Garment Pleating – Homage to Issey Miyake

Garment Pleating – Homage to Issey Miyake

While I wait for the local pleating house to finish their summer vacation, I’m moving onto the second phase of the Permanent Pleating Series – Garment Pleating.  In this series, I’ll be discussing whole garment pleating as originally inspired by the work of Issey Miyake (Pleats Please).

Early Work

I’ve done a little of this in the past and have used the crinkle pleating process to create texture and interest in simple garment designs.
I’ll be reviving my Shirred Bias Top from 2007.  Always a favourite, the success of this top lies in the semi-opacity of the fabric, the richness of print you can get in a  polyester and an uncomplicated fit that is both comfortable and elegant.  Somehow the pleating disguises/deconstructs the plasticity of the polyester fabric.  I have always fancied this top as a dress and will take this opportunity to test the design.

What Now?

In moving forward from these historic examples, I’ve been checking through the blog and have found a number of pattern puzzles that would suit whole garment pleating.  Which of these designs is your pick for garment pleating?
In particular, I’m keen to start using the existing Drape Back Dress pattern and cutting it in a polyester, chiffon to test a couple of pleat types (mushroom and crinkle).  Top candidates at this time are Mushroom, Crush and Sunray Pleating.  Each will have an entirely different effect in the final garment. 

Designs suitable for Whole Garment Pleating

The most important quality in a garment design that you intend to ‘pleat after make’ is the flat, almost two-dimensional nature of the garment before the pleating process.  If the garment lays entirely flat on the table, without any three-dimensional details, then you should feel safe to pleat the style.  Some pleating techniques require the garment to be oversized before pleating while other methods of pleating provide a texture to the surface of the fabric without taking up too much of the fabric/fit.
Do you own any garments that have been pleated after making?

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Anita McAdam
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