They are plastic, but very strong and the clamping power is quite good. The only annoyance is the little red pads on the end, swivel all the way around so if you are trying to attach something up high with one hand, sometimes they flip backwards and don't grab correctly. You just need to make sure they are facing inwards before you reach up high. I used all 6 clamps to attach a large king size sheet to a linco backdrop stand and it was enough - ... full review
This was a great value for the price. The backdrops photograph well, the lights are great and the stand is good. The stand didn't come with instructions to put it together, but wasn't too difficult to figure out. The backdrops did come with some wrinkles from being folded for shipping, but I have them rolled up together on a wrapping paper roll and they seem to be much better (and I haven't even ironed them yet.) I would recommend this product, especially for beginners like myself.
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