabric versus polyester fabric display and a muslin fabric display? What about canvas, vinyl, and mesh displays?
Tension fabric is a high quality, elastic polyester that is designed to stretch in order to be pulled taut against a display frame. This elastic quality is not offered in standard polyester fabric. Regardless, both standard and elastic polyester are extremely durable and lightweight, making them perfect for display use. Both are printed on using dye sublimation, which infuses the ink directly into the material. This results in a permanent design that is scratch and fade resistant. Tension fabric is used within our tension stand, tension fabric displays, and pop-up displays. Standard polyester can be found in our fabric banners and flag banners.Muslin fabrics are typically made from a natural cotton-based thread, which is similar to lightweight cotton cloth. Designs are either screen printed or stitched into the material. Muslin displays are usually for indoor decorative purposes only. We do not offer any products made from muslin.Canvas prints and displays are crafted from a thick linen or cotton blend. Canvas is thicker and more durable than muslin, but does not outclass the durability of polyester. Canvas is used for painting, printing photographs, or decorative displays. We offer canvas photo prints as part of our Signs For Home product line, which is tailored for home decor purposes.Vinyl is the thickest material, offering incredible durability without compromising versatility and lightweight properties. Our vinyl banners are crafted from a 13 oz. vinyl and are printed on using high quality, vibrant UV ink. Vinyl is sunlight, weather, and water resistant, meaning it can be displayed outdoors without worry of it being damaged.
Can the tension stand be used as a photography backdrop?
Technically, the tension stand can be used as a backdrop, but the size of the display will not create a complete background for a photo. We do not recommend using this as a photo backdrop. However, our tension fabric displays, step and repeat banners, and pop up displays make satisfactory photo backdrops if you’re looking for an alternative to a traditional and true photo backdrop.
How thick are your tension stand displays? Do you offer any other thickness options?
The tension fabric material is 8.8 oz. polyester (about the thickness of 5 sheets of copy paper), which is the ideal thickness for a durable, elastic display. We’ve found that this thickness of fabric is the best for this product and therefore do not offer any other thickness options.
How heavy is the stand or base of the display? Is it easily carried?
The metal base weighs in at 14 lbs and has a handle cut out on one end for ease of carrying. This handle can be seen in the pictures in the photo gallery above.
Does overuse of the fabric display result in the fabric losing its stretchability?
Frequent use of the fabric display should not cause the fabric to lose its elasticity throughout the lifetime of the product (3+ years) with proper care and storage.
What are the minimum and maximum dimensions of your tension stands?
There are no minimum and maximum dimension with our tension stand but rather two set sizes that we currently offer. We currently offer 36”x90” or 48”x90” tension stands. With bleed these are listed on the site as 38”x91” (36”x90”) and 50.5”x91” (48”x90”) respectively.
Is the frame adjustable in size?
The tension stand frame is not adjustable. Nor will a larger graphic fit the smaller frame or vice versa.
Can the frame be adjusted to create a curved display? Do you offer curved tension stands?
The frame is not adjustable to create a curved display. We do not currently offer curved tension stands.
Do you print double-sided tension stands? How do I do this?
Yes, we offer double-sided printing as an option for our tension stands. To order a double-sided tension stand, select the double-sided option (under “Printed Sides”) located in our design tool, then choose if you want the same design for the front and back or if you want to a different design on the back side. You can design the back side of your tension stand by selecting the ‘back side’ button under the design area of our design tool.
Does the fabric display allow light to pass through it? Does it offer a degree of transparency?
The display is not designed to be transparent. Though the fabric does stretch, it allows little to no light through the material of the display. In other words, it is not considered a ‘bleed through’ print regardless of whether it is single or double-sided. There may be cases where faint light is visible on lighter colored designs or when bright lights are displayed directly behind the display.
How does the display attach to the frame?
Quickly and easily attach the display to the frame by pulling it over the top of the frame. The pillowcase-like design allows for ease in pulling it over the frame. The elastic material will fit snug against the frame once the display is fully pulled over it. Use the zipper at the bottom to ensure the display does not slacken or slide off of the frame.
What material is the frame made out of?
The frame is constructed from a lightweight and durable aluminum, which gives the display a rigid frame while offering unmatched portability. The connecting points on the bottom horizontal pole are plastic. The base of the stand is made out of heavy duty aluminum.
Do the aluminum poles have bungee cords inside of them?
No, the aluminum poles do not have bungee cords within them.
If the zipper breaks, is the fabric display portion unusable?
Though it is not necessary to zip the fabric to the frame, it is recommended that you display the tension stand when the zipper is functioning to ensure the display does not slowly slip from the frame. The zipper helps the display remain taut and does so with the greatest aesthetic value. That being said, the stretchable fabric will usually keep your display taut even if the zipper is unzipped or broken.
Will the display sag or bunch up when displayed on the frame?
The display should not sag or bunch up when properly displayed on the frame with the zipper closed. Tension provided by the frame as well as the elastic material of the display will ensure the display is smooth and wrinkle free when fully assembled.
Will my display have seams? Are the edges of the display fabric hemmed?
There are no visible seams or hems on the display portion of the tension stand. There is stitching down the sides of the display that is unnoticeable when displayed. The zipper at the bottom of the display is also not visible when showcasing the tension stand. Both of these aspects of your tension stand can be seen in the photo gallery on this page.
Does my tension stand come with a carrying case?
Yes, a canvas carrying case comes with the purchase of your tension stand. The canvas case has two inner Velcro straps to keep the poles from sliding around. It also has two handles for easy travel.
What kind of printing process do you use for your tension stands?
Your design will be printed using a dye sublimation process, which is designed to permanently adhere the ink into the material. The result is a design or image that is vibrant, long lasting, and impervious to scratching or fading.
Are the fabric displays a matte or gloss finish?
Your design and display will have a beautiful and vibrant matte finish that will remain clear when the material is stretched across the frame.
Should I be concerned about the display ripping or tearing?
When properly assembled, displayed, and stored, you should not have to worry about your display ripping. Due to the nature of the fabric material, sharp objects can cause permanent damage if handled near the display. Tension fabrics are also susceptible to tearing or piercing if stored near or on sharp objects.
How do I create a display using a picture or photo?
Creating a picture or photo display is easy. Start by selecting the “Get Started” button on the tension stand product page. Three options will appear, asking you how you want to begin designing your display; select the “Blank Template” option. The “Blank Template” option is also available under our “Popular Templates” section.Once you’re in our design tool, click on the “Upload Image” button underneath the “Design Tools tab on the left side of the page. Image files can be up to 25MB, so double check to ensure your file size meets that criteria. We recommend using a smaller file size for your initial purchase, then you can upload a high resolution file to upload.signs.com. On our checkout page, make a note that you have uploaded a high resolution file to replace the low res version. We’ll make sure to switch the low resolution file with the high resolution one before printing. Once uploaded to the design tool, you will have the freedom to move the images around, add text, or other design elements if desired.If this process is confusing at all or if you are in need of assistance, please contact us for free design help or even help in uploading larger files.
Can I use the tension stand outdoors?
Tension stands are designed for indoor use and we do not recommend placing tension stands outdoors for extended periods of time. Using tension stands outside can diminish the life of the display. Outdoor environments can increase the likelihood of damage to the display due to sharp objects and piercing. Though the frame is made from durable aluminum, it cannot be anchored or weighted down to the ground. Thus, inclement weather and windy conditions can easily cause permanent and irreversible damage to your fabric tension stand. Even if weighted, the display can act like a sail and be carried away in moderately windy conditions. If you’re looking for an outdoor display, we offer a variety of banners signage solutions that are specifically designed for outdoor use, including vinyl banners and feather flag banners.
Are your tension stands weather resistant?
Tension stands are not designed for outdoor use and, as such, are not designed to be weather resistant.
What are typical uses for your tension stands?
Indoor use for trade show and convention displays, public areas, welcome and registration tables, lobbies, presentations, showrooms, as a backdrop for photographs, weddings, media events, and marketing exhibits are just some of the wide range of uses. Outdoor use is possible in calm weather, but recommended for indoor use only.
Can I use a different graphic with the frame?
The frame used is designed specifically to support a fabric graphic and is not equipped to display a different graphic type or size. This is true even with the larger tension display we use. The frames and fabric displays of the two sizes and two products (tension fabric stand vs. tension displays) are not interchangeable.
Can I use rope or string to secure my tension stand to a solid object?
Tension stands are specifically designed for indoor use, so there should be no need to use rope or string to anchor the product down. The frame itself is not designed with any anchor points or loops to secure it to an object.
Will the design on my display fade over time? Is it able to be scratched off?
Your design is printed using a dye sublimation process, which means the ink is infused into the fabric. This greatly reduces the possibility of your design from fading or being scratched off. Properly caring for and storing the tension stand when not in use will ensure your design does not fade.
If I purchased the optional LED lights how do I set them up?
If you purchase the optional LED lights they will be included in your tension stand shipment. There will also be two additional, half-moon-shaped parts included with your shipment that allow LED lights to be securely attached to the top of the tension stand. Place half-moon parts on top of the fully assembled stand and use the attached screw to secure them in place. The LED lights are designed to slide into the grove on the top of these parts. After attaching the LED lights, hide the wires down the backside of your display and connect them to a power source.
How many watts are the LED lights?
Each LED light is 40W (watt), which is the perfect brightness to add ambient light to your display without overwhelming or distracting those who view it.
Installation & Care
How do I set up my tension stand?
Setting up your tension stand does not require any additional tools and can be set up in less than 10 minutes. Your tension stand will come with a total of 8 poles, a solid metal stand, and the polyester display. Each pole part is labeled with numbers at either end (for example, a pole will have “2” at one end and a “3” at the other end). The “2” will match to another “2” and likewise with “3” matching up to another “3”.Begin assembling the sides of the frame by starting with the bottom vertical poles. These poles are unique in that they have plastic connectors on the side. One pull will be labeled with “1” and the other “6” at the end. Connect the “1” end with the pole with ends labeled “1 - 2,” with the “1” ends matching up. Then connect the “2 - 3” pole. This process will be repeated for the other side, with poles labeled “6 - 5” and “5 - 4” respectively. Once the sides are completed, attach them to the top pole of the frame, which is labeled “3 - 4”. Next, attach the cross pole to the plastic attaching points at the bottom of the frame. This pole is not labeled by numbers and can be attached to either end of the plastic connectors. Screw the pole onto the frame by tightening the plastic screw mechanism. Take care not to over tighten the screw, as doing so could break the connector pieces. Once the frame is assembled it’s time to place the display over it. Make sure the display is completely laid out before placing it on the frame. Carefully slip the fabric over the frame, making sure it does not snag or bunch up on itself. Once over the frame, use the zipper on the bottom to fully secure it, pulling it taut.Place the completed frame and display onto the metal base plate using the snap buttons on the pole stubs of the base. These use the same button mechanism as the rest of the pole set. With the base attached to the frame, your tension stand is now ready for display.
How do I store my tension stand?
It is recommended that you store your tension stand in the carrying case that is part of your purchase. Simply use care when folding and storing the fabric banner portion of your tension stand that it does not tear when stored and transported with the poles.
My display is wrinkled - how do I remove the wrinkles?
Wrinkles present on your display can usually be removed by simply attaching the display to the frame and allowing the elasticity to remove any creases. In some cases, wrinkles and creases can be present when you first unwrap the product after it is shipped to you. If necessary, a handheld steamer can be used to quickly remove any wrinkles or creases. Do not iron your display or put it in a tumble dryer, as doing so can permanently damage your display.
Will the metal base scratch my floor?
The metal base comes with soft pads placed on the bottom of each corner which helps prevent the stand from scratching or scuffing your floor.
How do I wash my display? Can I use a washing machine to clean my display? What about a tumble dryer to dry it?
The display portion of the tension stand can be machine washed on a low spin cycle setting using cold water. Do not use heavy detergents or bleach when washing the display. Allow the display to air dry after washing. Do not put the display in a tumble dryer, as using one will cause warping of the fabric and possible damaging of the printed design.