Photography and Video Backdrops – Difference Between Cotton & Paper Backgrounds

Photography and Video Backdrops – Difference Between Cotton & Paper Backgrounds

In this video,
we’ll be comparing the differences between paper backdrops
and cotton muslin backdrops for photos and video. Thanks for watching, guys. Subscribe to us for more photo
and video equipment reviews and comparisons just like this. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram,
@hypop or visit our website, Let’s get into it. There are several different
backdrop options available on the market for your photo or video shoot. A few being vinyl, plastics, paper backdrops
or cotton muslin backdrops. The three main considerations
when selecting a backdrop: price, portability,
as well as production. With price, obviously,
you’re going to be selecting the size that you want
and the price to suit your budget. For portability, if you’re going to be
shooting on location versus shooting in studio, and production,
deciding whether you’re going to be needing it for a photo shoot
or a video shoot. Today, we’ll be talking specifically
about paper backdrops and cotton muslin backdrops. So, let’s go a little bit more in depth
about the differences between the two. Let’s jump into that first, P, price,
and we’ll compare the differences between paper and cotton muslin. So, with paper,
it comes in two different sizes. There’s the full width backdrops
which at 2.7 m. x 10 m. in length and they also have the half rolls which are 1.3 m. in width
and 10 m. in length. They’re about the same
in terms of price. Therefore, with variations, so we do have the 3 m. x 6 m.
in cotton muslin, which is the full width
and they do get cheaper as you decrease in size. As they get smaller,
with the cotton muslins, they are a bit more economical
compared to paper backdrops. So, you do have 3 x 3 meters,
2 x 3 meters and really small cotton muslin backdrops
which are only 1.45 x 1 meter, perfect for Twitch streaming,
YouTube, live streaming, things like that. The next P is portability. Comparing the two different backdrops,
once again. Paper backdrops are more suitable
for studio use because they’re a little bit
harder to transport. You will need a vehicle to transport them
whereas cotton muslin backdrops, as you can see here,
this one here is the largest size, the 3 x 6 meters
and you can see it folds down perfectly into my hand right here
and basically a lot more portable. Perfect for on location use. So, if you or needing a backdrop
when you’re on location, cotton muslin is probably
the most convenient to take with you. Now, comparing the different sizes, paper backdrops come
in two different sizes. full width backdrop
which is 2.7 m. in width and 10 m. in length and the half width backdrop
which is 1.36 m. in width and 10 m. in length as well. You can also have them
custom cut to size. So, if you have a limited amount
of space in your studio, if you have 2 m. of width,
for example, you can get them cut to size,
perfect for your space. In terms of storage
for paper backdrops, you will actually need
to store them upright. It’s advisable to store them that way
because if you do store them horizontally or lying along the ground,
if there is any weight placed on it, it may cause the actual backdrop or the backdrop core in the roll
crease like so and then that’ll cause wrinkles
in your backdrops when you unravel that
on your backdrop stand. Also, you have to be mindful of humidity
so when you’re standing them upright, just less chance of it actually
encountering humidity. Store it in its box as well
so don’t store it just open, taped up stuff just like this. It’s always advisable to store it
in its box or if it came with plastic. In terms of storing cotton muslin,
it’s nice and easy. You basically fold it up just like this. Disadvantage would be that
when you go to mount your actual muslin, there will be wrinkles
once you unravel that and mount that up
onto your backdrop stand. A way to get around this would be
to iron it out or if you have a steamer available,
you can steam out some of those wrinkles and make sure you have
a nice clean backdrop. Storing them,
it’s as simple as folding them up and if you do have a case
or a little pouch that comes with your cotton muslin, use that to avoid
any sort of dirt and dust to get onto your backdrop so that way you can use it
for your next shoot. And, when cleaning your backdrops, cotton muslins, they are reusable,
that’s the advantage of them. They are machine washable
because they are made from cotton. However, if they do get dirty, you will simply just need
to machine wash them. That’s the advantage of them
versus paper. With paper,
they do have 10 m. in length and if you use it
while you’re on your shoot and your model steps on it,
for example, there are some footprints, something gets spilt
onto it or it gets torn, you can simply just cut the actual lengths
and pull out a little bit more so that’s why there is 10 m.
as compared to the full-length muslin which is only 6 m. They’re a little bit more
of a consumable compared to the cotton muslin. The cotton muslins are reusable
and that’s their advantage, however, paper is recyclable. So, if you are, obviously,
going through a few shoots, one roll should last you
about three or four shoots. If it does get dirty
and if your model does step on it or your subject does,
then you can go ahead and just chop that off
and recycle the paper. Final P is production. Production involves
what you require the backdrop for, whether it’s a photo shoot
or a video shoot. Both of these backdrops
come in a chroma key green colour. You can see this cotton muslin here
is a green colour, perfect for video shoot. So, if you’re doing any chroma key work,
whether it’s just individual subjects or a group of people
in your actual video, you can use these backdrops. You can see the paper
comes in a chroma key as well. In terms of the different colours
that are available for both backdrops, cotton Muslims are only available
in a basic range of solid colours so you only have
some really basic colours such as white, black,
grey, green, blue, etc. There are tie-dye variants available
for cotton muslin. They’re popular in photography. Things like school photos,
office photos, things like that. They use tie-dye. You can get really creative
with tie-dye backdrops and they’re typically only available
in cotton muslin. Whereas in paper backdrops, they do come in a wide range
of solid colours. Our spectrum range of backdrops
come in over 30 colours and so, if you’re wanting
to get creative with just some plain shots,
so if you’re doing fashion shoots, portrait shoots,
they’re perfect for that type of thing. Some accessories to consider
for your backdrop setup would be backdrops stands,
obviously. If you’re wanting to mount
your backdrop, look for a backdrop stand
that has some sort of crossbar so it allows you to mount
through the rod sleeve of the cotton muslin
or through the cardboard core of the paper backdrop. Backdrop pegs,
the backdrop pegs are great for keeping the backdrop taught. Especially if you’re using cotton muslin
or just mounting them to your crossbar and making sure that your paper roller
doesn’t unravel when it’s mounted. And lastly would be some sandbags. Sandbags are perfect to use
with your backdrop stands. With the legs on the side
of your backdrop stand, you can support them
and make sure they’re weighted so your backdrops nice and sturdy
when it’s all set up. So, that was a quick run-through
the differences between paper versus cotton muslin backdrops. For more videos just like this,
subscribe to our channel, follow us on Facebook and Instagram
@hypop or visit our website, Thanks for watching.


  • Hypop says:

    Sorry for the poor audio in this one guys! Had a dodgy lapel mic 🙁
    We're upgrading our mic setup for future videos!

  • Andy Taveras says:

    you didn't mentioned anything about vinyl

  • All Things Lex says:

    Hello from California! You're very good on camera which makes your videos pleasant to watch in full length. Very helpful & informative as I'm looking to upgrade gear & studio for my channel. Keep it up ✌

  • Sandra kow says:

    this needs more views… smh

  • Goody Morillas says:

    so which do you prefer? use most often?

  • Akhil Bhimjee says:

    Good video man, thanks!

  • Sameer Saini says:

    Can you please let me know if cotton muslin backdrops are suitable for full length shots where I want some frame of the floor as well in the same color as the background. (the cloth extended towards me(the photographer). ) Will it have wrinkles while people are standing on it?

  • Elshaddai dayo says:

    Thank you

  • Scotty Zepplin says:

    This video could not have a come at a better time because I am lookibg to buy local paper or fabric for my shoots. Thanks.

    Side: note I do not know how your mic is setup but I will assume it is a lav mic. I can hesr the gain (hissing) as the mic adjusts to your voice to pick it up. Work on that or I highly recommend a shotgun mic for crisp audio.

    Kudos.. Keep the good work up.

  • Khicchik Photography says:

    Can we just get one Green backdrop and change the colors in post instead of getting different colors?

  • merchmakerpros dotcom says:

    Very informative video free from useless information. Nicely done.

  • McPhilligan says:

    Great video and explanation 🙂

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