After reading book Paul Jackson’s book and refining the technique for hand pleating fabric at home with heat, I have decided to try hand pleating at home. I made pleated fabric samples from these fabrics: tulle, chiffon georgette, crystal organza, mirror organza, satin, crêpe satin, micro satin and duchess satin.
For each fabric I made a pleated fabric sample and continued with a simple test. This test consisted of:
- creasing the pleated sample
- washing the pleated fabric
- drying the sample
- steaming the sample, if necessary
In this blog post I’m going to show you how different hand pleated fabric samples performed in this test. This post is mostly full of images. We all know the saying “A picture is worth a thousand words” :). All the samples in this tutorial are examples of accordion pleats. If you want to know how to make accordion pleats at home, read this blog post.
Disclaimer: This is a test for fabrics that are hand pleated at home. The same results may not apply to permanently pleated garments bought at a store.
This blog post describes the following samples:
- Pleated tulle mesh
- Pleated crystal organza
- Pleated mirror organza
- Pleated chiffon
- Pleated georgette
- Pleated crêpe satin
- Pleated satin (90 gsm)
- Pleated micro satin
- Pleated duchess satin
Pleated tulle mesh
Preparing and pleating tulle
Tulle is a mesh and is quite easy to prepare for any project. Folding the mould with the tulle in between is really easy.
Wrinkled pleated tulle
Tulle itself did not hold the pleats well for a long time. The loose mesh has too little material to do the job. During the test the tulle wrinkled and the pleats straightened to some extent.
Washing and drying tulle
Tulle should be hand washed. That’s what I did. But this did not help restoring the pleats or getting rid of the wrinkles completely.
I wouldn’t use this home pleated tulle for pleated garments. But I think a pleated veil could be very nice. It should not get easily wrinkled and is used very rarely.
Pleated crystal organza
Preparing and pleating crystal organza
Crystal organza is a slippery fabric. While folding the accordion moulds you need to watch whether the fabric has not moved to side.
Wrinkled pleated crystal organza
The wrinkles on the crystal organza fabric are quite prominent.
Washing and drying pleated crystal organza
After a mild hand wash and letting the fabric dry a few of the wrinkles disappeared. I tried to steam the pleated organza in order to get rid of some of the wrinkles. I used a lot of steam as most of immediately disappeared on the other side of the fabric (see image the below). But the fabric remained wrinkled.
Pleated mirror organza
Preparing and pleating mirror organza
Another slippery fabric that needs to watched over while folding the pleats of the moulds.
Wrinkled pleated mirror organza
Washing and drying pleated mirror organza
After I hand washed the mirror organza and let it dry, there remained only few mild wrinkles so I steamed the sample carefully and the result was quite nice.
Preparing and pleating chiffon
Chiffon is a really thin fabric and it is a little tricky to make it lay nice and straight on the lower pleating mould. But once you start folding the accordions, everything goes quite well.
Wrinkled pleated chiffon
This polyester chiffon wrinkled only a little. After I let the fabric relax, some of the wrinkles disappeared compltely.
Washed and dried pleated chiffon
After a mild hand wash a letting the chiffon dry, all of the wrinkles were gone.
Preparing and pleating georgette
Georgette is a little thicker fabric than chiffon and a little easier to work with. From all the sheer fabrics I have tried to pleat georgette is the best one to work with.
Wrinkling pleated georgette
Although my georgette pleated fabric samples wrinkled, after a while the wrinkles almost disappeared.
Washing and drying pleated georgette
After I hand washed the pleated sample and let it dry, there were almost no wrinkles left.
Pleated crêpe satin
Preparing and pleating crêpe satin
Crêpe satin (145 gsm) is an interesting material with tiny wrinkles embedded in the fabric itself.
Wrinkled pleated crêpe satin
The wrinkles are not too bad or prominent. The fabric could easily ‘un-wrinkle’ itself.
Washed and dried pleated crêpe satin
One of the best fabrics to work with. A mild hand wash and drying removed all the wrinkles. I was really happy with the result.
Pleated satin (90 gsm)
Preparing and pleating satin
This was quite a thin satin – only 90 gsm. A little slippery, but really easy to fit in between the moulds.
Wrinkled pleated satin
This satin has really prominent, sharp wrinkles that do not simply disappear by themselves.
Washed and dried pleated satin
A mild hand wash and letting the pleated sample dry, the satin got ‘back in shape’. All the wrinkles disappeared almost completely.
Pleated micro satin
Preparing and pleating micro satin
Micro satin (135 gsm) is one of the fabrics that was easy to work fit. Not as slippery as classic satin.
Wrinkled pleated micro satin
To some extent the fabric could ‘un-wrinkle’ itself and look good.
Washed and dried pleated micro satin
All the wrinkles practically disappeared. Some careful steaming might help if there would be any creases left.
Pleated duchess satin
Preparing and pleating duchess satin
I do not recommend to make your first garment using duchess satin. It looks amazing, but the material is really thick (the one in this example has 295 gsm) and is really hard to fit in between the two pleating moulds.
Wrinkled pleated duchess satin
The wrinkled that appeared on the sample disappeared after a while. But some stayed, of course.
Washed and dried pleated duchess satin
After a mild hand wash and letting the sample dry, most of the wrinkled disappeared.
Conclusion: How did the pleated fabric samples perform?
Georgette, crêpe satin and micro satin were for me the best fabric for pleating. Almost all of the tested fabric samples, except from tulle and crystal organza gave very nice results. The permanent pleating of the fabrics withstood the wrinkling, hand wash and drying. All of the fabrics above (excluding tulle and crystal organza) are a good choice for a hand pleated skirt or a hand pleated dress.
Steaming pleated fabric
Be careful whenever you decide to steam any pleated garment. In case you move the iron a bit too close to the fabric you might unintentionally un-pleat the folds. Restoring the pleats by ironing them with an iron is a very difficult (almost impossible) task.
I hope you enjoyed this pleating test of pleated fabric samples and will give pleating a chance. Do not forget to make a small sample before your big project to make sure you will be able to maintain the final product. If you succeed to pleat some materials not mentioned in this blog post, please, leave a comment and let us all know, how it went. Good luck.