Accordion pleats are very fine knife pleats, which are used on skirts, flounces on skirt hems and sleeves, which make them moves like an accordion. Fabric pieces are treated in a pleater, which is not easy because it difficult to calculate how much fabric is needed for what depth of pleat, so typically plenty of fabric is pleated. It is required to turn up the hem first by not joining the seams. There are two types of pleats; synthetic fibers have permanent pleats whereas natural fibers have temporary pleats. Accordion pleated fabric is available by the meter and unpleated fabric is also available with some attractive effects. Series of rubber bands are placed around the pleated section when washing the garment, wash is done with hands without squeezing.
A short pleat in the hem of a straight skirt is meant to provide room for easy and free movement. It is an inverted pleat having a separate backing piece. The pleat being short the backing doesn't extend up to the waist. Construct as for an inverted pleat shorter than about 20 cm (8 in.)
- Turn up the hem of the skirt and the pleat backing and finish both hems, before attaching the backing to the pleat.
- Attach the backing to the pleat.
- Insert leveling of hems by inserting firm tacks.
- Machine from the hem, through all layers up to the top of the backing.
- Stitch both sides in this direction.
- Attach the top edge of the pleat backing by working herringbone stitch over the edge and picking up small stitches in the fabric of the pleat.
A single fold pressed to one side in the fabric is Knife pleat. They can be single, in pairs or groups or co continuous like in a kilt. Steps for a single Pleat:
- Fold the fabric.
- In case of a deep pleat, the skirt may be cut in two sections. In this case the pieces right sides together, tack on the pleat line;if desired stitch to the release point.
- Press well.
- For proper hemline, stop the neatening well above hemline to complete after the hem has been turned up.
Steps for skirts with knife pleats all around (It is not difficult to establish the skirt length and finish the hem completely before inserting the pleats).
- Matching tailor's tack lines, work from the right side fold and tack from hem to waist.
- Press well with hot ironusing damp cloth.
- Do it now if the pleats are to be stitched down for part of the way.
- Hold the pleats in position if the back folds are machined at this stage.
- Now start hemming to stitch up to the waist.
For only a few knife pleats in the skirt(Best way is to set them in position from the wrong side).
- With the fabric wrong side up and matching up the tailor's tacks, fold over each pleat.
- Tack from hem to waist.
- Do stitching the pleats for part of theirlength now on the wrong side.
- Press well from the right side to ensure all pleats facing in the correct direction.
- Finish the skirt before turning up the hem.
- For this remove the tacks in the pleats, open out the fabric, then turn up and finish the hem.
- Refold the pleats, and hold them in position with a double basting stitch through the hem.
- To prevent a ridge showing, press placing a towel against the inner edge.
- Stitch down the folds on the backs of the pleats and through the hem to keep the pleats in position.
- In case the pleat is in two pieces (if there is an actual seam at the back of the pleat instead of a fold), tack the pleat in the usual way i.e. press, and stitch the seam.
- With the seam trimmed and pressed open within the hem, turn up the hem.
- Neaten the turning above the hem.
- And stitch the fold of the pleat through the hem.
The feature of Pleats is attractive in style providing room for movement as well. One may held it from a specific position from one end only, from the center back of a person's t-shirt; it can be held from both the ends for instance pleat inserted from down towards the center of a patch pocket; it may be stitched in place for part of its length and also could be held at one end, in a skirt. The undressed pleats are the pleats held on one end but not pressed or stitched. The types of Pleats are three in number: Box pleats, Knife Pleats, Inverted pleats. The characteristic of all the above mentioned types may simple folds of fabric. Simply by allowing sufficient additional fabric where it is needed and folding it into a place, a pleat can be added to any garment.
Put the pleats in a position whenever it seems possible in the fabric before doing any other process: To ensures that none of the width is borrowed to make the garment big enough the fitting of the garment pleat would be tacked down.
Before removing the pattern or sequence one should mark all pleat lines and hemlines. Some of the skirt pleat has the back part of the pleat as an extra piece to be attached. Enabling the pleat to be slightly on the bias of the fabric, this mostly improves the hang. To economies the fabric, one can eagle it and cut from a narrow width; the act makes it possible to use a contrasting fabric.