Pleat

Catholic clergymen wearing pleated rochet

A pleat (older plait) is a type of fold formed by doubling fabric back upon itself and securing it in place. It is commonly used in clothing and upholstery to gather a wide piece of fabric to a narrower circumference.[1]

Pleats are categorized as pressed, that is, ironed or otherwise heat-set into a sharp crease, or unpressed, falling in soft rounded folds. Pleats sewn into place are called tucks.

Types

Accordion

Knife pleat

Accordion pleats or knife pleats are a form of tight pleating which allows the garment to expand its shape when moving. Accordion pleating is also used for some dress sleeves, such as pleating the end of the elbow, with the fullness of the pleat gathered closely at the cuff. This form of pleating inspired the "skirt dancing" of Loie Fuller.[2] Accordion pleats may also be used in hand fans.

Box

Box pleats
Double box pleats

Box pleats are knife pleats back-to-back, and have a tendency to spring out from the waistline.[3] They have the same 3:1 ratio as knife pleats, and may also be stacked to form "stacked-" or "double-box pleats". These stacked box pleats create more fullness and have a 5:1 ratio. They also create a bulkier seam. Inverted box pleats have the "box" on the inside rather than the outside.

Cartridge

Cartridge pleats

Cartridge pleats are used to gather a large amount of fabric into a small waistband or armscye without adding bulk to the seam. This type of pleating also allows the fabric of the skirt or sleeve to spring out from the seam. During the 15th and 16th centuries, this form of pleating was popular in the garments of men and women. Fabric is evenly gathered using two or more lengths of basting stitches, and the top of each pleat is whipstitched onto the waistband or armscye. Cartridge pleating was resurrected in 1840s fashion to attach the increasingly full bell-shaped skirts to the fashionable narrow waist.[4][5][6]

Fluted

Fluted pleats or "flutings" are very small, rounded or pressed pleats used as trimmings.[7] The name comes from their resemblance to a pan flute.

Fortuny

Fortuny pleats are crisp pleats set in silk fabrics by designer Mariano Fortuny in the early 20th century, using a secret pleat-setting process which is still not understood.

Honeycomb

Honeycomb pleats are narrow, rolled pleats used as a foundation for smocking.

Kick

Kick pleats are short pleats leading upwards from the bottom hem of garments such as skirts or coats, usually at the back. They allow the garment to drape straight down when stationary while also allowing freedom of movement.

Kingussie

Kingussie pleats

Kingussie pleats, named after the town in Scotland, are a very rarely seen type of pleat used in some Scottish kilts. They consist of a single centrally located box pleat in the rear of the kilt with knife pleats fanning out on either side.

Knife

Knife pleats are used for basic gathering purposes, and form a smooth line rather than springing away from the seam they have been gathered to. The pleats have a 3:1 ratio–three inches of fabric will create one inch of finished pleat. Knife pleats can be recognized by the way that they overlap in the seam.[3]

Organ

Organ pleats are parallel rows of softly rounded pleats resembling the pipes of a pipe organ. Carl Köhler[8] suggests that these are made by inserting one or more gores into a panel of fabric.

Plissé

Plissé pleats are narrow pleats made by gathering fabric with stitches, wetting the fabric, and "setting" the pleats by allowing the wet fabric to dry under weight or tension. Linen chemises or smocks pleated with this technique have been found in the 10th century Viking graves in Birka.[9]

Rolled

Rolled pleats create tubular pleats which run the length of the fabric from top to bottom. A piece of the fabric to be pleated is pinched and then rolled until it is flat against the rest of the fabric, forming a tube. A variation on the rolled pleat is the stacked pleat, which is rolled similarly and requires at least five inches of fabric per finished pleat. Both types of pleating create a bulky seam.

Watteau

Watteau pleats are one or two box pleats found at the back neckline of 18th century sack-back gowns and some late 19th century tea gowns in imitation of these. The term is not contemporary, but is used by costume historians in reference to these styles as portrayed in the paintings of Antoine Watteau.[10]

Modern usage

Clothing features pleats for practical reasons (to provide freedom of movement to the wearer) as well as for purely stylistic reasons.

Shirts, blouses, jackets

Shirts and blouses typically have pleats on the back to provide freedom of movement and on the arm where the sleeve tapers to meet the cuff. The standard men's shirt has a box pleat in the center of the back just below the shoulder or alternately one simple pleat on each side of the back.

Jackets designed for active outdoor wear frequently have pleats (usually inverted box pleats) to allow for freedom of movement. Norfolk jackets have double-ended inverted box pleats at the chest and back.

Skirts and kilts

A girl wearing pleated and plaid skirt.

Skirts, dresses and kilts can include pleats of various sorts to add fullness from the waist or hips, or at the hem, to allow freedom of movement or achieve design effects.

  • One or more kick pleats may be set near the hem of a straight skirt to allow the wearer to walk comfortably while preserving the narrow style line.
  • Modern kilts may be made with either box pleats or knife pleats, and can be pleated to the stripe or pleated to the sett (see main article Kilts: Pleating and stitching).

Trousers

Jumpsuit with pleated legs. The thin fabric is often lined. Or in this case worn with skin coloured bra and tights to avoid shining through

Pleats just below the waistband on the front of the garment are typical of many styles of formal and casual trousers including suit trousers and khakis. There may be one, two, three, or no pleats, which may face either direction. When the pleats open towards the pockets they are called reverse pleats (typical of khakis and corduroy trousers) and when they open toward the zipper, they are known as forward pleats.

Utilitarian or very casual styles such as jeans and cargo pants are flat-front (without pleats at the waistband) but may have bellows pockets.

Pleated trousers were popular before World War II; fabric rationing during the war precluded the style, and flat front became the standard by necessity of cloth shortages.Pleated pants, especially of the double reverse pleat variety, were commonplace in the 1980s and 1990s, but by the late 2000s they had fallen out of favour.[11]

Pockets

A bellows pocket is patch pocket with an inset box pleat to allow the pocket to expand when filled. Bellows pockets are typical of cargo pants, safari jackets, and other utilitarian garments.

Gallery

  1. Woodblock print of sunray pleated folding fan, Japan, 19th century
  2. Afternoon costume with box pleated skirt and unpressed box pleated bodice panel, France, 1886
  3. Fortuny pleated Delphos gown, 1917
  4. Knife-pleated kilt with pleats sewn down to the hip line, 2005
  5. Organ pleated gown, Florentine, 1470
  6. Tea gowns with Watteau-pleated backs, Russia, 1899
  7. Greek Fustanella - men's garb with pleats

See also

  • Dart
  • Gather
  • David Pleat (born 1945), English football player, manager, and sports commentator

Notes

  1. ^ Picken, Mary Brooks, The Fashion Dictionary, Funk and Wagnalls, 1957, pp. 256–257
  2. ^ Valerie Cumming; Valerie Cumming, C.W. Cunnington, P. E. Cunnington; C. W. Cunnington; P. E. Cunnington (1 September 2010). The Dictionary of Fashion History. Berg. p. 1. ISBN 978-1-84788-738-2. Retrieved 10 January 2012.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  3. ^ a b Picken, Mary Brooks, The Fashion Dictionary, p. 257
  4. ^ Tozer, Jane and Sarah Levitt, Fabric of Society: A Century of People and their Clothes 1770–1870, Laura Ashley Press
  5. ^ Arnold, Janet: Patterns of Fashion: the cut and construction of clothes for men and women 1560–1620, Macmillan 1985
  6. ^ Arnold, Janet: Patterns of Fashion 1 (cut and construction of women's clothing, 1660–1860), Wace 1964, Macmillan 1972.
  7. ^ Caulfield and Saward, The Dictionary of Needlework, p. 212
  8. ^ Köhler, Carl: A History of Costume, Dover Publications reprint, 1963
  9. ^ Owen-Crocker, Gale R., Dress in Anglo-Saxon Englandrevised edition, Boydell Press, 2004,ISBN 1-84383-081-7, p. 42, 218
  10. ^ Picken, Mary Brooks, The Fashion Dictionary, pp. 257, 370
  11. ^ "Don't Fear the Return of Pleated Pants". Bloomberg.

References

  • Arnold, Janet: Patterns of Fashion: the cut and construction of clothes for men and women 1560–1620, Macmillan 1985. Revised edition 1986.ISBN 0-89676-083-9
  • Arnold, Janet: Patterns of Fashion 1 (cut and construction of women's clothing, 1660–1860), Wace 1964, Macmillan 1972. Revised metric edition, Drama Books 1977.ISBN 0-89676-026-X.
  • Kohler, Carl: A History of Costume, Dover Publications reprint, 1963,ISBN 0-486-21030-8
  • Owen-Crocker, Gale R., Dress in Anglo-Saxon Englandrevised edition, Boydell Press, 2004,ISBN 1-84383-081-7
  • Picken, Mary Brooks, The Fashion Dictionary, Funk and Wagnalls, 1957. (1973 editionISBN 0-308-10052-2)
  • Tozer, Jane and Sarah Levitt, Fabric of Society: A Century of People and their Clothes 1770–1870, Laura Ashley Press,ISBN 0-9508913-0-4

External links

Media files used on this page

Pleats with seam.jpg
Author/Creator: kellyhogaboom, Licence: CC BY-SA 2.0
Clothing pleats with seam stitches shown
Knife pleat.jpg
A knife pleat is a sharply pressed pleating, esp. in a skirt of kilt, in which all of the folds are turned in one direction, with each pleat being three (3) layers of fabric thick. (Note: if anyone reading this can improve on the image, say by adding width and depth indicators, please feel free to do so and load the new, improved image right over the top of this one, which is being used in Wiktionary)
Tekkoshocon 2010 cosplayer with Mahora Academy Middle School for Girls winter uniform from Negima.jpg
Author/Creator: Piotrus, Licence: CC BY-SA 3.0
Tekkoshocon 2010,穿《魔法老師》麻帆良學園本校女子中等部冬季制服的cosplayer。
Cartpleats.svg
Author/Creator: KDS4444, Licence: CC BY-SA 4.0
Illustration of cartridge pleats
Rochet Plissage.JPG
Author/Creator: Carolus, Licence: CC BY 3.0
Rochet
Box pleats 1.jpg
Author/Creator: maco *nix, Licence: CC BY-SA 2.0
Box pleats construction for a skirt
Jumpsuit with pleated legs - front.jpg
Author/Creator: Tobias ToMar Maier, Licence: CC BY-SA 3.0
Jumpsuit with pleated legs.
Kinguissie pleats.svg
Author/Creator: KDS4444, Licence: CC BY-SA 4.0
Illustration of Kinguissie pleats
Conde nast fortuny.jpg
Clarisse Coudert. "Mrs. Condé Nast wearing one of the famous Fortuny tea gowns. This one has no tunic but is finely pleated, in the Fortuny manner, and falls in long lines, closely following the figure, to the floor. Observe the decorative value of the long string of beads."
Knifepleat.svg
Author/Creator: KDS4444, Licence: CC BY-SA 4.0
Illustration of a knife pleat
Evzonen.jpg
Author/Creator: Bernd Schweitzer bernd@athenguide.info, Licence: CC BY-SA 2.5
Evzonen
Highland Dance 002.jpg
Author/Creator: © James F. Perry, Licence: CC BY-SA 3.0
Highland dancing at the 2005 Pacific Northwest Highland Games. Note the "break" in the kilt at the hipline. This is the result of the kilt pleats being stitched down through the fell (that portion of the kilt from waistline to the widest portion of the hips). The action of the kilt is an integral feature of Highland dancing.
Boxpleats.svg
Author/Creator: KDS4444, Licence: CC BY-SA 4.0
Illustration of box pleats
2boxpleats.svg
Author/Creator: KDS4444, Licence: CC BY-SA 4.0
Illustration of double box pleats