Straight Accordion Pleating Gallery
Before continuing, please read How To Order Custom Pleated Fabric.
Now that you have decided to order accordion pleating, the following are the additional steps necessary for calculating and preparing your order.
The three most important things to keep in mind about accordion pleating are:
- It is pleated in panels. Usually the length of a mold is 4 yards, but it could vary depending on the style of the mold. Pleating is done in increments of 4 yards.
- The length of the pleat in most molds is 48in. wide. Some molds are available in 60in., 72in. or longer. Please contact us for any specific sizes you require.
- The measurements of the pleating are the same along the entire pleat (from top to bottom).
Step 1. Choose the size and length required. The most common sizes are listed below, but if you do not see the size or length you require, send us an email (email@example.com) to discuss a custom mold.
48in. x 4yards / 60in. x 4yards
48in. x 4yards / 60in. x 4yards
|A15mm||5/8in.||48in. x 4yards / 60in. x 4yards|
|A20mm||3/4in.||48in. x 4yards / 60in. x 4yards|
|A25mm||1in.||48in. x 4yards / 60in. x 4yards|
|A30mm||1 1/4in.||48in. x 4yards / 60in. x 4yards|
2. Determine how much pleated fabric you need. This number is based on the number of garments you are making or your pattern specifications. For example: If you are making a skirt then please provide your hip measurement and skirt length. If you do not have a pattern or tech specs, we also provide Product Development Services.
3. Calculate open yardage. Once you determine how many pleated yards you need, you can determine how much "open yardage" is required before pleating. Usually specific pleat styles have a specific "loss factor" or "loss ratio" indicating the amount of fabric that will be used up. In the case of straight accordion pleats, there is no specific loss factor. The amount of fabric you use is based on your preference. The closer together you sew the pleats the more fabric you use. The only way to be certain is to do a trial. We recommend ordering one 4 yard panel to see how your fabric reacts to the pleating and how it fits your needs. However, generally speaking, a good baseline to keep in mind is that standard pleating loss factor is 3:1. Meaning three yards will yield one yard of pleated fabric.
Step 3. Choose your fabric quality. This choice is entirely based on your project needs. However, as a general rule of thumb, you should consider the following:
- The thinner the fabric the smaller/finer the pleat size. Thicker fabrics will force you to use larger pleat sizes.
- The thinner/softer the fabric, the more flowy it will be. Stiff fabrics have a tendency to get more stiff after pleating.
Step 4. Hemming. If a crisp hem is desired, it is usually easier to hem before the pleating is done. This is most often completed by our clients. However, if needed we can also provide this service. This will add several days to your order, depending on the quantity you require, the fabric you choose and the type of hem. General points regarding hemming include the following:
- A thick hem could a create problem or increase the size of your pleat style.
- If your seamstress stretches the hem during the sewing or pressing process, it could render your fabric useless.
- Thin hems like pearl edge are usually best for medium weight fabrics. Thinner fabrics like chiffons could be baby hemmed.
Step 5. Direction of pleating. When pleating fabric in panels there are several options. Pleating can be done parallel to the selvedge, perpendicular to the selvedge or along the bias. There are many variables that determine which is the most suitable. Describing all the possible variables is beyond the scope of this page. However, better constructed garments are usually pleated parallel to the selvedge, and less expensive garments are pleated perpendicular to the selvedge. Each case is unique and if you are unfamiliar with this terminology we recommend either working with a professional Patternmaker or hiring our Product Development Services.
For more information regarding this step please consult Chapter 8 of Pleating: Fundamentals for Fashion Design.
Step 6. Cutting and prepping your fabric panels. If you are working with a seamstress or a sample room, they should cut the fabric panels to the specs you require and hem the panels so they are ready for pleating. Please be sure the dimensions of your panels are not larger than our mold dimensions listed in Step 1, and the panels are a true rectangle and not warped due to incorrect cutting, hemming or pressing. If the panels are not a true rectangle, your fabric may be useless or may severely comprise the quality of your pleats. If you do not have a professional sample maker, you can hire our Product Development Services.