All About Pleats And Their Types
Pleats are the folds made on fabric by usually gathering the wide piece of cloth to fit narrower proportions. Pleats help in giving the clothing texture, shape, and volume. To create pleats, one has to start by gathering the desired length of fabric followed by pinning them in place and lastly sewing.
The earliest evidence of pleats dates back to the times before ancient Egypt. At present, there are several types of pleats depending on the different patterns used for the gathering in the folds. In this article, we will discuss the various types of famous pleats.
Regular Pleat Formation
The folds of pleats turn a wider piece of fabric into having a narrower circumference. Pleats are created merely by doubling the fabric back on top it and securing it using pins.
The pleats fall under the category of “pressed fabric” because the fabric is either ironed or heat-pressed to create a sharp crease. One can also create soft rounded folded pleats by not pressing. Tuck is the pleat or folds sewn into place. The following are the different types of pleats and a brief description of how to create them.
1. Knife Pleats
One of the most well-known types of pleats observed on the waistband of skirts is the knife pleats. The wearer gets a slim look because of knife pleats. One can easily move by wearing knife-pleated skirts for the pleats hand loosely on the body. ‘Flat pleats’ is the other name for knife pleats because they typically overlap with each other and travel in one direction.
To create this pleated one will have to make two folds of equal width, one on the inside (under pleat) and the other on the outside (over pleat). You can sharply press the knife pleats to create the prominent crease on the fabric. For creating a versatile and classy look, you can always rely on knife pleats.
2. Accordion Pleats
As you might have guessed, the resemblance of the pleats to the bellows of an accordion is the reason behind giving it the name ‘accordion pleats’. This type of pleats can fit well on most body frames and sizes. Accordion pleats are the machine-made permanent knife pleats that remain the same even after washing and ironing.
Sunburst Pleats (Sunray Pleats) are a type of accordion pleats where an individual creates zig-zag patterns on a semicircular piece of fabric by these heat-set pleats that widen out towards the bottom.
3. Graduated Pleats
These pleats are flat or flared pleats, and it is the name of the machine-made knife pleats. The difference between standard flat pleats and the graduated pleats is the width of the under pleats. It is because the width of under pleats in the graduated pleats type varies from the hip to the hem. The graduation of the flared feature of the pleats created in the fabric adds an elegant yet trendy aspect to the garments.
4. Crystal Pleats
Crystal pleats are the delicate knife pleats that are common on men’s shirts like tuxedo shirts. To create the crystal pleats, you have to create narrow folds and sharply heat-press setting it at a 90-degrees angle from the fabric. Also, the pleats should measure 2 or 3 mm on both sides. The fabric with crystal pleat gets an exquisite and stylish texture.
5. Box Pleats
To make box pleats, you will have to fold the piece of fabric repeatedly back on itself which will form a series of pleats. Box pleats are knife pleats with the folds in the opposite direction.
This style of pleats rose to popularity in the 1940s when designers were experimenting with women’s fashion to bring styles that are more playful and exaggerated. Since the box pleats give a fuller and voluptuous look, in today’s time, it is the style of pleats rarely opted for in clothing.
6. Inverted Pleats
The trend of inverted pleats started from around 1920s. Inverted pleats are basically box pleats inside out (the back of the box pleats will look similar to what the inverted pleats look in the front). You have to bring two folds in a line in the centre of either the front or back of the clothing (skirt say) to create inverted pleats. Knee lengths skirts with inverted pleats are very popular among designs.
7. Kick Pleats
If we are to join the inverted pleats along the fold edges that is a short distance from the top, then we will get kick pleats. In 1940, designers added kick pleats to the back of some traditional tighter fitting skirts to make movement in then easier and provide comfort to the wearer. Kick pleats now are most common on the shorter side as they lead up from the bottom of the hem.
8. Fancy Pleats
One can observe a lot of variation in the history of fancy pleats. These pleats come in all sorts of style and have the space for experimentation. As a designer, you can create fancy pleats out of your imagination to give volume or texture to your clothing. There are several websites you can explore for inspiration while creating fancy pleats.
9. Sari Pleats
The most common garment to craft sari pleats is on the Indian ethnic clothing, a sari or saree. These pleats are primarily thin (like sunray pleats) that are at the center of the garment. We tuck the top end of the sari pleats, and the bottom remains flare. On removing the drapes of the garment, the pleats disappear too if not set using a pin.
Pintucks are the small pleats stitched along the length of fabric. This type of subtle pleats is commonly noticed on the front of tuxedo shirts. Pintucks add texture and dimension to the fabric rather than giving volume to the clothing like other pleats.
Even though we create pintucks by sewing the pleats but often the stitching is not visible from far. For sewing the folds quite closely together, the stitching goes unnoticed. Hence, pintucks give people the illusion of being tiny fold pleats.
A lot more can be discussed if we go onto describing further about each type of pleat and its history. However, in this article, we have provided a great deal of information about the types of pleats.
You can additionally search about how to make the types of pleats mentioned in this article. Hope this article will inspire and help the readers to create beautifully pleated attires.