About Custom Tack Drapes
Custom tack drapes create an attractive, professional presence that enhances your stable's image at a horse or trade show. They also provide some measure of privacy for your tack and grooming stalls, and a sense of calm for your horses in their show site stabling. A suite of custom tack drapes with embroidered lettering or your logo created in your stable's color scheme represents an investment in branding.

A tack drape system is made up of panels that cover the exterior walls and doors of horse stalls, valances that add a polished look to the top of the panels and a name banner. Valances can be finished in a straight line or feature a scalloped or shaped edge. A name banner is designed to be hung over a doorway or aisle, and therefore it is backed with fabric so that it is attractive from both sides. Various lettering styles, such as Script or Roman, are available so that you can choose one that blends well with the look of your logo.

Dover Saddlery offers custom drapes by Equitex and Triple Crown. Equitex features Sunbrella® Marine fabrics, which are durable, fade-resistant, acrylic nylon that is machine washable. The dye lots are consistent, so you can add to your tack drape collection over time without worry that the colors won't match. Triple Crown drapes are made of tough, cordura nylon which is maintenance-free and resistant to tears and wrinkles. These drapes can be hosed clean.

Decorating Tips from Dover Saddlery's Tack Drape Expert:

  • To achieve a striking look, use three colors in your tack drape scheme--one color for the panels, one for the trim and one for the piping. More than 60 custom colors are available for tack drapes. Call 1-800-406-8204 to speak to Dover Saddlery's drape specialist and request the swatch book.

  • For a cohesive look, coordinate your tack drapes with custom stable items such as director's chairs for portable seating, tack trunk covers that protect your trunks from scratches and dust and stall guards that can be embroidered with your logo.

What Size Drapes to Buy
Custom tack drape panels are 7'4" in length (top to bottom), and come in various widths including 6', 8', 10' and 12'. Door panels have zip closures. Equitex door panels are 5'5" wide and Triple Crown door panels are 6' wide. The widths you require depend upon the stall configurations of the show barns that you frequent.

Most show barns have either 10' x 12' or 12' x 12' stalls. If you attend many competitions, then it is advisable to order 12' drape panels; if you find yourself stabled in 10' stalls, you can always fold under the extra drape to achieve a clean look. However, if you attend only one or two shows per year that are held at a facility with 10' stalls, you should order 10' panels. Additionally, if you know the location of the stall doors, it will help you determine the widths of the panels you need. For example, if you have a center doorway on a stall front that measures 12', you may wish to use two 6' panels and tiebacks to keep them open in front of the doorway.

Valances are 14" deep and, like drape panels, can run in various widths including 6', 8', 10', 12' and 17'. It is not uncommon to have valances extend along the tops of stalls on which no drapes are mounted. Name banners are limited to 60' in length because they can be heavy when the weight of the backing fabric, piping and lettering is factored in.

Tip: Custom tack drapes require about six to ten weeks for fabrication depending on the amount of custom lettering and logo embroidery you request. If you are looking for a ready-made solution for a rapidly approaching event, consider the Dover's Drape Collection.

Installing Tack Drapes at the Showgrounds
Most people use heavy-duty staples to hang tack drapes on wooden stalls. However, tack drape panels come with grommets that are used for securing tack drapes with pull ties whenever staples cannot be used, such as in temporary stabling that is made of metal piping. Hook and loop fasteners along the top of drapery panels and the backs of valances make securing the valances quick and easy. A name banner has a hidden pocket in back into which a wooden dowel may be inserted for hanging over an aisle or doorway.

Caring for Drapes and Valances
Shake any dust from your tack drapes when you take them down at the end of the show. Panels can be cleaned by hosing or in commercial washing machines, as directed by the manufacturer. Valances and name banners with embroidery should be dry cleaned professionally.

For storage, drapes may be folded and layered in a trunk. Valances and name banners should be rolled to prevent creasing. Consider adding natural cedar blocks or cedar sachets available from a home improvement store to your trunk to help repel pests.

When designing your custom tack drapes, please contact Dover Saddlery's drape specialist at 1-800-406-8204. This specialist can provide you with the swatch book, help you determine the panel and door configurations that you require, and assist you in completing the Custom Order Form.

Related Topics:
Organizing Your Barn
Tips for Stall Boredom and Stable Vices
Maintaining an Equine Medical Kit