The hand pleating of fabric using cardboard moulds and setting the pleats with steam.
|Historic area of significance
|Area currently practised
|Origin in the UK
|Current no. of professionals (main income)
|Current no. of professionals (sideline to main income)
|Current no. of trainees
|Current total no. serious amateur makers
|Current total no. of leisure makers
|Minimum no. of craftspeople required
The pleating of fabric goes back for centuries. Today, pleating is now primarily done by machine but there is still a specialist and couture market for hand pleated fabric.
Most natural fabrics will pleat well but the pleats can be lost in the washing process, so care has to be taken. Synthetic fabrics, such as polyester are most suited to pleating as they can be washed and still hold a pleat.
The fabric is pleated using a pattern or mould and steam to set the pleats. Patterns are made from two pieces of card that are folded and fit together accurately. There is a considerable amount of skill and accuracy in making a mould, with some intricate patterns taking weeks to complete.
The fabric is laid between the two pieces of card, folded to shape and rolled up tight. It is then placed in a steam cabinet to heat set the fabric in to the required shape. When the pattern has cooled, the fabric is removed and retains the shape of the pleating pattern.
Issues affecting the viability of the craft
- The current rate of inflation and the energy crisis has had an impact on small pleating businesses
Craftspeople currently known