A simple way to turn any space into a professional-looking studio is to hang up a backdrop. While you could theoretically use an old bedsheet, it’s best to pick up a background made of muslin, as the cotton presents a tight and dense weave, and it tends to be very durable. A top-quality muslin will be more forgiving than a cheaper product, retaining fewer wrinkles, even if you fold it up to travel for shoots—though most can easily be smoothed out with a steamer. Our picks below will help you find your next go-to backdrop.
1. Neewer Pure Muslin Collapsible Backdrop
This 100% pure muslin backdrop has a substantive feel and weight; the fabric is heavy-duty, to last many photoshoots. Featuring a pocket for a rod along one edge, it can easily be hung but also looks sophisticated when draped. The material is consistent throughout and doesn’t easily attract dirt, and, while it will wrinkle with use, any crease can be eliminated quickly with a steam iron. It’s also finished along the edges to prevent fraying or accidental rips.
2. LimoStudio Solid Black Background
LimoStudio’s product is a close runner-up, although it comes in just one color: black. It is slightly sheer, but that is evident only if you’re hanging it against light; it will otherwise provide a consistent, true black backdrop. To extend its life, all its edges are neatly crimped, and any dirt can be banished simply by tossing this muslin in a washing machine. Another neat detail: one side has a matte finish, and the other has a sheen, giving you two surfaces to work with.
3. Emart Black Muslin Photography Backdrop
If you can sacrifice some quality for a lower price, we like this economical backdrop from Emart. It is just large enough for full-length portrait photography and features an even-textured, nonreflective surface with fully finished edges. In terms of thickness, it feels a tad more substantial than a bedsheet, so it’s best used against a dark-colored wall. It also does wrinkle easily, so we’d recommend steaming it before each use. As long as you take good care of it and keep it hanging taut with the included clips, you should be able to achieve good photos with it.
4. Savage Solid Muslin Background
An industry standard, Savage’s muslin backdrops are made of top-quality cotton that have zero reflection. Available in multiple colors, some of these fabrics could be artworks on their own. The colors are solid and consistent throughout the surface, and they do not easily wrinkle. The backdrops are extremely durable and will last you years, and they can conveniently be refreshed in a washing machine. Each features professional seams along the edges and a rod pocket for frustration-free hanging.
5. Impact Crushed Muslin Background
If you want a backdrop that makes a statement, we like this option from Impact. Made of 100% soft yet durable cotton, it features a beautiful crinkled surface with a soothing abstract design; the gray daubs look like the results of natural dyes. Totally seamless, the fabric is nonreflective and is even designed to absorb light. It’s finished with not only a rod pocket but also five eyelets, so you can quickly hook it up. Cleaning is also convenient, as it’s machine-safe on a gentle wash cycle.